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  • Writer's pictureJames Brackenhoff

The First Forty

The first forty feet up the building and the first forty feet out into the right-of-way is the most impactful and influential area of our built environment. Our company’s name represents our canvas on which we work tirelessly to improve.

It’s an intentional battle cry, a call to action to pay more design attention to the most important spaces in our cities; this is our common ground from where we share experiences, gather, socialize, say hi to neighbors, commute, travel, recreate, and explore.

Our mantra – ‘A better city exists’ is a criticism and a reflection on how much better a city can be when we set opportunities free.

Our firm was built because we were seeing placemaking opportunities wasted and value in our city lost. Urban districts, civic centers, neighborhoods across the country are slowly deteriorating from architectural projects that do not recognize the ‘work in progress’ that is happening before their eyes. All too often, without even realizing it, buildings will interrupt the successful cadence of a once-great street or unintentionally disrupt the character of a civic center. These works do not consider the power and far-reaching influences that one building can have on communities.

We know a ‘better city exists’ when urban buildings work in concert with others to remedy inequalities.

A better city exists when we remove barriers and participate in the legible of a city

A better city exists when our built environment reflects community aspirations and advance strategic plans adopted by the city.


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