Ingrid begins each interview by asking,

"What does the private side of public work mean to you?"

Here are some of the responses:


"When we talk about public work writ large, we are usually talking about the things that are altruistic beyond ourselves.  But contemplating the private side allows us to talk and think about our own personal desires, interests and tastes.  When we interject some of ourselves - our spirit, ideas, and emotions - into the public realm, we make for better, more interesting public projects."

Peter Kageyama
For the Love of Cities

Everyone has a story. I try to remember that the people I work with in communities have histories and that these histories influence the very work that I do within the city. Everyone brings their own experiences from the neighborhoods they live in and just their life-walk. ”

Tamika Gauvin
Urban Planner & Founder & CEO of Looen Teas

"The first thing that comes to mind are public-private partnerships. The public's business - civic business - is often done through collaboration and partnerships between government and private entities.  Today, a whole host of things ranging from community development through to major infrastructure projects are funded through public-private partnerships."

Aaron Renn
Urbanophile + The Manhattan Institute

"The phrase Side of Public Work makes me think of all the background that goes on behind producing a finished scientific product that the public sees. In particular…I think about how public perception may be very different to the reality of what I actually do as a scientist.”

Katherine Meacham
RIPE Project

"As somebody that has been in both the public and the private sector, I can relate two different points of view. The first has to do with applying business concepts from the standpoint of local public agencies. The second has to do with integrating the interests of the public and the community into the private sector, from the standpoint of a private practice. As an urban planner and an environmental planner, the latter is always a key element to my overall practice."

Brian Mooney
Rick Engineering

"I speaks to motivation.  It's about what motivates us to do what we do and our public work."

Matt Crozier
Founder and CEO of Bang the Table

"The phrase Private Side of Public Work really resonates with our observations in the industry of community and neighborhood development. With planning so much focus is necessarily on the long term and big picture. And, within that there's an emphasis the public supply cycle - building roads the parks. Our work resonates with the private side in that we are focused on the messy behavior patterns of humans. We look at the nonconformist entrepreneurial side of things that doesn’t necessarily align with where that big long term plan is going. We call that demand side planning. We are trying to take advantage of that demand side - the private side - the many actors that make a place special and unique. That is what drove the creation of the Neighborhood Playbook."

Joe Nickol & Kevin Wright
The Neighborhood Playbook

"I'm a private consultant, but I have the opportunity to work on a lot of public ventures with public clients. We at Cooper Carry bring the depth the knowledge that comes from understanding private development - how design works, how you get a building built, how streetscapes happen. And we bring that knowledge to municipalities. Together, we make sure that everything we do, we do for the common good of the public. So, to me, the phrase Private Side of Public Work means the marriage of both worlds. It's how you understand balancing the need for a return on investment with the need of benefiting the community.”

Nicolia Robinson
Cooper Carry

"Real estate developers and private planning consultants are building new spaces that realize the impact and growth potential of public plans. So, this phrase is pretty near and dear to me because the majority of our customers at CoUrbanize are actually doing the private side of public work. They're implementing final products of the public plans."

Karin Brandt
Founder of CoUrbanize