Steven Sharp - Urbanize Chief Editor & Cofounder

Steven is the Chief Editor & CoFounder of Urbanize a passion project turned media empire focused on urban development.

Transcribed from the Giraffe Creator Summit - January 17th, 2023

Steven Sharp: good afternoon, and for at least on my end. Good morning, I think, for for a lot of you guys. Like Rob, said I'm Steven. I'm. So I you know, editor of the La site we launched in 2015 kind of covering real estate development and urban planning with a real hyper local focus.

And in the last couple of years we've been in a little bit of a growth spirt, as you can see, kind of highlighted, and on the page there we've added sites in covering Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Detroit, at New York and Seattle.

You know too, I guess I would describe this kind of as something that started as a passion project for me And you know one of my business partners kind of just had a shared interest in all of the you know, new developments and urban planning, and we thought it would be helpful to have kind of a news repository for all of the things. You know. News all the news about the new buildings going up, new rail lines being built, and all the kind of wonky policies that you know, inform that. And you know the people who like to nerd out about the stuff such as myself have been a really key component of this audience that we built over the years.

And it still is. But you know, as this is kind of grown, we've learned gradually that there is another court constituency we have, which is all the people who kind of touch on these projects, whether they be in the Government sector, you know, elected officials who approve them, or, you know, planning staff, but also developers and something they Andrew was talking about earlier was all the consultants, you know lawyers, architects, engineers, you know general contractors.

They all kind of have an an interest in this subject matter. So when it kind of came time a couple of years ago. We finally wanted to get some things that we've always thought about off the you know, up and running, which is this projects Tab. You might see the If you go up to the top you can see it there. We've we've always wanted a way to better visualize, You know all this stuff that we talk about.

It's you know that it's one thing to see it in words, but it's just another thing. And now you can see it here just to see how it looks mapped out like this.

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And to credit Giraffe. I mean, this is. It was just I mean, you can. You guys have been watching the same thing that I have it's this tool is incredibly powerful.

There's really nothing else out there like it.

And so when we saw this like, okay, we got a You know this is a very fruitful partnership here and it, but it also it appeals to both of those 2 segments of the audience that we reference, you know, for for the enthusiasts like, there is nothing quite like being able to look at. You know this project a project like this. You know that you see the stepped skyscraper there, and see what it looks like in the context of everything else that's around it, Everything else that's going to be around it. It's like a a way to look 5, 10 years in the future. It's there's nothing that makes you happier to see that if you're someone who nerds out about development in La or Atlanta or Chicago.

But it also really has a lot of applicability to the professional audience, too. You know I've there's a fellow I know who does Bis Dev for a big architecture firm here in Southern California and you know he was. He. He told me that you know urbanize is his Bible, and that might be a little bit blasphemous. But it it's. I realize that people use this. Maybe its time to start to think about how people use this.

And seeing this stuff visualize in this way kind of informs that if you, if you're you know you have an apartment building going up, you know, in in downtown Los Angeles, and you want to see. You know. Where is a competing project? You know. How. How is that proceeding through the entitlement pipeline? Where are they in construction? It's a lot easier to just be able to pull that up on a map Feature such as this.

Or, you know, if you're a land use consultant just trying to figure out, you know, putting together an eir to give legal cover to your client. You need to know. You need to know really what's happening all around you.

And this data is all out there. You know, a lot of this is publicly available information but it's never really been packaged together, I think, just in a way that's so intuitive and comprehensive. I mean just we. We have just like such a tiny fraction of like the capabilities that I've seen in this presentation enabled on our site, and we, the feedback, has really been incredible. It's. You know, we we still have to build out a lot of our own data to get this, you know, built out, and even more fleshed out.

But the feedback is that you know this, is it? It's something that people have desperately wanted, both for the folks who just love looking at tall buildings, but also the folks, who, you know, live and breath this, and it puts, you know, food on their tables.

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