Tools for Doing Development Different

Building Small is a big idea with impact.   Integrating the best thinking in economic resilience, authentic placemaking, and social responsibility Building Smallʻs time has come.  Accessible to all real estate and built environment entrepreneurs, you can gain valuable insights, training and support from ʻyour tribeʻ in three ways:

The Forums.  Join me twice a year in a new city as we tour projects, hear panel discussions and gain valuable insights for Building Small

The Network. An online platform providing mentors, peers and coaching – all to help you succeed at Building Small

The Book. It all starts with this book. Over 250 pages read the stories, see real examples, and learn how to Build Small.

” These Forums are extraordinary! The value is immeasurable. 
The experience is a firehose of inspiration, camaraderie and knowledge.”

— DAMIAN FARRELL, FAIA | DAMIAN FARRELL DESIGN | ANN ARBOR MI

The Small Scale Development Forums have spanned ten years and eightteen cities. Our second decade of programs will continue to benefit from the our unique combination real projects and real lessons as well as group discussions with developers, policy makers, and capital providers. Expand your network of peers to test ideas or ask for assistance. All in a casual, inspired and supportive setting.

2023 forums

#19 – june 4-6 |
philadelphia, PA

#20 – November 6-8 2023  | savannah, ga

view recent Forum programs

Nashville, TN  #18
Nov 2022 

San Antonio, TX #17
May 2022 

Healdsburg, CA  #16
NOV 2021

    the network

     “Bringing together real estate entrepreneurs to grow Building Small as a ʻmainstreet to mainstreamʻ solution”

    The Network

    The Network provides a powerful, bespoke online community of other entrepreneurs who are all Building Small.  There are three levels of access

    Small for All – provides free, year long access to new information, discussion threads, tools and techniques others are using to succeed at Building Small.  Join to receive notifications of upcoming Forums, events and webinars.

    Small Team – For a low monthly or annual subscription fee, you will gain additional access to insights, additional tools, case studies and direct links to like-minded real estate entrepreneurs, designers and public sector personnel.  Get valuable take home lessons through webinars, streamed content and focused discussions on the small development process.

    Small Coach –  As a member of Small Coach, you will go beyond training…gaining valuable mentoring for both project and life skills, along with access to an experienced group of Small Faculty.   The joys and challenge of being a Small Developer come from the entrepreneurial journey, and Small Coach is there to support you with monthly virtual and in person workshops, peer-to-peer groups,  ‘accountability’ check-ins, and proprietary tools developed by someone just like you.  Coach is limited to just 25 individuals to keep it intimate and allow personal connections to grow.  Registration opens in April 2023.

    Go ahead.  Explore Building Small – The Network, and figure out what level is best for you.

    the BOOK

    “This is one of the most inspiring and practical books I’ve read in a long time.  This is a book you read and reread, until it is a bit dog-eared and the corners turned down on the most important pages.”

    —Molly McCabe | President Hayden Tanner and Co-Founder | The Lotus Project

    Building Small provides the What, Why and How of small scale, incremental development.  An inspiring and educational call-to-action, the 250-page toolkit champions fine grained, evolutionary development as a way to support more resilient local economies, foster more authentic places, heal and grow disinvested neighborhoods, and provide a democratic form of community building that spans age, economic means and the rural to urban transect.  Graphically accessible and organized to serve as a long term reference – Building Small presents an insightful view at what is possible along with the tools needed to make it happen.

    In 2011 colleague Howard Kozloff and I questioned why our industry’s energy, focus, and capital was so directed toward ‘Big’ projects. Given that finer grained and entrepreneurial projects was where our interest lie,  we asked ‘does anyone else feel the same way?’. So with assistance from ULI, we created the first Small Scale Developers Forum in April 2012. Nine years, 300 people and 15 different cities later, we know we aren’t the only ones whose passion lie in Small.

    Small Scale Developer Forum, 2015
    Miami, FL