Main Conference Speaker Presentations and Video

2016 Main Conference Presentations


 

Rob Bennett, CEO, EcoDistricts

PRESENTATION: WELCOME — DISRUPTING URBAN REGENERATION FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD UP
watch-video

Divider Line


 

Ryan Gravel
Author, "Where We Want to Live"

PRESENTATION: WHERE WE WANT TO LIVE

Ryan Gravel is an urban planner, designer, and author working on infrastructure, concept development, and policy as the founder of Sixpitch. His master’s thesis launched the Atlanta Beltline, which through fifteen years of progress, is now changing both the physical form of his city and the decisions people make about living there. 

get-slide-deck
watch-video

 

Divider Line


 

Session: Catalytic Placemaking That Changes Cities

Denver is undergoing a massive urban transformation, drawing in a new generation of residents with new demands and a desire to live in the heart of the city. In this main stage panel discussion, a full panel of experts explored Denver’s catalytic neighborhood-scale placemaking projects. We discussed the impact these projects are having on the city and region as a whole, namely in re-imagining how Denver defines livability, thoughtfully addressing the equity gap, minimizing urban sprawl, attracting and keeping residents and local businesses, and returning vibrancy to the Mile High City's urban core.

watch-video

Bill Carson, Session Moderator

VICE PRESIDENT, COMMUNITY IMPACT STRATEGY, INFUSE™ GROUP, US BANCORP CDC
 

 

Chris Frampton

MANAGING PARTNER, EAST WEST PARTNERS

Ryan Gravel

AUTHOR, "WHERE WE WANTO TO LIVE"

Susan Powers

PRESIDENT, URBAN VENTURES LLC
 

 

Kyle Zeppelin

PRINCIPAL, ZEPPELIN DEVELOPMENT

Divider Line


 

Julian Agyeman, PhD
Professor, Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning, Tufts University

PRESENTATION: THE INTERCONNECTED NEIGHBORHOOD

Julian Agyeman is an EcoDistricts board member, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University, Medford, MA and co-author of Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities. He was co-founder and now Editor-in-Chief of Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability.

get-slide-deck
watch-video

Divider Line


 

Session: The Interconnected Neighborhood

Over the past 10 years, Denver has reimagined its future as a dynamic, interconnected metro region – with transit and multi-modal connectivity forming the backbone of a multi-jurisdictional investment strategy. The result is a blueprint that supports dense and vibrant neighborhood development and a regional affordable housing strategy that integrates jobs and transportation access. At the same time, a new generation of “last mile” mobility solutions are emerging – utterly transforming the local urban landscape. We spoke with the leaders of this extraordinary mobility revolution and how it is impacting Denver and cities throughout the world.

watch-video

Dace West, Moderator

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MILE HIGH CONNECTS

 

Tony Pickett

VP, MASTER SITE DEVELOPMENT, URBAN LAND CONSERVANCY 

Aylene McCallum

DIRECTOR, DOWNTOWN ENVIRONMENT, DOWNTOWN DENVER PARTNERSHIP

Nicole Dalmy

GENERAL MANAGER, DENVER REGION, ZIPCAR 

Jeff Risom

US MANAGING DIRECTOR, GEHL INSTITUTE 

Divider Line


 

Rohit Malhotra
Founder and Executive Director, Center For Civic Innovation

PRESENTATION: REBUILDING TRUST BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND COMMUNITY

Rohit Malhotra is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Civic Innovation in Atlanta. He served as an Ash Innovation Fellow in the White House Office of Management and Budget, focused on social impact bonds. He is the youngest serving member of the Board of Directors of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce in recent history.

get-slide-deck
watch-video

Divider Line


 

Gülgün Kayim
Director, Arts, Culture & Creative Economy

SESSION: THE CIVIC INNOVATION REVOLUTION

Gülgün Kayim, joined the City of Minneapolis August 2011 as the Director of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. Previously she was the Assistant Director of the Bush Foundation’s Artist Fellowship Program and the University of Minnesota’s Public Art on Campus Coordinator. She has consulted extensively on site-specific performance, public art and artist professional development.

get-slide-deck

watch-video

Divider Line


 

Glenn Harris
President, Center for Social Inclusion

PRESENTATION: RACIAL EQUITY IS GOOD GOVERNMENT

Glenn Harris has been working on issues of race and social justice for over twenty years. He has worked with community groups, foundations, and government agencies dedicated to building a more democratic, and racially equitable society. Glenn is the President of the Center for Social Inclusion, which works to eliminate structural barriers to opportunity for communities of color.

get-slide-deck

watch-video

Divider Line


 

Michelle Eichinger
President, Planning4Health Solutions

KEYNOTE: DNA OF A HEALTHY NEIGHBORHOOD

Michelle Eichinger is President of Planning4Health Solutions, a health and planning consulting firm aimed to integrate health in planning and policy and develop strategies to improve health though equitable solutions. With over 10 years experience addressing health impact in the built environment, Michelle has been a pioneer in assessing health outcomes in planning, design and policies.

get-slide-deck

watch-video

Divider Line


 

Session: The DNA of a Healthy Neighborhood

Increasingly we are learning how our buildings and neighborhoods are contributing to sickness and chronic disease. The green and “well’ building movement has demonstrated that healthy buildings result in fewer sick days and improved productivity for residents, workers, and schoolchildren alike. Wellness, however, is more the building; it includes how our communities are designed to support healthy lifestyles. From access to healthy food to transportation choices, our neighborhood design has serious consequences for health and opportunity. We explored how the intersection of professions – architects, planners, community advocates, developers, technology providers, and health professionals – are working in neighborhoods to design solutions that lead to better health outcomes and overall quality of life.

