Ministry of Makeshift
Better cities through civic-minded resourcefulness and a bit of fun.

I am passionate about small-scale business and small-scale city building.

For seven years, I have made my living cultivating those things in places people love. My favourite places are small to mid-sized cities with a great quality of life and a fighting spirit. I work with organizations in the world of urban and economic development to:

Launch Strong

I help new businesses or programs get started with a worthy vision and implementation plan.

Explain Well

I make complex urban issues and technical content approachable and relevant to a general audience.

Toot Horn

If you do great work, I can help you earn more through compelling reporting, analysis, and proposals.

Grow Homeyness

I create and modify spaces that invite neighbourliness. Sit long, talk much, laugh often.


Currently, I work in Canada as the Director of Content & Contribution for the Incremental Development Alliance. I also do some work for this organization as a Management Consultant in the United States. Beyond IncDev, here are some of the things I'm proud of. Thank you to all my collaborators over the years!

IncDev Alliance

The Summer Institute

Strong Towns Videos

Places I Don't Want to Sit

Just for Fun

Welcome Home Vision

Vote Mobs

Just for Fun


Where I'm coming from

  • Polar Bear

    First, I loved this place

    I came of age learning that a lot of the things I love most about this world were under serious threat. This rotten news put a fire in my belly. I rallied and organized and in general put forth my best effort to be a good citizen.

  • Graduation

    How to move forward?

    I was really stumped about how I could turn all my worries and enthusiasm into something productive. I thoroughly loved business and even co-founded a fun one in 2011 with Next Canada. But it was hard to square that passion with my growing obsession over urban planning and local economies. So I did what a lot of people do and went back to school, this time to beautiful Cambridge where I earned my MPhil in Planning, Growth, and Regeneration.

  • Lemonade

    Making lemonade

    After grad school, I decided to move to a small city in Canada's Maritimes for a few years, partly for love and partly because I believe it's places like Fredericton that hold the secrets to making lemonade as this world becomes more precarious. I dove right in and learned as much as I could through observation and being a good neighbour. Writing about that process introduced me to city builders across North America who I'm now lucky to call my colleagues.

  • Cafe Scene

    Finding my tribe

    No matter which client I was working with or which mainstreet I found myself walking down, three things kept emerging from my work: small business, small buildings, and small interventions to improve the city. In 2015, I teamed up with some people who really valued this about me, helping grow the Incremental Development Alliance where I continue to serve as Director of Content & Contribution.

  • Herring

    Bonus! Sardine Queen

    By now, you can probably see that I like to find opportunity in unconventional places. Well, one of those places was a sardine cannery! If you're interested in that story, check out my other business.


If you would like to work with me or the Incremental Development Alliance in Canada, please start that conversation below.