The Right Way to Co-Op

The Right Way to Co-Op

Over the last few years, we’ve had a number of interns from the Auburn University Urban Studio, and have had success channeling their talent while they hopefully learn a few things along the way. This past year, we decided to up our commitment, and are now involved with the Auburn University CADC Co-Op Program. It’s our [Read More]

Breaking Bread at Five Loaves

Breaking Bread at Five Loaves

I recently attended an interesting dinner hosted by Five Loaves as a pop-up at a local bike and coffee shop near by, Woodlawn Cycle Cafe. The food was great and I enjoyed nice conversation with folks I would have probably never met otherwise. Five Loaves is a part of the Urban Avenues initiative, a group here in Birmingham that [Read More]

Why The ULI Matters

Why The ULI Matters

Several years ago, I made the decision to build a home out from town, and moved to a beautiful spot in the country with views of a mountain range, lakes, woods and wildlife. It has been nice. I raised 3 good children here, but they are now grown and have moved on. Now my place [Read More]

Opening the Door

Opening the Door

A rewarding part of this job is the mentoring aspect–helping folks find the areas where they excel and watching them thrive. Obviously I try to do this everyday for those around me. Having been in the industry for a long while, I will also get calls from people looking to make a move, and not [Read More]

When It Takes a “No” to Get a “Yes”

When It Takes a “No” to Get a “Yes”

About 6 months ago, the president of a local public university made the decision to end the UAB Football team. The result was an unprecedented rally of support for the school, and the #freeuab movement. You can’t drive down a local highway without seeing multiple bumper stickers supporting the UAB campaign. Truth is, some sports [Read More]

Our Latest READesign

Our Latest READesign

  This week, these pictures came to me from one of our leads, Scott Priestley. He’s working with a teacher to put finishing touches on a Heart of America READesign library makeover at West Manor Elementary in Atlanta. It’s the 10th one we’ve completed, and they just keep getting better. Our folks have been involved [Read More]

Making a Difference, One Storefront at a Time

Making a Difference, One Storefront at a Time

Impressive things are happening in the “Black Belt” town of Greensboro, Alabama. The area was named for its rich topsoil when cotton was king, and is now facing a variety of challenges. For the last few years, a grassroots group of folks from around the nation have focused their efforts down South, inciting change in [Read More]

Weather ‘a Changing

Weather ‘a Changing

Weather models get it right most of the time. Every once in a while, a forecast misses the mark, as happened this week in Birmingham, Atlanta, and in between.  We were expecting only a light dusting of snow, with any significant impact headed south of us. Midday, the weather pattern veered north and the roads iced within [Read More]

This Thanksgiving Week, “Pay it Forward”

This Thanksgiving Week, “Pay it Forward”

I must admit that I had never heard the term “pay it forward” until earlier this week. To those not familiar, the idea is that when someone does a good deed, you repay it by helping someone else. With Thanksgiving at hand, it seemed a most appropriate thing to hear. At the conclusion of a [Read More]

Streetcar Desire

Streetcar Desire

Recently, I participated in a working panel concerning urban growth and development. Led by Roger Millar of Smart Growth America,  it highlighted the Portland Streetcar Initiative, with the idea of bringing something similar to our city. The smart growth concept is intended to combat the idea of suburban sprawl “building urban or suburban and rural communities [Read More]