Opportunity number
US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Department of Agriculture Business and Cooperative Programs
Due date
Sep 10, 2020
Broadband Community Development Economic Development Education & Workforce Information Technologies
Project funding
upto $250,000
Program funding
Funding size
Below $1M

Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge (RPIC)

RFP Summary provided by the agency

The Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge is a technical assistance and planning process for qualified entities to support rural community leaders to create places where people want to live,
work, and play. This initiative is to provide planning support, technical assistance, and training to communities to foster placemaking activities in rural communities. Funds can help enhance
capacity for broadband access, preserve cultural and historic structures, and support the development of transportation, housing, and recreational spaces. Applicants must demonstrate existing and proposed partnerships with public, private, philanthropic, and community partners to provide assistance. This funding announcement supports the delivery of technical assistance and training in visioning, planning, and assisting communities to implement placemaking efforts in rural communities under the Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge (RPIC).

Placemaking means a process involving public, private, philanthropic and community partners working together to strategically improve the social, cultural, and economic structure of a community. This work is based on a sense of place with qualitative and quantitative outcomes. Ultimately, the goal is to create greater social and cultural vitality in rural communities aimed at improving people’s social, physical, and economic well-being. The key elements of quality places include, but are not limited to: a mix of uses; effective public spaces; broadband capability; transportation options; multiple housing options; preservation of historic structure; and respect of community heritage, arts, culture, creativity, recreation, and green space.

RPIC operates under the following concepts:
• Creating livable communities is important for community developers and practitioners who implement these strategies in rural communities and areas.
• Placemaking practices include both innovative and adaptive as well as established technical processes and solutions.
• Partnerships are a key element to the RPIC and must be developed with public, private, and philanthropic organizations creating new collaborative approaches, learning together, and bringing those learned strategies into rural communities.
• Placemaking contributes to long term investment and therefore supports a community’s resiliency, social stability, and collective identity.
• Broadband is an essential component to supporting placemaking initiatives.

Technical assistance for placemaking (planning and/or implementation) to create places where people want to live, work and play. Funds can be used to help rural communities access planning resources to develop actionable placemaking plans, convene partners, identify community needs, and implement priorities to build rural prosperity. Since broadband access is an essential component to providing this type of assistance, the Agency encourages planning and technical assistance that helps build capacity for rural broadband expansion. Cost Share = 15% matching funds.

Applicants and other interested parties are encouraged to contact: Angela Callie, USDA Rural Development, Innovation Center, vis email at [email protected] or via telephone on (202) 568-9738.

What is the mission and focus of the program: research, social, economic or others?

Challenge, Technical Support

How do you submit to this opportunity?

Applicants must apply to this funding opportunity electronically via Grant.gov with an email copy submission to [email protected] . The email Subject line must include the words: RPIC Application. The Agency will not consider any application received after the deadline. The Agency will confirm receipt of the application package within 48 hours of the deadline.

Who are the target applicants: cities, universities, companies, small business, nonprofits, or others?

Public or private groups, organizations, or institutions that demonstrate experience and expertise in providing placemaking technical assistance to rural communities. Applicants must demonstrate existing and proposed partnerships with public, private, philanthropic, and community partners to provide assistance. Planning must directly benefit cities or towns with 50,000 residents or less.

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