Kaid Benfield Archive


Best practices for smart, sustainable community development: presentation

Kaid Benfield

Posted March 22, 2010 at 1:33PM

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Earlier this month I had the honor of participating in a webcast on the subject of sustainable community development, hosted by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation

One of the nation’s premier organizations in its field, LISC “mobilizes corporate, government and philanthropic support to provide local community development organizations (CDCs) with: loans, grants and equity investments; local, statewide and national policy support; and technical and management assistance.”  CDCs are nonprofit organizations that provide programs and services to neighborhoods or towns, typically focusing on lower-income residents or struggling communities. They can be involved in a variety of activities but many are engaged in real estate development and the provision of affordable housing.

Our full webcast is available online.  The purpose of the session, which was superbly organized and moderated by LISC’s Julia Seward, was to explore the relationship between smart growth and the work of CDCs, and to discuss best practices.  I was joined in the forum by Don Chen of the Ford Foundation and Teresa Brice, who directs on-the-ground operations in LISC’s Phoenix regional office.  There was good audience participation and quite a bit of back-and-forth discussion after the initial presentations.

  opening slide, LISC webcast 3/3/2010

I led off the program, touching briefly on the environmental rationale for sustainable revitalization; presenting photos and a bit of supporting detail on some of my favorite examples in Atlanta, Saint Louis, New York, Seattle, Houston, and Los Angeles; and concluding with a few of the trends that I think are likely to influence the field in the next several years.

With impressive technology, the whole thing was recorded so that you can see and hear our presentations as if you were a participant; you can even see my pointer moving around my slide images as I talk.  You’ll have to provide a name and email address to access the session, but it is free and access is immediate.  My opening presentation was about 12 minutes or so, but you can fast-forward to any portion of the 89-minute program.  I was followed by Don, then Lisa, and then discussion with the participants. 

Go here to see the webcast.  You can also separately download the visual part of the session from the same page, but the presentations are out of sequence in the download.  LISC also has an archive of previous webcasts (lots of great subjects and good presenters), including another one with yours truly from back in October 2008.