Brookings announces the Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking

The think tank's goal is to stress public spaces, urban economies, and inclusive growth in city building.

October 08, 2015 |
Brookings Announces the Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking

Rendering of a placemaking project in Chicago. Photo: Steven Vance/Creative Commons

Brookings Institution announced Thursday the establishment of the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking. It is a collaboration between the Brookings Institution and Project for Public Spaces.

The Bass Initiative aims to bring a new approach to city-building that stresses public spaces, urban economies, and inclusive growth.

City leaders are striving to build spaces that match communities’ cultures and serve many groups of people and innovative firms. The Bass Initiative will build on Brookings’s research on innovation districts—dense, amenity-rich areas that are typically anchored by R&D institutions and facilitate new ideas and businesses—and PPS’s involvement in placemaking, a community process to develop public spaces by capitalizing on a community’s assets and potential.

The initiative will encourage mixed-use entrepreneurial and cultural districts through research, network building, and on-the-ground projects, including studies of the ecosystems in pilot cities Oklahoma City and Philadelphia. Eventually, it aims to start city-building movement and grow a network of urban innovation-hub leaders.

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