My world is wrapped around cities and change. My background as an architect, city planner, urban designer, real estate developer, community development strategist, publisher, and instigator give me a rich understanding of how cities work, how urban neighborhoods can be revitalized, what policies are needed to do it, and the unique marketing that creates the buzz needed for regeneration. With cityLAB, my first nonprofit venture, I’m turning my passion for cities to broader, city-wide revitalization issues.
Amongst my many urban (ad)ventures, I’ve developed a dozen buildings in blighted neighborhoods (through my companies no wall productions and we do property management), launched a Pittsburgh e-zine called Pop City and founded and organized a speaker series and a creative school. I’ve also taught urban design at Carnegie Mellon University’s Urban Lab. My students have created amazing urban visions like these. Over the last few years I’ve participated in a series of Sustainable Design Assessment Teams for the American Institute of Architects in cities as diverse as Downtown Los Angeles↓ and Springfield, Ohio↓, helping to set a strategic course for housing development and urban design for downtowns in trouble. And I strategized about how to encourage residential development in downtown Pittsburgh's vacant upper floors↓.
Over the past few years I’ve spent most of my time experimenting with cityLAB and thinking about bottom-up projects like the 6% Place (you can buy the book here), Garfield Night Market, and a Tiny House along with running my co-working space. Now I’ve turned my thoughts to smallchange.com, my real estate equity crowdfunding portal which will help to fund meaningful real estate projects. We’ll package offerings for developers so they can build to make cities better, and provide investment opportunities for everyone who cares about cities and wants to make change.