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Inspiring People: Kaid Benfield

I’m breaking my inspiring person rules today, to highlight someone I’ve only met virtually. Yet, when I read their writing, I feel like I already know them. Plus, pretty soon, I plan to fix the fact that we only know each other through our blogs. That person would be Kaid Benfield, currently in transition from the NRDC to Placemakers.

This is Inspiring People and it’s what I do on Sundays here on The Black Urbanist to highlight people in the urbanism/local government/planning/placemaking/add your adjective here space to highlight how they inspire me as a person also in this space. I’m also dropping a book next Monday. A Black Urbanist-Essays Vol. 1 is my first stab at putting these thoughts on literal paper. I’ll be launching an e-edition via a site called Gumroad on December 1, which will present it as a PDF. Look for a print and mainstream e-book edition in the future. Either way, it’s a great way to support what I’m doing here at The Black Urbanist. Check it out here.

In 2009, I was just another blogger who occasionally wrote about smart growth issues. This blog hadn’t quite been thought up yet. Yet, there were a small minority of folks who I followed and occasionally heard feedback from. Kaid’s one of those people. Another reason I find him admirable is that one, he’s a fellow North Carolinian and two he’s a lawyer. Not a planner, architect, government official or anyone else you’d expect to be as well written on placemaking as Kaid is. Plus I’m including this excerpt that I’ve bracketed from his recent book People Habitat. I think it speaks for itself as to why I find him inspiring.


I invite you to take a look at his blogs, pick up his book (and mine too) and take a dive into someone who I can’t wait to have coffee with and discuss learning from our home state what it means to love the place you are born and the environment where you live.

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