What is PLACE?


PLACE is a nonprofit team collaborating with cities to design and build vibrant places for people to live, work and pursue their dreams. Our projects create opportunities for people across the income spectrum, demonstrate profound environmental design, and empower the community to participate in every aspect of the development process.

What is PLACE's mission?


PLACE’s mission is to create places that foster a sustainable, just and inspiring world. 

Who hires PLACE?


The PLACE Team partners with cities, nonprofits, foundations, universities, developers, counties and other large institutions to develop urban ecovillages for creatives and creative businesses. 

How long has PLACE been around?


PLACE was founded in 2005 by Chris Velasco & Elizabeth Bowling.

What is "ethical development"?


The process of developing land impacts our lives and our planet in lasting and profound ways. PLACE pledges its commitment to a development process that follows nine ethical principles. 

  1. We will keep our word.  You can count on PLACE to honor its agreements. Every time.
  2. We will cultivate authentic community participation.  Developments affect community life in profound ways. Many barriers disrupt real citizen involvement. PLACE promises a process to encourage authentic community participation, improving our developments and increasing a feeling of civic ownership of projects.
  3. We will ensure efficient leveraging of community resources.  Developments — especially those using public land or funds, or benefitting from significant direct or indirect public subsidy — must produce and demonstrate real and lasting public benefit commensurate with the level of public investment. PLACE pledges to manage resources to create the greatest possible public benefit. 
  4. We will create prevailing wage/living wage jobs.  All aspects of our development and operation will seek to create living wage and prevailing wage jobs, promote social justice and adopt consensus-based standards that respect workers’ rights (see ILO Declaration).
  5. We guarantee our fee will be reasonable.  Period. All of our financials are subject to audit which will be publicly available. 
  6. We will design and operate our projects to the highest environmental standards.  We will follow LEED® and/or comparable rating systems that will provide verifiable standards for environmentally-sound development.
  7. We will respect the community’s cultural & historical resources.  PLACE commits to understanding your community and its history. Our projects will respond appropriately to the cultural landscape and in so doing,  will multiply the positive impacts of each development.
  8. We will require transparency.  We pledge to create open-source business models and operating practices and to subject our activities to rigorous independent audit.
  9. We will provide equal opportunity.  Our projects will create equal opportunities for jobs, regardless of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy. We will create opportunities for all people and the planet to thrive. 

How is PLACE supported?


PLACE is supported by donors small and large, as well as from public grants and fees from speaking engagements, technical assistance and project development. If you appreciate our work, please donate today!

What is Live/Work space?


PLACE specializes in the creation of live/work space for creatives. Live/work suites are designed for creatives and their families to live and work in the same space, allowing them to save money on rent and transportation. Live/work space brings the best of what residents bring to a neighborhood, and the best of what small businesses bring to a neighborhood. Live/work space for creatives provides a powerful economic development benefit for communities.

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