Partnership for Smarter Growth has partnered with three other Richmond-based nonprofit organizations - Storefront for Community Design, Groundwork RVA, and Bike Walk RVA - to apply for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts’ “Our Town” program. This application seeks to combine principles of art, design, urban planning, and community engagement to foster a more livable area with enhanced quality of life, increased creative activity, a distinct sense of place, and a vibrant local economy. This is achieved by capitalizing on the area’s existing assets. The National Endowment for the Arts defines these efforts as the process of Creative Placemaking:

"In creative placemaking, partners from public, private, nonprofit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, tribe, city, or region around arts and cultural activities. Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired."

 Ann Markusen, Markusen Economic Research Services  

 Anne Gadwa Nicodemus, Metris Arts Consulting  

 From Creative Placemaking

If successful, the larger goal of this process is to build a placemaking plan for the region which could be applied to many once-vibrant corridors. This placemaking plan would be made available both online and in print for community groups and local government staff. The strategies from the work from this initial grant would be applied collectively to transform other areas of the City of Richmond and the surrounding counties of Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover. It would contain detailed information on how these groups could culturally, physically, and economically revitalize declining areas of their communities, including necessary and suggested partners, physical and financial resources, and timelines for strategy implementation.


For more information about the "Our Town" program, click here.


This page will be updated as we make progress on the grant application and incorporate extensive community input and involvement.




Bike Walk RVA - Bike Walk RVA is a regional program of the Sports Backers created to support bicycle and pedestrian friendly policies, programs, and infrastructure projects. The Sports Backers was founded in 1993 and strives to make the greater Richmond community more active though nationally-recognized quality sporting events and programs.

Groundwork RVA - Groundwork RVA is a nonprofit organization affiliated with Groundwork USA, a partner program to the National Park Service and the Environmental Protection Agency. Groundwork RVA engages Richmond youth and community members in rehabilitating local outdoor public resources, such as neglected open spaces and brownfields, to create assets such as bike trails, community gardens and neighborhood gateways. Groundwork RVA’s mission is to focus resources on Richmond’s most underserved and economically challenged neighborhoods, implementing projects that are guided by residents of these communities. Groundwork RVA engages local businesses, neighborhood youth, adult volunteers and government officials to create public community assets and provide environmental education to residents.

Storefront for Community Design - Storefront for Community Design is Richmond’s non-profit design and building resource. It works with homeowners, organizations and businesses to encourage quality community development and strengthen the legacy of Richmond’s urban neighborhoods through education, advocacy and participation. Storefront’s purpose is to pair professional architects, graphic, interior and urban designers, and urban planners with city residents and merchants, and in doing so elevate the quality of design for homes and businesses located in Richmond, Virginia.