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Small Scale Developers

Filling In: Room for Revival in Spokane

Filling In: Room for Revival in Spokane

How modifications to one city’s development codes are making it possible to add wealth and vibrancy to its struggling neighborhoods… without taking on huge future liabilities.

6 Rules for Unlocking the Potential of Mid-Size Cities

6 Rules for Unlocking the Potential of Mid-Size Cities

Mid-size regions like Kansas City don’t have the affordability struggles of, say, a fast-growing Denver or Seattle: they have their own unique challenges instead. Here’s how the “natural” affordability of homes in these places can be turned into an opportunity for an urban renaissance.

Parking is Important and Not Important

Parking is Important and Not Important

It’s time for mandatory parking minimums to go. That doesn’t mean, though, that the need for parking is going to magically disappear. We would also be wise to plan for smart, adaptable parking solutions, so our cities can incrementally urbanize.

How is Apartment Renovation Like Beekeeping?

How is Apartment Renovation Like Beekeeping?

Bringing a neighborhood back from the brink of ruin, one building at a time, is hard, thankless work—like raising bees when you could just go buy a jar of honey. But when it works, each successful project helps “pollinate” the surrounding area with the seeds of revival, in a virtuous cycle.

There's a Missing Middle for Commercial Spaces, Too

There's a Missing Middle for Commercial Spaces, Too

Is a desire for local character your jam? If so, fight for missing-middle commercial space in your neighborhood. Fight for the corner bar and the corner store. We need an approach that is much more flexible, more true to what humans want from cities, and messier.

The One-Week Coworking Space

The One-Week Coworking Space

The lines between work and home zones are blurring: more employers want to be in walkable, amenitized areas, and conversely, people are choosing to live closer to where they work. This Cincinnati placemaking experiment exemplifies the kind of small bets this trend is making possible.

So You Want to Build an ADU?

So You Want to Build an ADU?

Let’s walk through what it actually takes to build a small rental apartment on your property in Austin, Texas. It’s a lesson in how the city’s existing code stymies gentle, incremental, small-scale development.

Unconventional Wisdom on Activating a Downtown

Unconventional Wisdom on Activating a Downtown

What does it take to bring life back to a faded downtown? Contrary to conventional wisdom, big employers may underperform as revitalization engines, and small-bet approaches—improvisational, innovative, and low-risk—can deliver outsize rewards.

What a Difference $1,000 Makes: Part One

What a Difference $1,000 Makes: Part One

When the housing market is depressed and you can’t get a return on your investment, there is little incentive to put any money into improvements. It’s a vicious cycle that several Akron nonprofits are trying to break.

New Life for an Old Church

New Life for an Old Church

A neglected church building in Akron, Ohio has been transformed into a hub for nonprofits, innovation and community.

Join the Small Scale Development Movement

Join the Small Scale Development Movement

Watch this video to learn how to become a small developer, why small development is important and how community leaders can advocate for better development in their communities.