Peter Hendee Brown, FAIA, FAICP, Ph.D.




I am a licensed architect and certified planner and over the past 35 years I have worked in architecture, local government administration, real estate development, and as an independent consultant, serving in the roles of architect, owner, developer, owner’s representative, and management consultant. I have worked for public, private, and non-profit clients and my project experience has ranged from small to large, new construction to adaptive reuse, and from planning, concept design, and entitlements through construction and occupancy.  I have also advised on organizational development, executive search, stakeholder perceptions surveys, efficiency studies, and other management consulting work. 
I serve as an advisor, advocate, counselor, and team member, helping to envision, plan, and implement big, complex, one-time design and construction projects and other consulting assignments from beginning to end. Being able to see problems from different viewpoints helps me to facilitate discussions between stakeholders that lead to better decisions for my clients.
I help my clients achieve their long-term objectives by providing supplemental capacity required to implement challenging, non-recurring projects. I help identify and fill the gaps in expertise and effort between team members and make connections between disciplines. I can lead, facilitate, or follow, and my experience and personal style allow me to communicate effectively up, down, and sideways. I reduce stress and increase productivity for my clients and other team members by allowing for a more balanced deployment of resources. My job is to make it easier for my clients to do their jobs.  

Fifth Business Consulting

I provide professional consulting services under the name Fifth Business








Research & Writing

My research is focused on understanding urban redevelopment, not just from one perspective but from many, including those of the city official, politician, planner, property owner, developer, user, and neighbor. My first book, America’s Waterfront Revival (Penn Press, 2009), received critical acclaim and cemented my reputation as an expert on public authorities, waterfront redevelopment, and urban redevelopment generally. My latest book, How Real Estate Developers Think (Penn Press, 2015), sheds new light on who real estate developers are as people and helps members of the community better understand what these entrepreneurial city builders do and why they do it.  My latest writing project will help people who work with or in local government become more effective by better understanding why bureaucracy works the way it does and why bureaucrats do what they do.



I have been teaching as an adjunct professor since 1990 and have taught over 600 students.  I currently serve as a visiting professor of practice at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and have taught graduate level courses in private sector real estate development, planning capstone workshop, planning and design for the urban public realm, urban design theory, site planning, and urban design methods. 

A Practitioner-AcademicThrough this broad range of experience, I have developed a unique, multi-disciplinary approach that I bring to all my work, as my consulting practice, writing, and teaching actively inform one another, helping me to think more about how we can all do a better job of building our cities together.

Curriculum Vitae