Welcome to the Place Leadership Project! The PLP is a community-based participatory research project exploring place leadership and place management in the metropolitan Washington, DC region. Powered by Georgetown University’s Urban & Regional Planning Program, the project is led by Uwe Brandes (PI), Richard Bradley (Co-PI) and Ellen McCarthy (Co-PI).

“Place” has become a strategic organizing principle for stakeholders to plan, develop, invest, curate and empower communities in cities.  Place is leveraged as the common catalyst for groups of stakeholders to align their interdisciplinary efforts to strengthen economies, enhance quality of life, and create socially inclusive communities. 

Stakeholder-driven efforts to improve a common locale is now widely accepted as the process of “placemaking”.  Whether improving a single street corner, a plaza, park, or street, or advancing the livability of a single district such as a downtown, midtown uptown, neighborhood, innovation districts, university districts, or suburban town center; collectively communities are beginning to harvest the benefits of place-making in terms of creating social, economic and environmental capital. Indeed, these practices and the associated bodies of knowledge are transcending volunteer efforts and evolving into a well-funded set of professionally-led activities. 

Through the PLP, the Georgetown University Urban and Regional Planning Program seeks to engage professionals at the forefront of this quickly evolving field. By regularly convening place-making professionals and place-based stakeholders, the PLP advances a community of professional practice which reflects the innovative position of the Washington, D.C. region as an international leader in place management and performance-based urban sustainability.

The Place Leadership Project receives support from the Georgetown Global Cities Initiative.