AARP AARP States Vermont

Create Places People Love: 2020 Placemaking Workshop Agenda, Presentations and Micro Grant Application/RFP


Some 80 attendees participated in the annual Placemaking Workshop, Create Places People Love held virtually on October 29 & 30. Several ideas and examples of creative and inspiring projects were shared focused on improving the livability for people of all ages and ability. As we grapple with the health and social impacts of COVID on our communities we will need to find new and creative ways for community members to connect with one another.

Great communities take a long time to build and sustain, but we know “quick actions” can be the critical spark for longer-term progress.  Our hope is that the workshop inspired and excited attendees to take on a placemaking project! 

Placemaking is about strengthening the connection between people and the places they share by re-inventing and re-engaging with public spaces so they are once again the central focus of public life. The most successful placemaking projects put people at the forefront of creating change in their community.

When residents help identify and solve the challenges that affect their daily lives — whether it’s a half-vacant Main Street or roads that make walking or biking unsafe — communities and local leaders are more likely to achieve and sustain success.

Winter Placemaking Program & Micro Grants :
This is your chance to “start small” by test-driving a process or material in your community with the expectation that the ‘test drive’ will be further improved upon and refined over time to create permanent change. A Winter Placemaking Project will be aimed at reinventing a space that improves the safety, accessibility and overall appeal either temporarily or semi-permanently. Simple modifications can powerfully alter the health, economic, social, and ecological value of a community.

AARP Vermont will support up to three communities’ efforts with grants of up to $3,000 to spearhead a demonstration project that will help build momentum. The Placemaking Project is intended to inspire and educate community leaders and residents.

Below are the PDF files of the Application and RFP for these projects. Also below find PDF files for each workshop presentation. The agenda below outlines the elements of the two-day event.



                Winter Placemaking for Inclusivity from 8 80 Cities
Presenter: Amanda O’Rourke, Executive Director, 8 80 Cities

Creative Designs through Partnerships – Panel Presentation

Creative Street Design
Presenter:  Jonathan Weber, Local Motion

Updated Guidance on Demonstration Projects & Right of Way
Presenter:  Jon Kaplan, VTrans

Do-It-Yourself Placemaking
Presenter: Rebecca Sanborn Stone, Community Workshop LLC

            Small Group Discussions - Breakouts

  • Accessibility & Inclusive Design: Lisa Ryan
  • Working with Volunteer Teams: Linda Bowden
  • Programming & Pop-up Shops: Gary Holloway
  • Healthy Food Access: Alissa Mathews & Suzanne Kelley
  • Winter Placemaking: Richard Amore, Amanda O’Rourke & Rebecca Stone


Lessons Learned from Vermont Communities

  • Brattleboro: activating an alleyway adjacent to transit center. Stephanie Bonin, Downtown Alliance of Brattleboro
  • Fairlee: revitalizing Main street during COVID.
    Cathy McGrath, Fairlee Selectboard Member  
  • Burlington: taming the street with art

Sophie Quest & David Crawley, Community Members Burlington

  • Fairfax: transforming a vacant unused lot into a pocket park.
    Brad Docheff, Town Manager Fairfax
  • Fair Haven: taming a parking lot with greenery and seats.
    Joseph Gunter, Town Manager Fair Haven
  • Northfield: creating connectivity for all users to access Dog River Park. Lydia Bright & Bonnie Kirn, Community Members of Northfield

Creative Designs through Partnerships Continued – Panel Presentation

Working with Artists
Presenter:  Michele Bailey, Vermont Arts Council

Winter Farmers Markets
Presenter: Alissa Matthews, Agency of Agriculture

Small Group Discussions - Breakouts

  • Arts & Working with Artists: Michele Bailey
  • Alleyway Activation Exercise: Rebecca Stone
  • Crowd Granting: Richard Amore
  • Streetscape & Transportation:  Jon Kaplan & Katharine Otto
  • Working with Diverse Populations: Suzanne Kelley

Application and RFP files:

Placemaking RFP_AARP_Final-11-20.pdf
Workshop Presentations:


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