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What is Placemaking? Placemaking in urban planning encompasses diverse interpretations and meanings. Placemaking refers to enhancing the public realm by adding value and significance through community-driven revitalization initiatives that embrace local values, historical context, cultural elements, and the surrounding natural environment.

The community of Moraine has expressed various thoughts and opinions about Placemaking initiatives to revitalize their City. A strong consensus was noted from residents that their City, Moraine, lacks a distinct visual identity, especially along major corridors. Also, the public emphasized that Moraine does not have a central meeting area or activity hub, which can dampen the community’s sense of connection.

The community’s question is how to redirect traffic and encourage people to explore areas like Main Street. One of the significant challenges in Moraine is the absence of a traditional Main Street. Main Street, west of the river, needs attention to make it more inviting. Activity and a new outlook can be created by adding entertainment venues, pavilions, play areas, and public art to make it more inviting. Centralized entertainment venues were put forward as an idea for improvement, and many suggested pavilions or identifying a downtown area as solutions.

The community recognizes the need for a clear vision and strategy for Moraine’s Placemaking efforts. They want to identify the City’s unique branding and assets while also addressing challenges like the lack of a community gathering area and the need for more attractive and functional spaces for social engagement.

The Main Street corridor is an ideal starting point for Placemaking. It is bookended by Wax Park and City Hall, which are existing, successful hubs for public activity. The corridor is also supported by residential with adjacent infill development opportunities, in Focus Area One of the Future Land Use Section. Many stakeholders noted a perceived division between the City’s east and west sides, which caused a fractured sense of community identity.


  • Create a vibrant destination. 

  • Promote a balanced development pattern to meet the community’s needs. 

  • Maintain infrastructure and support job creation.

  • Engage and retain youth. 


  • Establish a distinct identity for Moraine. 

    • STRATEGY: Promote the adaptive reuse of old offices and buildings, drawing inspiration from successful  examples, such as Tyler Technologies. 
      Develop the Main Street corridor as the first placemaking example in Moraine.

    • STRATEGY: Refine and implement a Main Street placemaking plan, focusing on the stretch of road between City Hall and Wax Park, to improve infrastructure, and public spaces, making it more welcoming and vibrant.

    • STRATEGY: Invest in creating and maintaining outdoor amenities such as amphitheaters, pavilions, and open sitting areas to provide residents with attractive places to gather and enjoy recreational activities.

  • Enhance redevelopment in industrial areas and City gateways.

    • STRATEGY: Explore opportunities for mixed-use developments near industrial businesses, industrial zones to connect industrial activity and community spaces that create a unique environment (as recommended in Focus Area Two of the Future Land Use Section).

    • STRATEGY: Continue to place more gateway features similar to the new entrance sign on Dryden Road near the I-75 interchange.

What Did We Hear?

Key themes from stakeholder meetings, surveys, public events, and ad hoc committee meetings:

  • Be yourself - Moraine must champion its story and refresh its built environment and public image. It may consider drawing inspiration from communities like Vandalia and Centerville while still approaching Placemaking “the Moraine way.”

  • Get creative – Moraine needs to reexamine what kind of community it wants to be. For example, one participant suggested that Moraine pivot messaging to “work, live, play” instead of “work, live, play, and raise a family” due to the lack of a municipal school district to rally behind as a community. Stakeholders also felt that the industrial east side of town should not be devoid of retail, entertainment, or restaurant uses. Moraine could lean into its industrial character as recommended in the future land use section to create places where commuter go to unwind after work. 

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