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Realize Bradenton And The City Of Bradenton Receive Future Of The Region Award

Awarded by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council in recognition of the joint effort benefiting the local and regional community.

The City of Bradenton and Realize Bradenton received Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s Future of the Region Award on April 26, 2019. The award recognizes the collaboration between the two entities for the Creating Together Project, a community outreach effort to ignite community participation in the planning and design of the Bradenton Riverwalk eastward expansion. The Riverwalk expansion is a new segment of the popular park that currently spans 1.5 miles along the riverfront in downtown Bradenton.

Realize Bradenton Future of the Region Award

“We are extremely honored to be recognized for our collaborative work with The City of Bradenton,” said Ann Breitinger, Chair of Realize Bradenton Board of Directors. “This award highlights the inclusive engagement between Realize Bradenton, the City, and community to create public places that bring people together. Vibrant public spaces serve as beacons for economic activity and meeting grounds for residents, artists, innovators, and emerging talent, ultimately attracting new opportunities and investment to the City.”

“This Future of the Region Award in the category Energy and Economy showcases the work that The City of Bradenton is undertaking between corporate, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders to promote economic vitality,” commented Patrick Roff, Bradenton City Councilman, and Vice-Chair of The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.

Realize Bradenton received a grant from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Donor-Advised Fund of the Manatee Community Foundation in summer of 2017 to work with the surrounding neighborhoods and interested members to develop ideas regarding public art, as well as programmatic and physical opportunities for the planned Bradenton Riverwalk eastward expansion. These ideas were then considered by the landscape architect designers at Kimley-Horn to develop the master plan of the park.

With Millennials as part of the core team, community outreach engaged more than 1,400 residents and included inter-generational volunteer teams, a robust survey, community conversations, and “Park for a Day,” a one-day popup event that activated the future park space using resident ideas. The community’s ideas for showcasing arts, music, wellness, storytelling, and history were brought to life on the future site of the park through temporary materials. Observations by local professionals were then integrated into the physical and programmatic design of the new public space.

The success of this project led Realize Bradenton to create a toolkit to share the “Creating Together, Principals of Placemaking in Action” process with other communities interested in community-guided placemaking.


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About The City of Bradenton

Bradenton is a Florida city of 53,000 residents on the Manatee River, south of Tampa. The Bishop Museum has natural and cultural history exhibits. The nearby Riverwalk park stretches along the water, home of Manatee Performing Arts Center and ArtCenter Manatee. Galleries, studios, and shops occupy colorfully restored 1920s and ‘30s cottages in the Village of the Arts.

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About Realize Bradenton

Realize Bradenton is a nonprofit organization that builds community and promotes economic prosperity. Bringing people together to realize possibilities and transform public places helps shape Bradenton as a city where people want to contribute and live, work and play. Working with our partners, investors, donors, and volunteers, we build a vibrant, healthy, fun community using arts, culture, heritage, and food.

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