Member Bzzz Interview: Ben Schulman

Ben Schulman
Small Change
Beacon Member

A lover of cities and baseball, writer of urbanism, and professional communicator, Ben joined BEAHIVE in July 2017.

1-minute read



I’m a(n)…

tinkerer of cities, implementing new ways to finance change and writing about planning and policy.

I’m passionate about…

cities, baseball, broadsheet newspapers.

Briefly describe your work.

I sing the city electric: as a writer, I dig into how policy affects the physical, social, economic and cultural conditions of place — and how the inherent value of urbanism can be unlocked.

Unlocking that value informs the work I do with Small Change, a real estate equity crowdfunding platform that matches investors to developers on transformative real estate projects. We bring the crowd to where banks fear to finance.

What do you love about what you do?

Figuring it out. Instigating new ideas. Connecting with people and places.

How did you start (your work)?

Wandering around city sidewalks wondering why things look the way that they do. [Hint: form follows finance.]

What do you like best about BEAHIVE?

Its camaraderie, the connections, its convenience — the ability to have an office without all the liabilities of having an office. And the tea too.

Where do you see your work going in the next year… five?

In five years, I see Small Change’s financing footprint expanding everywhere, building better cities by catalyzing not only individual real estate projects, but also businesses, and citywide funds that make the community development process inclusive, inviting and accessible. I’ll keep on writing too — perhaps there’s a book in there.

Anything else you want us to know?

Check out The Newburgh Packet, a nonprofit I just incorporated that will seed other projects that document the cultural and historic heft of Newburgh, and beyond. Our first project, “Reframing Renewal,” reckons with the effects of urban renewal in the Hudson Valley.

About Scott Tillitt

I'm the founder of BEAHIVE and Antidote Collective, which does communications and projects for a better world (bio). I'm also a founder and board chair of Re>Think Local, and am involved in various other projects and community engagements focused on making Beacon and the Hudson Valley a more vibrant, sustainable, locally-rooted and human-scale place to live and work. I moved to Beacon from Brooklyn in 2006 and very quickly fell in love with the people, the mountain, the river, the creative energy.
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