Lynne Sagalyn

“Public-Private Partnerships”

Editors: Gary Hack, Eugénie Birch, Paul Sedway, and Mitchell Silver


Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are a favored strategy for implementing complex, large-scale projects. For more than thirty years, U.S. government officials have used PPPs to redevelop downtowns, revitalize neighborhoods, and foster economic development. Across the globe, policy makers see such arrangements as an innovative and resourceful means for dealing with the intensifying demands of urbanization. In particular, PPPs can play a central role in meeting the pressing demand for new, large-scale infrastructure investments and the equally urgent need to refurbish existing systems.

The flexibility of the PPP format — the opportunity to tailor terms and conditions to a given project, and to fine-tune the public-private sharing of risks and responsibilities — makes the PPP model highly adaptable. Although PPPs were first used in initiatives for downtown development, the approach has expanded to waterfront transformation, historic preservation, brownfields redevelopment, the revitalization of neighborhood commercial centers, the conversion of military bases, and lending for community development. Nevertheless, PPPs for some services, such as prisons, remain controversial, while other services, such as information technology and small capital projects, are not particularly amenable to the PPP strategy.

Source: Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice
Exact Citation:
Sagalyn, Lynne. "Public-Private Partnerships." In Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice, 282-286. Ed. Gary Hack, Eugénie Birch, Paul Sedway, and Mitchell Silver. Washington, D.C.: ICMA Press, 2009.
Pages: 282-286
Place: Washington, D.C.
Date: 2009