"Get off this, get on with it
If you wanna change the world
Shut your mouth and start this minute"
Cracker, Get off this
[ Welcome ]
Cities and towns in our country (and much of the world) have been making bad decisions for generations; bad for humans, bad for the environment and bad for our finances. We've adapted to make the best of bad situations, but let's be honest - dogs can survive in junkyards, too. It's long past time to change course with smarter decisions and create places that are great for humans. Good enough is not good enough. That's WHY I practice, write, blog, speak and more.
I've been in leadership positions since I was in elementary school - some by choice and others by circumstance. I've worked as an architect, planner, street designer, facilitator and more. I've started several companies and seen success and failure in every area of my life. I've learned a great deal from those experiences and want others to benefit from them. You may also find that I can be a bit (gasp) irreverent at times, and that I enjoy the lighter side of life. That's indicative of WHO I am.
WHAT I plan to share on this site and in my work are examples, ideas, screeds and tools for success. It's my firm belief that effective urban design (or town planning or city planning or urban planning or whatever you'd like to call it) requires three areas to succeed: a clear and inspiring vision for the future, quality leadership that is set up for success and the knowledge of tools and techniques that work. This site is about solutions for those areas first and foremost, not lofty academic ideals that don't translate to reality. Results matter. And since so much is written about the ten cities that every planner loves in the US, I plan to focus my energies elsewhere. That's not to say we won't talk about Portland or Boston or Washington, DC here, it's that I'm more interested in how we improve the other 19,000+ cities and towns across the US.
I will blog on the site WHEN I have time and the urge strikes, which is unfortunately far less often than it used to be these days. The blog is my personal soap box and contribution to the "powerful play of life" as the fictional John Keating described so well in Dead Poets Society; but the powerful play must also go on in my own life off of the interwebs at times. Savannah, GA is WHERE I call home these days, as I am the Executive Director of the Savannah Development and Renewal Authority. That's HOW I make a living currently.
Please connect with me here if share these interests, or if you want to talk with me about consulting or speaking. If you're doing business development for a building product, please don't waste our time.
Daniel Burnham is famous for saying,
"Make no little plans - they have no magic to stir men’s blood"
But on the next page of the Plan of Chicago, he also said this,
"It should be understood, however, that such radical changes as are proposed herein cannot possibly be realized immediately. Indeed, the aim has been to anticipate the needs of the future as well as to provide for the necessities of the present; in short, to direct the development of the city towards an end that must seem ideal, but is practical."
Too often in the world of urban design, architecture and planning we forget to balance those two critical elements - the yin and yang of place-making: idealistic visions and practical realities. One cannot exist without the other. I hope to express that balance on this site. Enjoy.