HIBT Lab! Babcock Ranch: Syd Kitson

What would it take to build America’s first solar-powered town? What about a town that could withstand a direct hit from a hurricane? In the early 2000s, Syd Kitson, a former NFL football player and real estate developer, set out to do both at the same time. The result was a community in southwest Florida called Babcock Ranch.

This week on How I Built This Lab, Guy talks with Syd about how he negotiated the purchase of a 91,000 acre parcel of land, conserved 80% as a nature preserve, and developed the remainder into an innovative planned community. Plus, how advance planning enabled Babcock Ranch to survive Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm in 2022, with minimal damage.

This episode was produced by Chris Maccini and edited by John Isabella, with music by Ramtin Arablouei. Our audio engineer was James Willetts.

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