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one of site authors, Nancy Thompson

This site is the work of four authors. We all read, comment on, and approve generally of all the website content. We're all city planners with graduate degrees in the field and years of professional experience, and we all volunteer in our home communities on everything from zoning boards of appeals, to social service and community development corporation boards, to neighborhood association leadership.

The site's content editor, Nancy Thompson (right) assumes ultimate responsibility for content. Nancy is a certified community planner. Her professional collaborators bring specialized experience and a critical eye.

Nancy earned a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and has served as a planning director in city and county governments. Often her department has been responsible for capital improvements, community development projects, and code enforcement too. Recent specialized planning experience has been gained as Executive Director at St. Louis Association of Community Organizations and as a project manager and community outreach manager at Great Rivers Greenway.  In addition to taking charge of moving this website forward, she recently received a real estate sales license and  maintains a consulting practice specializing in neighborhood plans, community development work, and non-profit strategic planning.  If you need full details, you'll have to check out her LinkedIn profile.

She also has made some intellectual travels into media and writing. Nancy is an avid community and neighborhood volunteer herself, having served as an officer and board member in metropolitan, community, and neighborhood level non-profit organizations. Her recent experiences in facilitating neighborhood leadership training also influence the site.

Right now Nancy is tired of proper writing, even though she's won several competitive prizes for formal writing. So she and her three co-authors are really "telling it like it is" for a change. Whenever neighborhood folks are in danger of wasting their time, we say so. We expose any conventional wisdom about community work that doesn't pass the reality test.

At a recent team meeting in Chicago, we took time out to study urbanology in Grant's Park near Buckingham Fountain.  The other three authors, who need to stay anonymous for the moment to keep their employers calm, are shown here among the Segway crowd.  We don't really know who the other Segway tourist that strayed into our little circle might be.

It seems we finally broke our string of gray days for meeting.  Together we had chosen our favorite photo of a rainy but beautiful New York, during the next-to-last face-to-face meeting we held.  We just can't bring ourselves to remove this photo; it represents all that is beautiful about big cities, don't you think?

rainy day New York

You can check out back issues of our almost-monthly newsletter, Quick Notes, on our newsletter archive page.   If you want to hear about the website platform behind our success, check out our SBI review. (The platform is Solo Build It!, formerly known as Site Build It!)

Our site is full of actionable ideas, whether you are puzzling about a big city, small city, or rural community development experience.  We're giving you another chance at searching it for something of particular relevance to your neighborhood or city.

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