Engaging Neighbors Through Art

How might we design interventions that engage all residents in the development of Walnut HIlls?


The Challenge
Cincinnati’s historic Walnut Hills neighborhood was seeing an influx of new development and investment. As the community continued to change, leaders wondered how they could engage more residents in conversations about the future of the neighborhood.


The Approach
We not only wanted to understand why some residents were disconnected from these conversations, but also create opportunities for those residents to get more involved in their neighborhood. Design Impact focused on helping the foundation develop inclusive creative placemaking strategies so that residents could creatively voice and address neighborhood issues through art.
Read the full case study.


The Details
Our work included:

    • Listening to residents and artists through deep interviews and focus groups
    • Convening residents and community leaders to brainstorm ideas
    • Coaching partners through the design and testing of a resident-led prototype


The Impact

Through extensive research we learned that residents were interested in ways to connect to their neighbors. As a result, local artists and residents designed and led a project called High Fives, a design-it-yourself yard sign campaign where neighbors could celebrate one another.


Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation
Local Initiative Support Corporation of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky
United Way of Greater Cincinnati


Community-Centered Design



Qualitative Research
Idea Generation
Prototype Coaching



2015 – 2016

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