Launched in 2018, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking inspires public, private, and civic sector leaders to make transformative place investments that generate widespread social and economic benefits. In collaboration with other national organizations like Project for Public Spaces and the National Main Street Center, the Bass Center documents and develops new approaches to creating economic districts within cities, towns, and regions that meet the evolving place needs of people and businesses.
Building on the work of the former Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking, the Bass Center focuses on three major objectives:
- Demonstrating and advancing the idea that place matters to people and economies through research on how and why the spatial patterns of economic growth are changing; the varying types of economic districts that exist or are emerging; and how particular assets and attributes impact districts’ economic and social outcomes.
- Supporting the transformation of economic districts by engaging with stakeholders to document and design innovative placemaking practices that leverage districts’ strongest attributes, address their most pressing challenges, and strengthen connections to other communities.
- Promoting place-led, inclusive economic growth by helping leaders devise new economic development, land use, infrastructure, governance, and investment strategies that prioritize the development of robust districts, improve connectivity to and between them, and ultimately yield widespread benefits for people and communities.
Through these objectives, the Bass Center aims to be a hub of knowledge on the intersection of place and the economy. It works closely with influential intermediary and advocacy organizations, as well as academic and public policy experts; educators; philanthropies; and financial institutions to revalue, reimagine, and remake the role of place in today’s economy.