3.1 Introduction

A wall with donor names inscribed on it.
Figure 29. The donor recognition wall at the Commons in Minneapolis. Author.
Finance allows us to move economic value forward and backward through time. That enables humans to plan their lives, both individually and collectively.

– William Goetzmann, Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible [1]

Introduction: Where does the money come from?

It takes money – a lot of money – to build, own, operate, maintain, program, and activate public places. Although some people think otherwise, it is just not as simple as sprinkling a little grass seed around and letting a goat loose to keep things nicely trimmed. The purpose of this chapter is to outline how public realm projects are funded. We will try to answer these simple questions:

  1. How much will it cost to design and build and how will we pay for that big, one-time cost?
  2. How much will it cost every year to operate, maintain, and program and how will we cover those costs every year in perpetuity?
  3. How do you establish and maintain a project budget?
  4. What are “sources and uses of funds” and what is “the gap”
  5. How does the timing of cash flows affect project implementation and ongoing operations?

  1. Goetzmann, William N., Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible, Revised Edition. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017


Producing the Urban Public Realm: Field Notes on Project Implementation Copyright © by Peter Hendee Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Share This Book