Cultivating Strong Towns

Meet the Cultivators


Kevin Shepherd

PE, ENV-SP

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Matt Lewis headshot.png

Matt Lewis

CNU-A

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Amanda headshot.png

Amanda Popken

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Jordan Clark

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A word from co-founder Kevin Shepherd

For the majority of our careers, Matt, Amanda, Jordan, and I have been nudging cities and developers toward a more responsible, sustainable, and inclusive model of community building. Our work overlapped in some important ways, perhaps most importantly in our shared vision, purpose, and passions. We all want to make the world and our communities better for ourselves, our kids and future generations. It sounds cheesy and cliché, but when I think about the world my twelve-year-old daughter and almost three-year-old son will be living in twenty or thirty years from now, it scares the crap out of me. We can make a difference, but the urgency level needs to ramp up big-time.

Recently, we were talking about ways to collaborate on projects and the need to help communities connect the work of Strong Towns, the Incremental Development Alliance and neighborhood-led tactical projects kept coming up. The number of city leaders, staff, developers and citizens who are interested and ready to make their community a Strong Town is growing, but many of them need some guidance in overcoming the hurdles associated with breaking away from business as usual. We decided to form the Cultivate Collaborative to fill this gap and help this group.

We’ll be tapping into our combination of experience from the public and private sectors as well as across the spectrum of planning, engineering, finance and development to facilitate discussions with elected officials, city managers and finance directors, planning and engineering staff, developers, economic development folks, educators and strong citizens.