City of Milwaukee Launches Interim Plaza Program

Grants of up to $30,000 for eligible organizations to create an interim plaza
Grant application opens March 21 and applications are due May 12

The City of Milwaukee is rolling out a new interim plaza program which repurposes space that might otherwise be underutilized or unnecessary for automobile traffic, or unsafe for people walking. Interim plazas transform public right of way using low-cost materials and this program creates a permit system and guidelines for their development. Interim plazas are among recommendations in the Gathering Places Feasibility Study, an initiative created by Mayor Cavalier Johnson while he was serving on the Common Council.

“Growing our network of gathering places is a goal of my administration,” Mayor Johnson said. “We look forward to seeing what creative activation the community can offer in these spaces as we partner to make Milwaukee a more vibrant, attractive city.”

The program has annual permit that will be processed by the Department of Public Works (DPW). DPW is also offering a grant program for selected recipients to assist with the cost of installing a plaza. DPW will provide up to three grants of up to $30,000 to eligible organizations to create an interim plaza. The grant application opens March 21 and applications are due May 12; interim plazas must be installed by July 15.

“The interim plaza program builds on a legacy of DPW programs such as Active Streets for Business, special events permitting, and Paint the Pavement which view streets as places for people.” Commissioner of Public Works Jerrel Kruschke said.

Other guidelines:

• Anyone who is or represents an adjacent property owner(s), a nearby business or neighborhood improvement district, or a nearby city-recognized non-profit community-based organization can apply for an interim plaza permit

• Locations must be pre-approved by DPW before an application is started to ensure the location is appropriate for an interim plaza and that there is sufficient support for it from elected officials and neighbors

• Interim plazas are open to the public; businesses can still apply for an Active Streets for Business permit if they wish to extend their business premises into the public right of way

• Applicants agree to maintain and clean the interim plaza throughout the duration of the permit

• The interim plaza permit is an annual permit, running from April 1 – March 31

• All permits will sunset on March 31 regardless of when the permittee entered the program

The permit application and grant information can be found at

Find more press releases HERE.