About Us

PlaceShakers and NewsMakers is brought to you by Ben Brown and Scott Doyon, two explainers with the town planning and development advisory firm, PlaceMakers. We spend our days cheek by jowl with urban designers, architects, civic boosters, enviros, developers and community activists, and our job is making sense of them all. Making the interconnected — and often competing — agendas of community design accessible and illuminating the inevitable benefits and trade-offs that result from the choices we make.

We publish twice a week: Perspective essays every Monday and practical placemaking advice every Thursday.

With so much change in the air, we want to invite conversations about connectivity. Like most folks with an Urbanist perspective on change, we believe that paths out of the housing and finance crisis and paths toward sustainability and accessibility intersect. And that issues like energy, agriculture, aging and obesity share common roots. So let’s look for opportunities to connect the dots.  

We, and some of our equally opinionated partners at PlaceMakers, will take note of ideas and efforts that interest us, from innovative applications of form-based codes to design solutions at home, neighborhood, and community scales to civic engagement and the selling of big ideas. You do the same. Let us know what’s happening in your area and how it plugs into the Bigger Picture, and we’ll share. Drop us a line at ben(at)placemakers.com.

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