The Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) has received funding from the USDA Rural Partners Network to fund the Place: Map + Design + Build Project in 11 rural Main Street communities in Mississippi. The purpose of the grant project is to provide support, technical assistance, and training to Main Street programs to foster placemaking activities in rural communities.
Placemaking is a collaborative engagement process that incorporates creativity and vibrant public spaces to create quality places where people will want to live, work, play and learn.
“Creating vibrant, authentic places is at the heart of what Main Street is all about,” said Thomas Gregory, MMSA Executive Director. “The Place: Map + Design + Build project will provide each of the selected communities with the creative planning and design assistance needed to promote placemaking initiatives in their historic downtowns.”
For this project, MMSA has assembled a team of planning, design, and economic development professionals to create and implement innovative placemaking plans for 11 rural communities across Mississippi.
The 11 participating Designated Main Street programs include: Amory Main Street, Batesville Main Street Association, Senatobia Main Street, Main Street Greenville, Main Street Greenwood, Main Street Pascagoula, Moss Point Main Street, Tunica Main Street, Woodville Main Street, Louisville Main Street, and Hernando Main Street Chamber.
Each community will participate in a two-day community engagement process, during which the planning team will collaborate with community leaders, stakeholders, and city officials to develop a unique, community-specific, and strategic placemaking plan that will provide our rural communities with strategies designed to enhance existing assets to improve the quality of life and living for residents and visitors.
Project plans will focus on the following placemaking themes: enhancing capacity for broadband access, preserving cultural and historic structures, increasing economic activity, and supporting the development of vibrant, recreational public spaces.
At the end of the two-day engagement process, each participating community will receive a planning document detailing three to five project designs with accompanying implementation strategies.
MMSA was also awarded an Innovation Seed Grant to allow each community the opportunity to utilize the project team to help implement a design of their choice by the end of the grant period. Following the Place: Map + Design + Build project, MMSA will provide ongoing technical assistance and support for the community participants to help ensure future success and implementation.
Along with determining plans for enhancements to public recreational areas and historic sites, MMSA will include design and implementation plans for increased access to and deployment of broadband services to communities participating in this project.
Team members include Thomas Gregory and Lindsey Harris, MMSA; Randy Wilson, Community Design Solutions; Ben Muldrow, Arnett Muldrow and Associates; Andy Kalback, Kalback Design Studio; Leah Kemp, MSU Small Town Center; and Chance McDavid, MSU Stennis Institute.