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Idaho’s Ada County REALTORS® Train Communities in ‘Placemaking’

By HOM Editorial Team
July 2015

Participants engaged in placemapping.

The Ada County Association of REALTORS® in Idaho knows that quality of life is key to building a strong community and its real estate market. A good quality of life attracts new residents and incentivizes current residents to stay and contribute to the community.

ACAR is consistently working to improve the quality of life in Ada County — one of Idaho’s economic hubs —by providing “placemaking” training.

Placemaking is the process of developing public spaces that bring people together and instill a sense of pride within the community. Placemaking attracts new residents and creates loyalty and pride in existing residents, making the community a desirable place to live.

According to its Wikipedia definition, placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration and potential, creating good public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness and economic well-being. Placemaking can be used to improve all of the gathering places within a community — streets, sidewalks, parks, buildings and other public areas — to encourage greater interaction between people, and to foster healthier, more social and economically viable communities.

Placemaking requires a lot of planning and the collaboration of governments, organizations and individuals within a community. By leveraging and learning from other REALTORS® associations, as well as the National Association of REALTORS®, ACAR has developed advanced knowledge regarding placemaking and community development.

The Ada County REALTORS® have been applying this knowledge by working with local governments to provide training on placemaking and promote best practices for quicker, cheaper and better planning. So far, training has been provided in the cities of Boise and Meridian, with each session tailored to the locality. Meridian’s session included a walk through the city that identified locations ripe for placemaking.

These efforts and others by the Ada County Association of REALTORS® are helping ensure that Ada County continues to grow, giving residents additional housing options and higher property values.

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