Donovan Rypkema

Donovan D. Rypkema is principal of PlaceEconomics, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate and economic development-consulting firm. The work of the firm is at the nexus of historic preservation and economics. He has undertaken assignments for public and non-profit sector clients in 49 US states. He also teaches a course on the economics of historic preservation at the University of Pennsylvania where he received the 2008 G. Holmes Perkins Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Rypkema was educated at Columbia University receiving a Master of Science degree in Historic Preservation. He is author of several publications including Community Initiated Development, The Economics of Rehabilitation, and the Feasibility Assessment Manual for Reusing Historic Buildings. Rypkema’s book, The Economics of Historic Preservation: A Community Leader’s Guide is widely used by preservationists nationwide and has been translated in to Russian and Korean.

Rypkema has worked with such groups as the Urban Land Institute, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, the American Planning Association, Smart Growth America, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the International Downtown Association. Federal Government clients have included the U.S. Army, the Department of State, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Interior, and the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation for whom he prepared a report entitled Measuring Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation.

In the fall of 2012 Rypkema received the Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Crowninshield Award is the nation’s highest preservation honor and awarded for lifetime contribution to historic preservation in the United States.