Best Practices

Planners and community developers have many methods at their disposal to improve the arts and culture sector in their cities and towns. Many of these techniques, such as historic and cultural resources planning, have been longstanding practices within the field. Other instruments, such as Cultural Innovation District designations, are relatively new to the field of planning. This section presents a variety of tools that planners can use to leverage additional resources and advance arts and culture in their own communities.


  • CCNC's Cultural Planning Toolkit is a guide for the process of cultural planning in a community. It includes an adaptable model and practical checklists for navigating and charting progress.

  • CCNC's Cultural Mapping Toolkit has been designed to take you through the entire mapping process, from creating an inventory to drawing up and presenting your map. Each step is accompanied by examples, checklists or worksheets to help you get organized.

  • CCNC's Public Art Toolkit is intended as a guide when planning a public art program or evaluating an existing one, and contains resources for the management of public art projects. The Toolkit includes links to examples and resources from around the world; detailed case studies and project examples of varying scales; illustrative photos from public art projects; and links to web-based resources.

  • This field scan, commissioned by ArtPlace America, is a national examination of creative placemaking in the transportation planning process. It identifies ways that transportation professionals can integrate artists to deliver transportation projects more smoothly, improve safety, and build community support, exploressevenof the most pressingchallengesfacing the transportation sector today, and identifies how arts and cultural strategies can contribute tosolutions.

  • Irrigate was a 3-year creative placemaking initiative that trained artists as community organizers and leaders, facilitated partnerships between artists and businesses, and funded small scale arts projects. This toolkit provides step-by-step guidance in creating partnerships, connecting with local artists, training workshops and evaluation, as well as templates for budgets and timelines for projects at different scales. This toolkit is included in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's Resilient Cities Initiative.

  • This study details the Saint Anthony Pop-Up Shop, a project which entailed creative partnerships used a vacant storefront to express the identity and vision of the neighborhood. Included in the toolkit are FAQs for all parties in a rental or lease situation, a proposed timeline and workflow for a successful pop-up shop, a sample annotated leases and potential renter profiles.

  • The Neighborhood Postcard Project collects personal positive neighborhood stories from residents in marginalized communities and sends them out to random people in the same city to break down stereotypes and foster community connection.

  • This resource kit aims to help people to plan & execute block parties without breaking a sweat. The ebook includes a step-by-step manual and a dozen printable resources that take care of the mundane and time-consuming work required to plan street parties, leaving citizens with more time to enjoy the company of their neighbors. This toolkit is available at a pay-what-you-want rate via Block Party in a Box.

  • NASAA monitors state arts agency trends, documents the scope and impact of state arts agency activities, and harvests information from other research providers that is relevant to the arts and to government arts support. This page is an excellent roundup of data highlights from state, regional and national creative economy research published between 2000 and today and statistics about the creative work force, creative places, cultural tourism, and investment and participation.

  • This Handbook is designed for communities that are interested in creative economy opportunities. It provides guidance on how to gather key stakeholders, how to determine ways in which you might develop local creative economy initiatives, provides case studies of creative economy initiatives in Maine, and how to determine the level of ready of your community to embark on a creative economy initiative.

  • This Toolkit provides an overview of cultural tourism basics; information on starting a cultural tourism program; steps for building a tourism message; ideas on how to tell your community?s story for tourism purposes; guidelines for developing different types of tours; sample letters and agendas for your tourism committee; a tourism assessment survey; sample tourism messages; community surveys; funding and information resources; and more.

  • Art materials in most types of art media contain many toxic ingredients. This site offers a database for how to appropriately dispose of various materials

  • This field scan, commissioned by ArtPlace America,explores the intersection of arts, culture, and housing outcomes ? focused specifically on work within the housing sector that seeks to build and maintain high quality housing affordable to low-and moderate-income individuals. Through an analysis of both housing sector priorities and place-based arts and cultural work, this scan uncovers six primary ways that creative placemaking strategies are helping to meet affordable housing goals.

  • Gehl Institute is the home of the public life data protocol. The Protocol is an open data specification intended to improve the ability of everyone to share and compare information about public life activity in public space.

  • The goal of this field scan is to understand and frame how place-based arts and cultural interventions, or ?creative placemaking,? can advance sustainability outcomes in the context of community development. We focused on the U.S. context, although many of the issues and priorities identified are also globally relevant.