Public/private partnerships, while not a new concept, are being used far more frequently in urban economic development throughout the United States. Ten Principles for Successful Public/Private Partnerships, just published by the Urban Land Institute, explores strategies for building partnerships, and provides profiles of development projects around the country where public/private partnerships have been used in urban development.
The booklet points to the use of the partnerships as a trend in urban growth, noting that the partnerships spent $75 billion on economic development and urban renewal projects during 2004.
Public/private partnerships offer the best solution for building a variety of projects, including mixed-use developments, public facilities such as convention centers, and affordable housing. Diminishing public resources are creating a need for more of these partnerships between the public and private sectors, the publication notes.
Collaboration instead of confrontation is the hallmark of a successful partnership. The booklet outlines the process for creating public/private partnerships, such as:
- Prepare properly for public/private partnerships.
- Create a shared vision.
- Understand your partners and key players.
- Be clear on the risks and rewards for all parties.
- Establish a clear and rational decision-making process.
- Make sure all parties do their homework.
- Secure consistent and coordinated leadership.
- Communicate early and often.
- Negotiate a fair deal structure.
- Build trust as a core value.
According to the booklet, “early and comprehensive preparation by both the public and private sectors is the key to successful public/private partnerships.”
Projects in the following cities were included in the book's analysis: The Tennessee Riverpark, Chattanooga, TN; downtown Durham, NC; Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY; Columbus Center, Boston; Waterfront Initiative, Cleveland; downtown Fort Wayne, IN, JFK Terminal 4 Gateway; downtown Silver Spring, MD; South Waterfront Central District Park, Portland, OR.; Wellington neighborhood in Breckenridge, CO; and the Old Post Office, St. Louis.
The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) is a non-profit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide responsible leadership in the use of land in order to enhance the total environment. Each year, the institute honors an extraordinary community builder through the ULI J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. Established in 1936, the institute has more than 26,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.