Jim Heid

Founder @ The Initiative to Make Small Big

Jim is an infill developer and sustainable development advisor based in Sonoma County, California. Known for his aspirational but practical approach, he works with a range of tools and best practices to communicate the value of inspired design and sustainability within the realities of local market norms. With over forty years’ experience as an urban designer, land planner, sustainability strategist and now infill developer, he brings a broad range of perspectives and skills to the discussion about how communities grow. Trained as a landscape architect, he received a master’s in real estate development from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as way to more effectively integrate economics, development and design thinking. An active member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Jim was at the forefront of defining the tenets of sustainable community design, serving as co-instructor for ULI’s pioneering program in Sustainable Community Design.  Drawing on his own experience and the work of others seen during these tours, he authored Building Small: A Toolkit for Real Estate Entrepreneurs, Civic Leaders and Great Communities.  Published in April by ULI, the book has quickly gained a national following from all professions engaged in shaping the built environment.