Winter Places

A design competition for winter placemaking

Winter Activation Ideas for Main Streets & Neighborhoods During COVID19

As COVID19 restrictions and public safety concerns limit indoor activities, restaurants, entertainment, public events, social gatherings and more have turned to the outdoors. This has been a great lifeline during the Spring and Summer but will become challenging during the colder, darker winter months.

Winter Places sent out a call seeking design ideas for quickly implementable, low cost interventions to drive visitors back to Main Street that will encourage them to stay longer and patronize area restaurants and businesses. This design guide is the final product of creative submissions from students, architects, artists, designers and more from across the United States, Canada, Europe and beyond! We hope these can help you bring customers back to your small businesses community and provide a safe social space for you and your neighbors.

Sign up to download the guide today

“Winter Places” Massachusetts

Starting in November, Bench Consulting began working with communities across Massachusetts to help plan and implement winter placemaking projects aimed at bringing people back to their commercial districts & main streets.

Funding for this program has been provided by:

*Projects will continue to change and evolve. Check back for updates.

coming soon

New Bedford Winter Places

New Bedford, MA

A place this winter where the kids can slide down a hill in the snow, families can gather by a warm fire pit, and everyone can enjoy art works, lights shows and holiday music.

Project Type:

Family Friendly, Play, Festival

Budget:

$$

Project Team:

TBA

coming soon

North Adams Winter Places

North Adams, MA

A seasonal installation in the heart of downtown North Adams. These assets will help to circulate people throughout the city during the winter months to provide continuity of commerce, economic resilience, and to embrace the need for innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Project Type:

Family Friendly, Warming, Festival

Budget:

$$

Project Team:

Namazing Initiative, City of North Adams

coming soon

Salem Winterlude

Salem, MA

An initiative that will bring new holiday lights, public art, holiday installations, window decorations, warm fire pits and selfie stations to the downtown and Charlotte Forten Park.

Project Type:

Family Friendly, Warming, Retail

Budget:

$

Project Team:

Creative Collective & Salem Main Streets

coming soon

Festival of Lights Reimagined

Worcester, MA

Traditionally a one-evening event with live performances and ice skating, this year’s Festival of Lights aims to unite neighboring districts, support and encourage patronage of local businesses, encourage walkability, and beautify the streetscape, while maintaining public safety as the top priority.

Project Type:

Festival, Family Friendly

Budget:

$$

Project Team:

Creative Hub Worcester, MainIDEA, Main South Community Development Corporation, Technocopia, and Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Popportunity Winter Market

Cambridge, MA

Bundle up and shop 40+ mini storefronts, galleries, and market tents at Starlight Square! Saturdays and Sundays through December 20, 2020 11:00AM - 5:00PM

Project Type:

Festival, Retail

Budget:

$$$

Project Team:

Central Square BID

coming soon

Chicopee Center Winter Market

Chicopee, MA

The Winter Market will host a festive winter market featuring local artisans, makers, businesses and produce in a downtown plaza space. Visitors will receive “passports” to area businesses to receive discounts or free goods and encourage all to explore and support the City’s small business community.

Project Type:

Retail

Budget:

$$

Project Team:

Chicopee Chamber of Commerce

coming soon

Springfield Winter Places

Springfield, MA

This project aims to bring new visitors down to Springfield’s Dining District using new large scale light installations, seating and warming stations including three wood burning fire pits to get Springfield Residents outdoors and encourage them to visit the area’s small restaurants.

Project Type:

Family Friendly, Warming

Budget:

$$$

Project Team:

Springfield Business Improvement District

coming soon

Fall River Winter Places

Fall River, MA

Activating a small downtown plaza with warming stations, seating, lighting, public art and outdoor performances in order to encourage people to visit the Downtown and area small businesses during the upcoming winter months and into the Spring.

Project Type:

Family Friendly, Warming

Budget:

$$$

Project Team:

One South Coast Chamber, The City of Fall River

coming soon

Taunton Winter Places

Taunton, MA

TBA

Project Type:

TBA

Budget:

$$$

Project Team:

City of Taunton, Downtown Taunton BID

program partners

the competition

How can we encourage residents and visitors to visit and spend time on our main streets during colder winter weather while also encouraging shopping and dining at area small businesses? Winter Places is soliciting creative low cost solutions around main street district interventions from outdoor dining to large scale winter festivals, art installations and more that fit the following two purposes:

  1. Give visitors a reason to come back to Main Street this Winter
  2. Give them a reason to stay, including, but not limited to, space for outdoor dining, recreation, entertainment, commerce, public art and warmth.

how it works

We asked design firms and creates to develop quickly implementable, low cost interventions to drive visitors back to Main Street that will encourage them to stay longer and patronize area restaurants and businesses. Final designs are published in the “Winter Places” activation guide book.

Discovery

COMPLETE

We crowdsourced ideas from communities looking to activate their cities & towns this Winter.

Open Call

COMPLETE

Open call to artists, designers, architects and others to submit ideas for winter activation.

Review

COMPLETE

Representatives from each of the five partners review the submissions and select the finalists.

Design Guide

10/26

Finalists are published in a FREE digital Design Guide.

the design guide

The Winter Places design guide is a downloadable resource with different ideas for interventions for the colder months on main streets and residential streets. Each selected design features images, description, contact information and rough budgets.

creative solutions

We asked creatives to think outside the box. From cozy and practical to abstract and inspiring, the final Design Guide is full of actionable, impactful and cost-effective solutions to keep downtowns active during colder months.

A sample of the submissions

Vacation on Main Street

Thermal Mass

Frosty Art Fair

listen to the webinar

bench's Jonathan Berk joins Emmy Hahn of the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative and Emily Keys Innes of Harriman to discuss practical ways to implement outdoor winter activities to draw people to your downtown and help your business community.

Want more information?

Send us an email and we'd be happy to assist your further.

jonathan@benchconsulting.co
close

Or feel free to email us at hello@benchconsulting.co