About

Hello, I’m Kristen Jeffers.

I write about place.

I love great places.

I am Black.

I am Urban.

I am an Urbanist.

My (late) dad was a key influence in me being interested in the city. We used to bike around our working-class neighborhood, walk to the neighborhood ballpark and go downtown to all the festivals. He also took me to more school buildings than I would care to share. My mom taught in some of those school buildings and encouraged me to write my first books, make my first crafts, dance on beat and have a moral center. Between the two of them and my years in Greensboro, Raleigh, Durham, Kansas City, Washington, D.C.  and Baltimore, I grew up and into a love of architecture, streets, trees, buses, trains and lots of other things in the environment. Now I bring this to you in a format that is straightforward about who I am, a black urbanist, a young woman of African-American descent who likes all things built environment, especially when it comes to cities.

What this blog/my work is NOT:

  • A hip-hop blog. It’s time we stopped equating urban culture with black culture. While black culture is a part of urban culture, it’s not the whole picture. However, there will be the occasional hip-hop song because I like music.
  • A complete slam of suburban and rural living. I’m all for better design, communities, and planning, no matter if you are highly dense (urban) or you are unincorporated (rural).
  • The only opinion from a person of color (or any person) on these issues.

What this blog/my work IS:

  • A chance to present all these issues above and highlight folks of color engaged in all these areas.
  • A chance for me to frame my ideas on the issues within my own cultural background.
  • A learning experience.
  • A chance to change the world.

My Formal Bio

Kristen E. Jeffers is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Black Urbanist, 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.
She has presented at the annual Congress for New Urbanism on civic pride, cultural diversity, and the power of grassroots in communities.  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! WeeklyGrist, Next City, Better! Towns and Cities, Triad City Beat,  Urban Escapee and Urbanful.

Get my weekly diary of urban living and things you should check out: Or email me directly: Email

How to follow me: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Portfolio: My Design and Writing Resume and Writing Samples 

My work at a glance.

Support me on Patreon

My podcast with Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman: Third Wave Urbanism

And My Solo Show

Must Read Posts

You can always read them here or you can order my book and get a few of them condensed, plus more on the influence both parents have had on this project. You can also see my latest posts here or on Medium.

The Continuous Quest to Mentally Cope With Modern Civic Life as a Young Black Woman Professional

How Do You Define Your City? And Does Your City Define Itself in the Same Way?

Building on Theories and Practice of Black Urbanism in Our New World

Questions to Ask (and Traps to Avoid) When Considering a Career in Placemaking

The Quest for a Forever Home in an Era of Mass Gentrification

Place in A Time of Terror and Inequality

Why Road Gentrification Is Good Gentrification

Putting Place and Experience Back Into Retail

Why We May Never Have the Right Words for the Places We Live

Things that Should Never Be in Driving Distance

Whose Suburbs are We Talking About Again?

Can We Let the People Gentrify Themselves?

The Privilege of Urbanism, The Democracy of Placemaking 

Everything I Learned About Place, I Learned on Campus

The Common Man’s Legacy in A City

Coming Back to the Streets, Coming Back to Action

The American Expat, In America

Does it Matter Who Owns the Corner Store?

The Creative Class: Off the Record and On The Money

Reconciling Education Reform and New Urbanism 

Are There Really No Things to Do for Young Black Professionals in North Carolina

My Social Media at A Glance