The Marron Institute and LabGov Georgetown have partnered with Build Baton Rouge, the redevelopment authority of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to pilot a multi-stakeholder approach to economic revitalization in the Plank Road corridor. The project proposes a novel approach to address economically distressed neighborhoods and cities using the “Co-City Protocol.” The Protocol has been tested most extensively in cities outside of the United States. After conducting a Rockefeller-sponsored workshop in Bellagio, Italy, that focused on American cities, LabGov partnered with Marron and BBR to introduce the Protocol in the U.S. Co-City Baton Rouge will implement, test, and evaluate neighborhood-scale governance innovation. LabGov and Marron anticipate that we will subsequently adapt the Protocol as appropriate to reflect our experience with Baton Rouge and undertake similar projects in other economically distressed U.S. cities.
Plank Road is one of the most blighted corridors in Baton Rouge but is a significant anchor for the neighborhoods surrounding it. The project offers a distinct opportunity to bring the Protocol—which entails deep engagement among residents, public authorities, local businesses, civic organizations, and universities—to work collaboratively toward inclusive urban regeneration. Co-City Baton Rouge pools the resources and expertise of multiple stakeholders and ensures that the residents most directly affected by revitalization shape outcomes and participate in the long-term stewardship of community resources and institutions.
This is not the typical civic-engagement project. What sets this project apart is the creation, modeling, and testing of novel neighborhood governance, financing, and participatory institutions that provide residents with long-term stakes in economic revitalization. An aim of Co-City Baton Rouge is to promote community building and engage a wide set of stakeholders who will produce projects together with end users to overcome social inequalities and enhance the participation of underrepresented social groups. Toward this end, Co-City Baton Rouge will develop and implement innovative institutions such as a neighborhood improvement district, a community land bank, community ecoparks, and interpretive planning programs such as oral history.
Professor Clayton Gillette is a Senior Fellow of the Marron Institute of Urban Management and the Max E. Greenberg Professor of Contract Law at the New York University School of Law, where he has worked since 2000. For the prior eight years, he was the Perre Bowen Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law. Professor Gillette began his teaching career at Boston University where he served as the Warren Scholar in Municipal Law and Associate Dean, and he has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia as well as at the NYU School of Law.
Professor Gillette earned his J.D. from the University of Michigan in 1975 and a B.A. from Amherst College in 1972. After law school, he clerked for Judge J. Edward Lumbard of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and was associated with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton in New York City.
Gillette's scholarship concentrates on commercial law and local government law. He is the author of casebooks on Local Government Law (with Lynn Baker) and Payment Systems and Credit Instruments (with Alan Schwartz and Robert Scott), and a textbook on Municipal Debt Finance Law (with Robert S. Amdursky). Gillette's numerous articles include studies of long-term commercial contracts, initiatives, relations between localities and their neighbors, privatization of municipal services, and judicial construction of contracts governing homeowners associations. He has also served as the Reporter for the ABA Intersectional Task Force on Initiatives and Referenda and has consulted in litigation ranging from the Agent Orange Products Liability Litigation to the default on municipal bonds by Orange County, California and the Washington Public Power Supply System.