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Placemaking Project: HyArts Cultural District, Hyannis

The Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance recognizes placemaking initiatives across the Commonwealth. This project is one of many that were featured at our 2013 conference. See other placemaking examples

Placemaking is a keystone of a decades’ long downtown Hyannis revitalization effort. The Town, with business and cultural partners, invested in infrastructure, programming and marketing for the downtown, now the state-designated Hyannis HyArts Cultural District. Hyannis’ compact, mixed-use urban core supports a culturally, socially and economically vibrant place.

The Town invested in placemaking by enhancing artistic, cultural and creative sector activities. These investments include the Kennedy Legacy interpretive trail, connecting pedestrians to the harbor via Pearl Street which also features the Town’s HyArts campus of galleries, incubator workspace and artist in residence. The Town also invested in staff to support placemaking through arts, culture and the creative economy.

Hyannis Harbor hosts Town-sponsored live performances, a maritime museum and working waterfront activities. Also at the Harbor, HyArts shanties provide local artists affordable incubator space to create and sell their work.

Concurrent with these creative economy focused investments, thoughtful infrastructure improvements were implemented for Main Street to enhance walkability, provide room for on street dining, street lighting, planters and public art. Additionally, a primary pedestrian connection to Hyannis harbor, the Walkway to the Sea, was installed. An award winning public art project, Buoyed Coasts, was constructed along the harbor portion of the Walkway. Buoyed Coasts remains one of the most photographed scenes in Hyannis.

Contact: Jo Anne Miller Buntich, Town of Barnstable, [email protected]