About Us

Director and Co-Founder: Phil LaCombe

Phil

Phil in his small street in Baltimore, Maryland

Phil is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a candidate for Master’s degrees in Community Planning and Historic Preservation. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science from Brandeis University. Phil brings advocacy experience from WalkBoston, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving walking conditions in cities and towns across Massachusetts. He currently works for Central Maryland Regional Transit in Laurel, Maryland.

Phil grew up in a quaint small town in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Unfortunately, he lacked a sidewalk in front of his family home until the age of 12 and needed a car to enjoy independence as a young adult. He first came to know small streets from visits with friends and family to the Italian North End neighborhood of Boston. Phil found his life’s calling of urban planning while studying in Copenhagen in 2009. Danish urban design and policy continues to heavily influence his planning philosophy.

Phil lives with his partner on a small street within the Old Goucher College Historic District of Baltimore, Maryland.

Co-Founder: Lou Thomas

Lou

Lou in a small street
in Guanajuato, Mexico

Lou grew up on a wide street in post-WWII rowhouse in the suburbs of Baltimore, and even as a child lamented that there wasn’t more within walking distance. He’s lived car-free in Brooklyn, NY, Portland, OR, Washington DC and now Boston, MA, and has traveled throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Western Europe, Israel/Palestine, and is about to visit Turkey. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in film & electronic media from Bard College, where watching silent-era city symphonies may have sparked his interests in all things urban. Lou holds a masters degree in urban planning from the University of Maryland. He is currently pursuing a PhD in urban planning from MIT, and rather enjoying it, although he believes the most profound lessons are learned through walking.

Lou strongly believes in social equity, and that dense walkable cities and towns have the potential and responsibility to be ideal settings for families of all means.