The P3 is Dead: The P5 as the 21st Century Tool for Placemaking and Urban Regeneration

Hellllooo PPPers, Detroiters and those of you don't know the difference between boy bands One Direction, The Vamps and Five Seconds of Summer (5SOS)! 

Which group's lead singer is this?  Put your answer in the comments!

Which group's lead singer is this?  Put your answer in the comments!


The P3 is Dead: The P5 as the 21st Century Tool for Placemaking and Urban Regeneration

It takes a village to raise a child
— African Proverb
It also takes a village to raise Honey Boo Boo!

It also takes a village to raise Honey Boo Boo!

Not only does it take a village to get placemaking and urban redevelopment projects done, it also takes every tool in our toolkits, including Public-Private Partnerships (or "P3s").  However, if you think about the urban neighborhoods and cities that have the greatest challenges, or the placemaking projects with the greatest obstacles, you'll see a new trend:

The P3 is dead because the village has expanded.

Let me explain.

A public-private partnership (or "P3") is typically made up of only two players: The Public sector and the Private sector.  Those two players collaborate, allocate resources and risks, and get a project done. 

A diagram of the P3 Village looks like this:   

"Juuuust the two of us.  We can make it if we tryyy, just the two of us.  You and I."  - Bill Withers

"Juuuust the two of us.  We can make it if we tryyy, just the two of us.  You and I."  - Bill Withers

But when you analyze the most complex urban placemaking and community development projects around the country, you'll find that getting things done is no longer a two-player (P3) game. The village has expanded. These projects take a village where there are 5 players working together to get things done. 

Behold...the Rise of the P5!  The Village looks more like this: 

Public.  Private. Philanthropic. Non-Profits and the People!

Public.  Private. Philanthropic. Non-Profits and the People!

As you can see in the chart above, in addition to the Public and Private sectors, there are three new players actively making urban regeneration projects happen:

  1. The Philanthropic Sector;
  2. The non-Profit Sector (non-community based); and
  3. Everyday People

The increased public presence, activity and resources of these three players changes everything.
It changes the scale of projects.

Do you know a philanthropic organization that is taking a public role in a large-scale urban revitalization project? Many of these current projects wouldn't happen without proactive philanthropic support.  For example, in Detroit there are a number of philanthropic organizations that are actively supporting urban redevelopment projects: Kresge, Skillman, Ford, Surdna, and Hudson-Webber all come immediately to mind.  The newest philanthropic player in Detroit is JP Morgan Chase, which recently announced a $100M investment in Detroit's redevelopment efforts.   $50M of that $100M investment is being made into CDFIs.

Source:  www.jpmorganchase.com

Source:  www.jpmorganchase.com

The new prominence and assertiveness of the Philanthropic sector is not limited to Detroit. You'll find foundations and philanthropic organizations catalyzing urban revitalization projects all around the country, including my friends over at Anne E. Casey in Baltimore, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation in Baton Rouge, and at the Rockfeller Foundation, in, well everywhere! 

Anne E. Casey supported the first new school built in East Baltimore in 20 years

Anne E. Casey supported the first new school built in East Baltimore in 20 years

The Second New Player is a Not New in General, but is newer to this game:  

Non-Profits which are not neighborhood or community-based.

I won't talk long about community-based non-profits since they have been the on-the-ground leaders of neighborhood revitalization efforts for decades.  They have also been critically important and will continue to be until the last neighborhood has been regenerated.  However, the non-profits that represent the new players in the P5 world are the national, regional and non-neighborhood-specific non-profits who are actively creating, impacting and leading revitalization efforts.   When I say "non-neighborhood specific" I am referring to non-profits that are not based in a particular neighborhood or community.  Examples include national non-profits like LISC, NeighborWorks and Enterprise who are doing wonderful work in urban neighborhoods around the country.  They also include non-neighborhood based (but area-focused) organizations like CDAD (focused on the entire city of Detroit) or BRIDGE Housing Corporation in San Francisco (focused on affordable housing development throughout California).  All of these non-community specific non-profits are putting their imprint on neighborhood revitalization by bringing a different set of resources, experiences and perspectives to the table.  

I worked on BRIDGE's Mandela Gateway TOD project in Oakland.  Source:  MWA Architects.

I worked on BRIDGE's Mandela Gateway TOD project in Oakland.  Source:  MWA Architects.

Finally, the Rise of the P5 also changes who are the Placemakers in neighborhoods:

Everyday People are becoming the placemakers and redevelopers in neighborhoods.

Tyree Guyton didn't wait to effect change in his neighborhood in Detroit. He just did it.

Tyree Guyton didn't wait to effect change in his neighborhood in Detroit. He just did it.

Mr Guyton isn't a public official and he isn't a private developer. He is just one of the everyday People around the country deciding to personally become a placemaker and changemaker.  There is power in the People!!  A big reason everyday People are able to effect neighborhood change is the revolutionary capacity of the internet and mobile applications ("Apps").  Websites like Fundrise,Motor City Mapping (shoutout to Jerry, Mary and Mike at Loveland in Detroit!) and Kickstarter all let individuals spark and make change happen in their neighborhoods. 

Conclusion.  So there you have it.  The P3 is dead because the predominate tool in the regeneration of urban neighborhoods, and impactful placemaking in the future, will be P5s.  

What do you think?  Share with us in the comments examples of P5s in your city.  My next blog post will discuss an example of a deal in Detroit, and how the 5Ps play a part in getting it done. 


Posted on July 25, 2014 and filed under Most Read.