What is Placemaking?

Placemaking is a set of activities, in collaboration with communities and government agencies, to rethink and reimagine Prince George’s County public spaces. The Planning Department has worked with the Better Block Foundation on placemaking projects across the County, including events in Riverdale, Suitland, and Largo.

What is the goal of Placemaking?

Placemaking aims to:

  • Create vibrant public spaces that are open to a variety of uses and users.
  • Develop a place’s identity and incorporate it into the existing built environment.
  • Mark previously unidentified aspects of a place that gives a place its own unique character.
  • Enhance existing spaces to promote the health, well-being, and connectedness of the communities they serve.
  • Build a coherent identity that ties the parts of a place together economically, socially, and culturally.

How are goals achieved?

Placemaking work is achieved through:

  • Technical assistance to organizations and agencies developing public spaces.
  • Community outreach to solicit input on public spaces and placemaking in the County. 
  • Evaluation of plans and policies to assess progress toward meeting goals.
  • Administering initiatives and programs that implement policies in place.

Our work is focused on:

What is considered when starting a placemaking project?

  • The issue to be addressed
  • Who is impacted
  • Whether the community leads or supports the project
  • Whether the community can manage the project on its own

Who is involved?

  • Community residents
  • Local businesses
  • Other Planning Department sections
  • County Councilmembers
  • State and County agencies
  • Community organizations

What is Creative Placemaking?

Creative placemaking uses short-term, low-cost, and small interventions to change a place. Our Placemaking section collaborates with agencies and community members to implement community-led projects which vary by neighborhood, and address specific planning issues. Each project should have an immediate impact, and be sustained by the community. Successful projects can be repeated elsewhere or have other long-term impacts.

Examples of Projects

Examples of placemaking projects include:

  • Community engagement meetings for residents to contribute ideas and provide feedback.
  • New signs and landmarks to help people navigate.
  • “Branding” places through public art, events, and signage.
  • Events and initiatives to test for uses and encourage activity in public spaces.
  • Redesigning streets and sidewalks for better pedestrian and cyclist experiences.
  • Measuring the progress of other Planning Department projects against indicators for spatial use and diversity.

These projects contribute to the goals set out in Plan 2035 and create places that promote health, well-being, and community connections.

Each neighborhood, town, or place benefits from a unique approach and different set of actions, often reflecting the demographics or physical traits of the neighborhood. In some cases, actions reflect priorities based on what the community or local government wants to have in a place.

About the Placemaking Section

Updates & Upcoming Events


  • April 20 – Supporting the City of Seat Pleasant and Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council for a Placemaking event in Seat Pleasant
  • May 18 – Colmar Manor Placemaking at Lariscy Park (date TBD)
  • Summer – Marlboro Pike Placemaking event (date and location TBD)
  • September – Lottsford Road Activations – Lane closures, possible fun run, art, entertainment, food along Lottsford Road in Downtown Largo
  • October 5 – Fort Washington – Supporting Fort Washington Forward on an “Oktoberfest” Street Closure event and fun run

In Progress

  • US Route 1 in Beltsville – Placemaking activations to demonstrate some of the recommendations in the US Route 1 Study (projected for late 2024)
  • Suitland – Supporting the Special Projects Section in procuring consultants to work with the Suitland community to identify locations for activation/art installations along Suitland Road and Silver Hill Road (projected for 2025)

Recently Completed Projects

Placemaking Downtown Largo

August 12, 2023 | McCormick Drive, Largo, MD

Placemaking Largo was the third pilot project in the placemaking series organized by the Prince George’s County Planning Department in partnership with Better Block. The Planning Department collaborated with the Largo Town Center Association and the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council to activate the vision of Prince George’s County Plan 2035 for Downtown Largo. This event entertained the whole family, including live music, play equipment, food, and vendors. 

Placemaking Riverdale

July 15, 2023 | Plaza del Alamo parking lot, 5550 Kenilworth Avenue, Riverdale Park, MD

Placemaking Riverdale was the second pilot project in the placemaking series organized by the Prince George’s County Planning Department in partnership with Better Block. The Planning Department collaborated with the Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization (CKAR) CDC to host a placemaking festival celebrating the local arts and culture of the Greater Riverdale area. This event entertained the whole family, including live music, play equipment, food, and vendors. 

View recently completed plans here. You can also search our Publications list for older plans or plans that are not listed.

GIS & Mapping Services

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are computer databases mapped onto physical space. These systems form the basis for maps, applications, and other digital media. The Placemaking Section has staff dedicated to these systems to support projects across the Community Planning Division.

The team uses GIS to:

  • Produce maps for analysis and research;
  • Conduct data analysis and make visualizations;
  • Produce maps, applications, and information for public use;
  • Align data from County, state, federal, and local sources;
  • Link Placemaking projects to wider Division and Department projects;
  • Assist Planners with GIS projects of their own, and
  • Conduct research and analysis to test recommendations and project proposals; 
  • Make 3D visualizations of future projects.

Explore some of the department’s 3D planning projects here.

Have a map or data request? Fill out the Map & Data Analysis Request Form.

Mapping Example

Contact Us

Community Planning Division

Adam Dodgshon

Planning Supervisor, Placemaking Section

Zachary Banham

Senior GIS Specialist, Placemaking Section

Andrew Bishop

Planner III, Placemaking Section

Garrett Dickerson

Planner II, Placemaking Section

Christina Hartsfield

Planner III, Placemaking Section

Teddy Levy

Planner II, Placemaking Section

Mussie Tewolde

Senior GIS Specialist, Placemaking Section