123 – Using Philosophy to Build Better Communities with Vince Graham

Vince Graham is President of I’on Group, a South Carolina-based property developer. He is a deep thinker, who puts philosophy to work by creating communities instead of writing books and papers.

The communities he builds take inspiration from historical areas of cities like the old city of Charleston and combine the emergent wisdom of these century old communities with the best of modern advances when building homes and neighborhoods.

Vince has an incredible depth of knowledge on the history of the development of cities, so we talk deeply about the 20th century in America and how things like the development of the car, zoning rules, and government funded highways have changed our cities. His background in development gives him a unique ability to concisely explain the feelings of unease and annoyance you have likely felt driving, walking, or biking around the suburbs and downtown of most American cities.

We also discuss some of the governing rules of communities, how things like the width of roads can naturally make cars go faster or slower and the street’s safer and more available to users, where the idea of jay walking comes from and much more.

In This Episode:

  • Vince’s intellectual influences and background in real estate development
  • What makes a community livable?
  • Where did things go wrong with transportation infrastructure?
  • The history of government involvement in infrastructure
  • The resurgence of mixed use development
  • The Infrastructure Industrial Complex
  • What if other industries hand rules like land use rules?


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