Professional Development & Executive Education

Creative Placemaking Certificate

Transform. Revitalize.Grow

Course Description

Creative Placemaking has emerged in the last decade as a critical tool to transform neighborhoods, cities, and communities through the revitalization of arts and culture. Community planners, real estate developers, residents and businesses are embracing creative placemaking to help revitalize local economies, stabilize neighborhoods, promote businesses and provide jobs. Develop the skills to initiate, collaborate and contribute to community renewal as a Certified Creative Placemaker.

Learn how to be the catalyst that integrates arts and culture with community and economic development. Acquire the skills to identify location-based creative assets as well as define, design and relate the story of creative places. Explore the use of the arts, economic development, urban and rural planning and community development as agents of change for a sustainable community. Learn to identify and effectively communicate with community leaders and stakeholders necessary to effectuate smart growth within a community.

Program Benefits

  • Develop strategies for infusing arts and culture into community and economic development planning.
  • Build and direct effective leadership teams.
  • Conduct asset assessments.
  • Apply concepts and develop problem-solving strategies from case studies.
  • Understand sector-specific vocabulary and establish cross-sector communication.
  • Demonstrate inclusive and sustainable community visioning and planning.
  • Develop implementation strategies.
  • Materials Included
  • 90 Professional Development Hours/9.0 Continuing Education Units from NJIT.

Topics Covered

Course 1: Creative Placemaking Process

  • Core Concepts and Case Studies
  • Identification of Stakeholders for Sustainable Communities
  • Team Mission and Introductory Community Visioning
  • Creative Assets Inventories
  • Analysis of Issues and Opportunities
  • Making the CASE for the Creative Placemaking approach to Community planning
  • Working Across Sectors
  • Working with Stakeholders
  • Utilizing Assets to Address Issues and Opportunities
  • The Planning Process
  • Creative Placemaking Plan
  • Funding and Policies
  • Getting the Message Out

Course 2: Creative Placemaking Principles and Practice

  • Building the Case for Creative Placemaking
  • Community Engagement
  • Real Estate/Housing-Residential
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Local Regenerating and Partners
  • Social Equity
  • Focus on Trauma-Informed Placemaking
  • Connections between Urban, Rural, Suburban Communities
  • Transportation
  • Sustainable Growth, Development and Community Engagement
  • Public Art
  • Importance of Design
  • Evaluating the Impact
  • Technology Resources for Community/ Economic Development

Course 3: Practical Application of Creative

  • Community-Engaged Field Practicum

Who Should Attend

Civic leaders, planners, community and economic development professionals and artists can acquire the skills and practices to shape the character of a community through the infusion of arts and culture. The Certified Creative Placemaker Certificate is designed for those who choose to be a leading agent of change in a community.


Suzanne Ishee, NJIT Hub for Creative Placemaking Director- Lead Instructor, Curriculum

Suzanne Ishee serves as an Adjunct Instructor for Creative Placemaking, Professional Development/Executive Education, and for the College of Science and Liberal Arts. Suzanne is an Emmy and Drama Desk honored producer, actor and playwright veteran of the theatre and concert stages. In 2009, she expanded her art career into the Creative Placemaking field through supporting the formation of Arts Build Communities at Rutgers University as Advisory Board Chairperson. In 2011, she co-founded the Center for Creative Placemaking (CCP) where she continued to advance the field of practice through promotion, thought leadership, and training. She designed and developed Creative Placemaking content for numerous sector-specific workshops including those for professionals who practice Real Estate, Downtown Management, Conservation, Pubic Art, Professional Artists, and numerous others. She developed the curriculum for the existing Certificate in Creative Placemaking at NJIT and shares leadership of instruction with Dr.Colette Santasieri. She provides expertise and engagement in numerous CP-related efforts in the region including as Co-Chair of the Livable Task Force for NJ Transportation Planning Authority/Together North Jersey, as a member of the Western Highlands Scenic Byway Management Board and the Morris Canal Greenway Redevelopment Working Group. She serves on the stewardship council of the 3-state/9-county Scenic, Wild Delaware River Geotourism Initiative, and since its inception remains an active member of Sustainable Jersey’s Arts and Creative Culture Task Force through evaluation of NJ municipality’s annual submissions.

Dr. Colette Santasieri, Co-Lead Instructor, Curriculum

Dr. Santasieri is Executive Director of the Center for Community Systems within the Hillier College of Architecture and Design, and the Executive Director of the NJ Brownfields Assistance Center @NJIT and the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s (NJIT) Technical Assistance to Brownfields Communities Program. She possesses over 35 years of land use, environmental, and infrastructure planning, and community development experience. She has extensive experience and expertise in the planning and design of sustainable and resilient communities, properties, and civil infrastructure systems; community visioning for redevelopment; brownfields redevelopment; transit-oriented development; identifying and analyzing a project’s impacts on socio-economic, natural, and man-made settings as well as on environmental justice communities; and providing technical assistance and educational forums to elected officials, government staff, nonprofits, and the public.

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