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Hyperlocal: Place Governance in a Fragmented World



Please join the Georgetown Global Cities Initiative for a discussion on the Brookings Institution’s recently released book: 


Hyperlocal: Place Governance in a Fragmented World  (Brookings, 2022)


About the Speakers: 


Jennifer S. Vey, author and co-editor of Hyperlocal, is a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program and the director of the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking. Vey’s work primarily focuses on how place-based policies and practices can support the development of more vibrant, connected, and inclusive communities.


Nate Storring, author and co-editor of Hyperlocal, is the Deputy Executive Director of Project for Public Spaces. Storring’s writing and projects explore participatory approaches to urban planning, policy, design, and stewardship. In 2016, he co-edited Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs with urban historian Samuel Zipp.


Sheila Foster, contributing author to Hyperlocal, is a Professor of Law and Public Policy with a joint appointment at the Georgetown Law Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy.  Professor Foster writes in the areas of environmental law and justice, urban land use law and policy, and state and local government.


Michael Stevens, visiting faculty in the Georgetown Urban & Regional Planning program and is president of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District (BID), the largest and most rapidly developing mixed-use, mixed-income and transit-oriented urban neighborhood in Washington, DC.  Stevens is a highly accomplished urban planning professional who has practiced economic development for the majority of his 37-year career.


Moderated by Uwe S. Brandes, Faculty Director, Georgetown Global Cities Initiative.



From the publication: 


While some of America’s downtowns, waterfronts, and other asset-rich neighborhoods have experienced significant revitalization and reinvestment in recent years, concentrated poverty and racial segregation remain persistent across thousands of urban, suburban, and rural places. The coronavirus pandemic magnified this sustained and growing landscape of inequality.


The country’s uneven patterns of economic growth and investment require a shift in how communities are governed and managed, with the goal of helping more people and places prosper.


The good news is that tens of thousands of place-based (“hyperlocal”) governance structures in the United States and around the globe are working toward these ends. They range from grassroots community organizations to business improvement districts. However, very little systematic research has documented the role and evolution of these organizations as part of one interrelated field. Hyperlocal helps fill that gap by describing the challenges and opportunities of “place governance.”


Hyperlocal explores the tensions associated with governing places in an increasingly fragmented—and inequitable—economic landscape. The book also highlights innovative financing, organizing, and ownership models for creating and sustaining more effective place governance structures. 


The authors hope to provoke new thinking among place governance practitioners, policymakers, private sector leaders, urban planners, scholars, students, and philanthropists about how, why, and for whom place governance matters. The book also provides guidance on how to improve place governance practice to benefit more people and places.




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