Kristen Jeffers has been writing and speaking under the name The Black Urbanist for some time now. Kristen has studied communication, public affairs, community development and economic development. She likes interacting with people – she writes on her own blog, on other people’s blogs, speaks at events, and recently launched a podcast.
Ok, so we’ve established that she loves talking – let’s talk about where she focuses her energy. In the show we squeeze as much into 30 minutes as possible.
The Black Urbanist, an origin story
Comic and superhero fans have long appreciated a good origin story. What’s in a name? Why does the Black Urbanist exist and how does she use her powers for good in North Carolina and beyond? Besides her work itself, Kristen talks about the special influence of 2 people who wouldn’t be classified as urbanism wonks. Mom and Dad.
Civic inferiority complex
Got city envy? You aren’t alone. Plenty of people are in love with other cities that they never plan to live in. But what can you do in your own backyard? Or your front yard? Or in the street? Kristen recently published an ebook called Killing the Civic Inferiority Complex. We flip through the e-pages. (psst, go read her book here)
We’ve all heard stories of creativity and innovation that is squashed or suffocated by bureaucratic process. Red tape can be an entrepreneur’s enemy #1. Kristen has written a bit about what she calls “lazy urbanism”. Sometimes people need to just get out of the way and let good things happen organically.
Shiny happy places
“I want THAT!” I have 2 young kids. I know all about the appeal of shiny new things. Hey, I want shiny new things too. There are some amazing revitalization projects popping up all around the country in some unexpected places. You don’t have to be a New York or Chicago or Boston to be a beacon of human-scale design. What can you do in your rural crossroads, medium-sized city, or spaceport?
Connect with our guest
Kristen Jeffers, The Black Urbanist, can easily be found online. Here are the 4 best places to connect with her.
Try Audible FREE for 30 days and get a free audiobook. Yes, there are tons of books on urbanism! It’s like listening to this podcast — give it a try!