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Commonwealth Places

MassDevelopment’s “Commonwealth Places” is a competitive opportunity to advance locally driven placemaking in downtown and neighborhood commercial districts in eligible communities throughout Massachusetts. Placemaking is a collaborative process through which people in communities work together to improve public spaces and maximize their shared value. The process facilitates creative patterns of use, and leverages the local physical, cultural, and social assets that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.

The aim of Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response: Resurgent Places is to help community partners prepare public spaces and commercial districts to best serve their population during COVID-19 social distancing and the phased reopening of the economy.

MassDevelopment will award up to $390,000 of Agency funds prior to June 30, 2021. Applications to the Commonwealth Places program will be considered on a rolling basis. Pending available budget, MassDevelopment anticipates releasing additional Commonwealth Places funding after July 1, 2021.

Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places complements the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) Shared Streets & Spaces, a grant program that will provide grants as small as $5,000 and as large as $300,000 for municipalities to quickly launch or expand improvements to sidewalks, curbs, streets, on-street parking spaces and off-street parking lots in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce in their communities.

Click here to view the Commonwealth Places: Resurgent Places Request for Proposals

Click here to view the Commonwealth Places: Resurgent Places Expression of Interest

Commonwealth Places: Resurgent Places WEBINAR PRESENTATION - January 12, 2021

For more information contact:

Laura Christopher
Real Estate Innovation Officer
Email: lchristopher@massdevelopment.com

Background Information

What is Placemaking?

Placemaking aims to improve the quality of public places and the lives of communities through a participatory process.  While urban design and economic development is central to placemaking, the most significant component is the community process and programming that can facilitate social interaction, spark public discourse and increase local capacity and engagement. Increasingly, placemaking has been used to revitalize commercial districts using these small, community-driven investments that leverage economic growth and development.

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is an increasingly-used tool by which private organizations and public entities are able to fund projects ranging from consumer products to public space improvements. This, in effect, has democratized the raising of capital by allowing the public to monetarily support initiatives. Simply, it allows the public to vote with their wallets. By tapping a large donor pool for small donations, organizations are able to better leverage funds. Further, crowdfunding engages the public to play a part in achieving community improvements and instills community pride as residents become invested in their surroundings.