Flint, MI — National Placemaking Week begins Sept. 21 in Flint, and organizers have scheduled multiple hands-on events for residents who want to get involved free of charge.

“People are naturally placemakers,” said Madeleine Spencer with the PlacemakingUS leadership team. “They have been since the beginning of time.”

Spencer said anyone who walks around their city and knows what feels good when they’re around others naturally knows what ‘placemaking’ means: it’s about navigating the relationship of public and private spaces to foster community.

“They create spaces that they can enjoy together,” she said of both formal and informal placemakers.

While Placemaking Week features many conversations with national and local experts that require registration, PlacemakingUS and What’s Up Downtown Flint have also organized activities for anyone who wants to participate in the week’s placemaking efforts:

Connecting Neighborhoods at Clara Hilborn Park, Wednesday Sept. 22 at 3 p.m.
James Rojas—an urban planner, community activist, educator, and artist—will join local nonprofit founder Jamelle Glover to reimagine “our favorite neighborhood places” through model-building. All ages are welcome.

Flint Fire Pitch Competition at Blackstone’s Smokehouse, Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. 
Much like ongoing FlintSOUP and 100K Ideas pitch competitions, local placemakers will briefly pitch their best ideas to the community who will then vote for their favorite to win $2,000.

Streets for People demonstration at Old Super Coney (400 Martin Luther King Ave.), Thursday, Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. 
Guests will use art and digitally-printed furniture from local makerspace Factory Two to transform a vacant lot through “tactical urbanism” and creative placemaking. 

Discoteca Closing Party (432 Buckham Alley) Thursday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.
A three-floor celebration including placemaking conversations and performances.

All events are rain or shine, but updates will be posted to What’s Up Downtown Flint’s social channels, if needed. Further questions about free activities or other Placemaking Week events can be directed to placemakingus@gmail.com.

Kate is Flint Beat's associate editor. She joined the team as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues....