Founding Partner at Direct Invest Development
As a principal at Direct Invest, Carlton Brown is focused on developing strategies to bring capital markets to disinvested communities to invest in the development of sustainable restorative human settlements. Mr Brown sees investment in sustainable human settlement as the most important strategy for stemming climate change, adapting to climate change, and creating resilient and equitable communities. This strategy of sustainable restorative development addresses human, social, economic and cultural capital investments while preserving environmental resources for future generations and returning a market rate of return for investors. Where many believe these are contradictory objectives, Mr. Brown’s work has continuously pointed the way forward. Before there was a US Green Building Council with a focus on green housing, Carlton was exploring these strategies in the development of low carbon footprint affordable housing in economically devastated communities of Brooklyn NY and developing mixed income condominiums in Harlem that were heated and cooled by geothermal extraction and injection. This triple bottom line approach has continued to demonstrate that you can do good while doing well.
Carlton is spearheading Direct Investment’s initiative in helping community-based organizations mine value from their under-utilized real estate assets via sustainable development strategies. He is leading work in Restoring the Birmingham Civil Right National Monument; Restoring the Ensley Community in Birmingham; Restoring West Side Communities in Atlanta and the Winterveldt Community in South Africa. The deployment of cost-effective sustainable development practices contributes to bringing value to all markets in which the firm is working. Mr. Brown is leading DI’s development of a new generation of 1.5o C Buildings that are adapted to climate conditions projected in the IPCC Fifth Assessment. While addressing Climate, the buildings will provide the “opportunity structure ecosystem” required to restore human community in disinvested neighborhoods.
Mr. Brown has had a long-term focus for much of his career on developing strategies for creating sustainable restorative human settlement which heal the physical and the human fabric of communities. He has been leading Direct Invest in its explorations of strategies to develop “closed loop” triple bottom line developments in the “developed northern hemisphere” and in rural sub-Sharan Africa. The closed loop developments Direct Invest pursues address strategies for adapting to climate change, reducing climate impacts from human settlement, and creating communities in which all people can be self-actualized and share equitably in economic benefits.