Monday, August 15, 2022 - 03:00 pm

The North Dakota Department of Commerce in collaboration with AARP will be hosting a free master class on community placemaking both in-person at the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum in Bismarck, and virtually on Aug. 24 from 6-8 p.m.

“Community placemaking is a pivotal approach to ensure the longevity of healthier and happier residents across North Dakota,” Commerce Interim Commissioner Shawn Kessel said. “Placemaking is very effective in creating vibrant and healthy communities for all ages by taking an innovative approach in capitalizing on a community’s existing assets.”

The master class, which will be led by Gil Penalosa the founder of 8 80 Cities, will provide an overview about the resources and tools that can be utilized to create more welcoming and inclusive cities and public spaces.

Gil (Guillermo) Penalosa, who spoke at the 2019 Main Street ND Summit is passionate about creating cities for all people. Gil has inspired and advised decision makers in more than 350 different cities around the world. His priority now is on the post-pandemic city, equitable and sustainable, where all people can live healthier and happier regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, ability, or socio-economic background.

“Everyone appreciates living in a place where they can socialize, recreate and be active members of the community,” AARP North Dakota State Director Josh Askvig said. “We’re happy to collaborate with Commerce to bring Gil to North Dakota and learn how his work could apply to our communities.”

Both in-person and virtual registration can be found at


The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.