Place Matters

Lanham, Maryland – October 16, 2017: Neighborhood Design Center helps members of DuVal High School’s Green Team with a rain garden design session. CREDIT: Matt Roth

Place Matters is a place-based, capacity building program that is intended to develop networks, skills, and funding (i.e. “capacity”) around a place, seeding deep roots from which the place can thrive and grow. Place Matters projects take the form of long-term partnerships between NDC and various place-based organizations.  Some partnerships form with communities who have a strong vision, but are without a specific project that fits NDC’s other programs, or have already received design assistance from NDC and want to continue a partnership to make the project a reality. Each project will vary in accordance to what the community needs, but will fall under the umbrella of one (or more) of five focus areas:

Increased Network
Connecting community leaders to other relevant organizations, governmental, nonprofit, private etc. to help ensure the long-term success of the place.

Supporting skills and tools (including anything from how to apply for a grant to how to plant a tree) that will facilitate the increased autonomy of partners, creating a sustainable future for the project.

Community Engagement
Recruitment of volunteers, gathering community input and vision for a site, or recruiting future leaders for the project’s longevity. Engaging the community strengthens efficacy of the project leaders.

Sustainable Funding
Assuring that the community partner or site has continued funding for the long term. This could be an assurance of maintenance and programming for a site, or a sustained relationship with a funding organization.

Supporting groups and community partners towards the goal of maximum autonomy.

For more information, please contact Briony Hynson at