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Creative placemaking is an art concept describing the use of art to make an environment more enjoyable to live in.

In Tucson, as downtown continues to emerge from a long struggle to revitalize itself, the concept has become a major topic of discussion.

"...at the center of creative placemaking is the idea of creating a sense of belonging," says Roberto Bedoya, executive director of the Tucson Pima Arts Council.

The arts council implemented the People, Land, Culture and Engagement initiative, which supports engagement projects grounded in the ethos of belonging in a community, Bedoya explains.

Deborah Cullinan, executive director of San Francisco's Intersection for the Arts, says that art can animate life in a city.

"When you think about creativity...placemaking...public art, you're encompassing a broad definition of what art and culture can be," Cullinan says. "...without creativity, we miss many layers and many levers of how we connect to each other."

Cullinan says people should view downtown less as a place to sit and watch a performance, but a place to live and participate in. Both, she and Bedoya, think creative placemaking is playing a major role in the development and revitalization of Tucson's downtown.

More on creative placemaking.