building our city

Asheville's urban design speaker series


CITIes determine their futures by the policies and practices they adopt

Asheville is a community on the rise. The design of our community impacts how we interact with the space around us and with each other, and influences how we live.

Join us for this free four-part speaker series featuring national experts on urban design, planning, placemaking, transportation and other community development topics to explore the role of thoughtful design in building livable communities. These deep-dive community conversations are dedicated to creating a better understanding of the role design plays in the growth of Asheville and its surrounding regions. The goal is to help create conversations by hosting professionals from outside the region, who will bring innovative ideas as well as examples of other community’s successes and failures.

The series is free and open to the public, thanks to our generous sponsors. Interested in sponsoring? Email us!


Kristen Jeffers


August 7, 2019

1 Haywood St, 4th floor
TALK begins @ 6pm : Doors open at 5:30pm

Kristen E. Jeffers is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Black Urbanist multimedia platform, author of A Black Urbanist (second edition forthcoming), creator of the public speaking course Plan to Speak and 1/2 of the podcast Third Wave Urbanism, as well as a freelance writer, urban planner and advocate. She holds a Master of Public Affairs focused on community and economic development from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and a Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in public relations from North Carolina State University.

Asheville is changing again. From becoming a major urban area in the North Carolina mountains to becoming a major tourist destination, one can’t deny that the growth has brought a lot of good. However, too much of a good thing can turn to bad. Kristen will take her method of sharing her personal story of migration and change and resilience as it relates to the places she’s inhabited and encourage Ashevillians in attendance to embrace everything that makes Asheville Asheville and continue the path to sustainable and inclusive growth.

She has presented at the annual Congress for New Urbanism, YIMBYTown and to communities around the US and Canada, using her personal story to illustrate what land use and planning really means and really does, plus encourage practitioners, both young and old in best practices. In addition, she participated on a panel at the 2012 UNC Global American South conference on the reverse migration of African Americans, and at the 2016 Pro Bike, Pro Walk, Pro Place conference on resilience. She has presented keynotes at CityWorksXpo 2016 and APA Virginia 2014, as well as a live podcast at NACTO Designing Cities 2017. She is a Streetsblog Network member and featured contributor to Sustainable Cities Collective. She has also contributed articles to CityLab, Greater Greater Washington, [Greensboro] News & Record, Yes! Weekly, Grist, Next City, Better! Towns and Cities, Triad City Beat, Urban Escapee and Urbanful.

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CALL: 828.251.9973