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John Knott, Jr
Founder & CEO, CityCraft® Ventures, LLC
Executives in Residence, Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management
John Knott

Biography at a Glance

John Knott is an internationally recognized leader in urban regeneration and sustainability. He is the creator of the CityCraft process, which restores the economic, environmental and social health of cities. Mr. Knott is a recognized thought leader and keynote speaker on sustainable community development and regenerative economies.

A third generation builder/developer, Mr. Knott has over 45 years of experience in urban regeneration. His award-winning projects include work at: the Baltimore Inner Harbor, urban areas in Baltimore and Washington DC; the University of Texas Health Science Center in the Houston Medical Center; Dewees Island in South Carolina; and the Noisette Community of North Charleston in South Carolina.

Through innovations, such as cross sector integration strategies, at both Dewees and Noisette, Mr. Knott has been recognized as an influential leader in molding the nation’s sustainable development movement. In 2001, the non-profit Urban Land Institute (ULI) of Washington, DC honored Dewees Island with the Award for Excellence. In July 2005, the American Society of Landscape Architects selected the Noisette Community Master Plan for its 2005 Professional Award of Excellence, the organization’s highest honor. The City of North Charleston was the 2009 recipient of The Home Depot Foundation award as the leading sustainable city (under 100,000) in the United States centered on the partnership with The Noisette Company and the Sustainability Institute (a non-profit founded by John in 1999).

Mr. Knott has advised the White House and the Department of Homeland Security on energy security and sustainability. He has served as an advisor to HUD, DOE, EPA and the National Park Service throughout his career, as well as serving as an advisor to major corporations, state and national governments and cities throughout the United States and Canada as well as in China and Russia. Mr. Knott served as Chair of one of six (6) technical White House exchanges with the Soviet Union from 1986-1988 focused on Historic Preservation and City Redevelopment.

Mr. Knott has been the recipient of numerous personal honors Award. In 2002 Professional Builder magazine, Mr. Knott was named as one of the nation’s “Thought Leaders” for the building industry. In 2004,Mr. Knott was named as one of the nation’s “Environmental Champions by Interiors & Sources magazine, joining such high-profile figures as scientist E.O. Wilson of Harvard University, and Ray Anderson, Chairman of Interface, Inc., of Atlanta, Georgia. In January 2006, Metropolis magazine named Knott as one of the world’s leading design visionaries along with Jonathan Ive, the head of design for Apple, Jaime Lerner, Architect / Mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, and David Burney, Director of Design and Construction in New York City.

Since 1994, Mr. Knott has served in numerous national leadership roles for The Urban Land Institute including launching the Sustainable Development Council, Responsible Property Investment Council, serving as founding Chairman of the ULI District Council for South Carolina (2004-2008), four years as a member of the District Council Advisors to the ULI Trustees, and on numerous international and national ULI Panel Advisory teams developing sustainable strategies for regional and municipal governments to solve some of their most challenging issues.

From 2002- 2007, Knott served as chairman of the US Working Group for Urban-Suburban Indicators in compiling the landmark Heinz Center report, The State of the Nation’s Ecosystems, and from 2007 as Vice Chairman for the Nations Ecosystems Indicators. He is also a Trustee of the Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation, and a board long term board member of the SC Sea Grant Consortium.