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

The Place Matters program is a place-based, capacity building program that is intended to develop networks, skills, and funding (i.e. “capacity”) for initiatives focused on the built environment. PBCB projects may take place in communities with a strong vision, but without a specific project that fits within NDC’s other programs. Additionally, Place Matters projects might be with communities who 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:

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 once NDC moves on.

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.

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

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.

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

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