Community Invited to the Burtonsville Placemaking Festival Kickoff Meeting on June 4

May 10, 2019

burtonsville placemaking

Montgomery Planning and the Better Block Foundation will join residents and community members to discuss reimagining an area of Burtonsville as a temporary public space

SILVER SPRING, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), and the Dallas-based nonprofit Better Block Foundation are collaborating on a special placemaking initiative to reimagine part of Burtonsville’s commercial center as a lively public space and park. The placemaking effort will realize a recommendation in the 2012 Approved and Adopted Burtonsville Crossroads Neighborhood Plan to transform Burtonsville into a complete community through design by providing a public open space.

Montgomery Planning in partnership with the Better Block Foundation will host a kick-off meeting on June 4, 2019 at 7 p.m. at the Burtonsville Elementary School (15516 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD) to launch the Burtonsville Placemaking Festival effort. This evening event will feature a keynote presentation about community placemaking by Better Block’s CEO Jason Roberts. Attendees will share thoughts and ideas on how placemaking could be used as a tool to build community in the Burtonsville area. RSVPs are encouraged but not required.

RSVP for the Burtonsville Placemaking Festival Kickoff Meeting.

Learn more about Burtonsville Placemaking.

As part of the placemaking initiative, a community festival will be held this fall in Burtonsville to bring together residents, visitors, local business owners and representatives of civic associations. The festival is tentatively scheduled for the weekend of October 5 and 6. The project is modeled on the White Flint Placemaking Festival that took place in October 2018 and drew more than 1,000 people. The Burtonsville festival will build on the success of this event to demonstrate the power of placemaking.

Community members will be asked for ideas and feedback on placemaking options and volunteer hours to help create the temporary public open space. Participants will work with the Better Block team to build, paint and construct their ideas and bring them to life. This transformed outdoor space will host food and retail vendors, Montgomery Parks’ activities and features, and a fun and inviting place for residents during the October 2019 public celebration.

What is Placemaking?

Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of the community. It strengthens the connections between community members and the places they share. Placemaking refers to a collaborative process that shapes our public realm in order to maximize value. This concept goes beyond just promoting better urban design principles. Placemaking facilitates creative thinking, capitalizes on community assets and contributes to the community’s health, happiness and well-being. More than livable, these places are loved.


The Burtonsville Placemaking Festival is intended to:

  • Highlight the vision and recommendations of the approved and adopted Burtonsville Crossroads Neighborhood Plan.
  • Demonstrate ways of achieving plan recommendations for public spaces through short-term solutions before major investments are made.
  • Embrace placemaking as a means of capturing shared values and generating ideas for public spaces.
  • Engage local businesses, schools and community members in a dialogue about the role of public spaces and streetscape designs within their community.
  • Encourage property owners to plan for the long-term transformation of their properties.
  • Use temporary placemaking as a tool to gather data and help inform permanent designs for successful public spaces and streetscapes in the Burtonsville Crossroads Neighborhood Plan
  • Make a positive impact on the community with a public space that can be used for community events after the placemaking festival and was underutilized before the event.

For more information, contact Angelica Gonzalez at or 301-495-4583.

About The Montgomery County Planning Department:
The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, aims to improve quality of life by conserving and enhancing the natural and built environment for current and future generations. The Planning Department creates great communities by developing master plans, reviewing applications for development and analyzing various types of information to help public officials plan for Montgomery County’s future. The Department comprises about 150 staff members and provides recommendations, information, analysis and services to the Montgomery County Planning Board, the County Council, the County Executive, other government agencies and the public. Visit

About the Better Block Foundation:
The Better Block Foundation is a Dallas-based nonprofit that teaches citizens about placemaking principles on the neighborhood level. Placemaking is a people-centered approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. It involves looking at, listening to, and asking questions of the people who live, work and play in a particular place to discover needs and aspirations and using the feedback to create a common vision for that place. Placemaking can be used to improve streets, sidewalks, parks, buildings and other public space so they invite greater interaction between people and foster healthier, more social and economically viable communities. The Better Block Foundation helps facilitate this process by offering tools to educate and equip residents, stakeholders and government leaders, and enable them to reshape their communities into vibrant, sustainable places. For more information, visit To check out Wikiblock, an open source toolkit of designs for benches, chairs and other outdoor placemaking components, go to