Joel Kotkin, Internationally-Known Urban Development Expert to Speak May 6 at Pavilion



Joel Kotkin, Internationally-Known Urban Development Expert to Speak May 6 at Pavilion

At an unprecedented open event on Friday, May 6, the last day of class before exam week, internationally known urban development expert Joel Kotkin will speak. The event is aimed at inspiring students and educating the community.

Organized by the Ole Miss Real Estate School Alumni Board, it is the first-ever event that brings together the Business School, Ole Miss Athletics and the Meek School of Journalism & New Media as sponsors.

Blake Tartt, III, a real estate developer in Houston and Oxford, and owner of PureRyde, is the president of the Real Estate Alumni Board.

Said Tartt, “One of the ongoing conversations around Oxford has been the expansion of infrastructure and economic development in light of rapid population growth. Joel brings knowledge that will inspire and teach our students while also benefitting leaders in our community.”

Joel Kotkin is an internationally recognized author and professional in the global, economic, political and social trends of urban development. He studies patterns, why people are moving, and where they are moving.

Kotkin has published seven books and numerous reports on various topics around the world. He has led conversations on development and demography in various countries, including the United States, Israel, Brazil and Canada. His main focus currently is in studying urbanism in Texas and elsewhere to conceptualize industrialization and its future impact on diverse regions.

“I feel like there is negative talk about growth in Oxford, but the growth is not going to stop. One of the hottest trends in America today is adults moving from an urban environment to small towns like Oxford,” said Tartt.  “Knowledge is power, and we want to help direct the issues in Oxford in a positive way. The Real Estate Alumni Board’s goal is for this speaker to help educate and inspire everyone on the development process.”

The Real Estate Alumni board along with Athletics and the Meek School are promoting the event to their various constituencies. City and county officials including the Mayor of Oxford, Board of Alderman, Board of Supervisors, planning commission members and the planning department are all invited.

“The Board came up with this idea during its fall meeting in October as a way to give back in a relevant and meaningful way. Then, Athletics and the Meek School joined in. But students in all disciplines are invited,” Tartt said.

Regional sponsors have stepped up to help make the free event a success. The groups are hoping for a large turnout and plan to bring in different speakers each spring.

“I love Oxford and Ole Miss so much and would like to see this event have a positive impact on the community regarding development,” Tartt said. “The Real Estate Alumni Board feels this is an ideal way to start.”

NOTE: Ole Miss students, faculty, staff and the general public of Oxford are welcome to attend the free event. It will be held at the Pavilion at Ole Miss on May 6th at 11:30 A.M. Chancellor Vitter will be addressing the audience for opening remarks.

For more information about the speaker, visit


Samantha Mitchell is a staff writer for She can be reached at

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