BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Mayor Brandon Scott  last week announced the development of a community-led program that will allow new types of art projects to spring up along Baltimore’s streets and sidewalks.

The placemaking program will allow community organizations to implement creative enhancements—such as art installations and other creative initiatives—in city public rights-of-way, according to Scott and Baltimore City Department of Transportation Director Steve Sharkey.

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“This collaborative placemaking program supports community-led, equity-focused efforts to make social, physical and economic changes in city neighborhoods through the use of art and culture,” Scott said in a statement. “By working directly with local stakeholders, we are able to transform public spaces into unique areas that beautify city neighborhoods and strengthen connections to Baltimore communities.”

The program will allow community organizations to implement creative enhancements in city public rights-of-way, according to DOT officials.

Several public artistic endeavors will be impacted by the new development such as:

  • Artistic paintings on streets or sidewalks
  • Landscape plantings
  • Planters and barriers for traffic calming or tactical urbanism
  • Signs such as community gateway signs and educational signs
  • Parklets or temporary public spaces built within the roadway
  • Special projects such as art installations, specialty lighting, or other unique urban designs
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City Councilman Ryan Dorsey (District 3) said the program would make it easier for residents to make the streets in their neighborhood safer and more attractive.

“It’s also critical part of retaining and encouraging more of the hugely successful outdoor dining installations created throughout the pandemic,” he said.

Placemaking projects are typically funded by applicants but pro-bono design assistance or grants may be available for neighborhoods that need support, officials said.

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Painted designs are permitted in crosswalks, sidewalks, alleys, bump-outs, and other parts of the city maintained by the DOT. Paint must first be approved by DOT, according to the city’s website.

CBS Baltimore Staff