Recovery can only be achieved through a concerted effort.
Effort is the enemy of apathy and the process of improving requires rallying residents to action and connecting expertise to opportunity. During this phase, we bring residents together around previously identified initiatives and coordinate outside experts to bring their particular skill sets to the community.


Strategic Planning Facilitation

The mission of your revitalization organization has the ability to affect every single person in the community, but all too often those mission statements go unmet. It’s time to align your aspirations with your actions and start doing the work your organization is capable of and the community desperately needs. By taking a candid approach to strategic planning, we cut out wasted time and effort and get to the point. Through this process we will assess if your mission statement is appropriate, and update it if needed. We will identify short-term goals and long-term aspirations. We will decide who is in charge of each identified project and align accountability measures to ensure the work gets carried out.


March 10, 2022

A Show of Hands

“Raise your hand if you think cars should be prioritized over pedestrians downtown” I asked the crowd of 70. One person raised their hand. “Raise your hand if you think

February 26, 2020


A city or a town cannot be successful, or only to a marginal degree, if it is not also a community. A city aims to serve its residents, but this

March 24, 2022

Kill The Committee

Do people cross to the other side of the street when they see you? Have you noticed no one invites you out to TGI Fridays? Do your acquaintances avoid making

August 1, 2019

All Politics is Local

Earlier this week, I posted a story about Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s announcement of a proposed plan to deal with vacancy, if he were to be elected president. I sometimes forget

April 13, 2022

Civic Relationships

Our lives are defined by relationships. Our happiness and well-being are largely determined by those relationships we carry throughout our lives. Some are good, some are bad, some change us

May 12, 2022

Simple, Not Easy

Last week over beers in Panama City, friend and colleague, Allan Branch, put it to me this way, “Whenever I’m traveling, I always wonder, why are some towns doing better

June 17, 2022

Buildings Before Businesses

A building is a business. I repeat, a building is a business. If you manage your own life, you can understand this principle. You have to spend less than you

August 10, 2020

Find A Friend, Save Your City.

Neighborhoods first. If I just had one piece of advice to give to city leaders it would be that. Put the neighborhoods first. Prioritize the people. Do your absolute best

July 23, 2020

Why Good Neighborhoods went Extinct

I followed my dad’s finger, pointing through the windshield towards the second house in from the corner. “There it is, that’s the one I grew up in” he said as

July 1, 2020

The Real Parking Problem

For anyone that has worked in economic development, community development and especially, downtown revitalization, you have become all too familiar with the parking problem trope. It might be the single

September 15, 2021

Bedrooms are for Sleeping

A colleague reached out this morning and asked if I had ever written anything about permitted first floor uses in a downtown. I responded that I had not, but hey,

October 9, 2019

The Shape of Place

The way I best describe how place affects me is an oft repeated phrase that has most likely grown annoying to those that know me, “I am no more neighborly

July 24, 2019

Wise Council

I enjoy meeting with elected officials. I enjoy talking with anyone that cares about their town. Most council members I speak with are well-intentioned and became involved because they are

May 7, 2019

Save Our Buildings, Save Ourselves

A few years back, while hosting an event for the governor’s State of the State address in Marietta, Ohio, I had a chance to speak with a local councilwoman during

February 24, 2021

Vacancy Busting: A Step by Step Guide

I can sometimes get bogged down in the policies of vacancy. I get pretty excited about design standards, code enforcement and vacant property registries. I love reading about new methods

December 16, 2021

If I Had Ten Million Dollars

Those funky flannel loving Canadiens known as the Bare Naked Ladies had plenty of thoughts on what they would do with a million dollars, but never once does the song

January 20, 2022

Instant Gratification

I’m counting 2022 as a phenomenal success. I completed all of my new years resolutions and its still January. Get in shape - ✅ Learn French - ✅ Read more

April 22, 2021

Damn it, Do it!

Idle hands are the devils play things, so the saying goes. We know what this means for a person- nothing good comes from boredom, and like I regularly rant about-