watch-video

Tamara Jones

PRESIDENT, EVIDENT IMPACT, LLC 

Nathan Stodola

VICE PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL WELL BUILDING INSTITUTE 

Ismael Guerrero

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DENVER HOUSING AUTHORITY 

Michelle Eichinger

PRESIDENT, PLANNING4HEALTH SOLUTIONS 

Katie Swenson

VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL DESIGN INITIATIVES, ENTERPRISE COMMUNITY PARTNERS 

Divider Line


 

Michelle Moore
CEO, Groundswell

KEYNOTE: BUILDING COMMUNITY POWER

Michelle Moore is CEO of Groundswell, a nonprofit that builds community power to connect low and moderate income communities with affordable clean energy through place-based programs in equitable community solar and energy efficiency. A social entrepreneur and former White House official with roots in rural Georgia, Michelle is a relentless agent for change.

get-slide-deck

watch-video

Divider Line


 

Session: Mile High ZED

Since publication of its original Climate Action Plan in 2007, Denver has continued to lead in municipal climate planning and the prioritization of clean energy and green infrastructure development. With the 2013 release of its 2020 Sustainability Goals and 2015 Climate Action Plan, Denver is embracing a larger ambition. A panel of ecological design, energy and climate protection leaders talked about the role of “net zero” neighborhoods and districts in elevating a city’s resiliency and deep green agenda.

watch-video

Michelle Moore

CEO, GROUNDSWELL

Keith Bowers

PRESIDENT, BIOHABITATS

Dr. Chuck Kutscher

DIRECTOR, BUILDINGS & THERMAL SYSTEMS CENTER, NATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY LABORATORY 

George Karayannis

VICE PRESIDENT, CITYNOW TEAM, PANASONIC USA 

David Driskell

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PLANNING, HOUSING AND SUSTAINABILITY, CITY OF BOULDER 

Divider Line


 

Studio Sessions

Session: Right to Root Recipe: Overcoming the Push/Pull Factors of Displacement Through Equitable Development

Through case studies and small group discussions, speakers provided participants with some tools and strategies for how to address the push/pull factors of displacement and gentrification in their own neighborhoods. Through a Community of Practice facilitation model, participants had an opportunity to workshop the unique displacement pressures impacting their own communities and left with clear next steps as to what they could do to master truly equitable development for all. 

*Slide deck not available

Cat Goughnour

FOUNDER & LEAD EQUITY CONSULTANT, RADIX CONSULTING GROUP, LLC 

Nwamaka Agbo

NEXT ECONOMY INNOVATION FELLOW, MOVEMENT STRATEGY 

Antwi Akom

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY/ EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, I-SEEED

Kalima Rose

SENIOR DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE EQUITY, POLICYLINK 

Session: Taking the High Road: A New Approach to Integrating Social Values

When it comes to infrastructure, the status quo is limiting our potential to invest with our communities’ futures in mind. This session explored the High Road Infrastructure Project’s focus on a community’s ability to provide electricity, waste, stormwater and transportation services while creating valuable benefits and opportunities for the people that live there. The panel provided High Road examples that generate new ways to fund, finance and deliver community wide projects. Breakouts allowed participants to immediately apply these principles to EcoDistrict projects.

get-slide-deck

Douglass Sims

DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY + FINANCE, CENTER FOR MARKET INNOVATION, NRDC 

Catherine Cox Blair

SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR, URBAN SOLUTIONS, NRDC 

 

Joseph Danko

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE URBAN ENVIRONMENTS & SPORTS GROUP, CH2M 

 

Scott Hergenrader

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, I3 INTEGRATION

 

Judy Dorsey

PRESIDENT AND PRINCIPAL ENGINEER, BRENDLE GROUP 

Session: Beyond TIF: A Finance Model for the Phoenix Gateway and Beyond

As traditional sources for infrastructure finance shrink up, would-be EcoDistrict project sponsors are hard pressed to secure financing up-front. For the Reinvent Phoenix project, a method of meeting these costs through pre-development financing using an off-balance-sheet mechanism makes such upfront financing feasible. This method of financing and governing in a mixed use, high density transit oriented district was shared with audience engagement to highlight its potential applicability to EcoDistrict projects across the country

get-slide-deck

Hazel Borys

PRINCIPAL, PLACEMAKERS, LLC 

Scott Bernstein

PRESIDENT & CO-FOUNDER, CENTER FOR NEIGHBORHOOD TECHNOLOGY (CNT) 

Curt Upton

CITY PLANNER, CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER 

Session: Bottom Up Community Activation for District-Scale Success

EcoDistrict planning is most successful when project teams focus on not just the technology that allows the community to reduce their environmental impact (the “hardware” of a community), but also on building community capacity to increase the community’s long term ability to shape their own environment (the “software” of a community). In this presentation, presenters demonstrated how community empowerment and placemaking are mutually beneficial and how project teams can meaningfully contribute to resilient and equitable EcoDistricts - in distressed communities or any community. Attendees participated in exercises that demonstrate that the race is really the prize.

get-slide-deck

Anna Rosenblum

PROJECT MANAGER, EVOLVEEA 

Christine Mondor

STRATEGIC PRINCIPAL, EVOLVEEA / PROFESSOR, CARNEGIE MELLON UNVERSITY 

Zaheen Hussain

SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTOR, BOROUGH OF MILLVALE 

Session: Resilience Planning at the District Scale

This session introduced a staged process for preparing a resilience element in community, redevelopment and/or local economic development plans. The approach focuses on all risks to achieving the targeted benefits, functions, and performance of the district. Stakeholders work together to prepare a risk management plan that includes risk hotspot prioritization, mitigation measures, insurance innovation, resilience upgrading, and performance management. Cases from New York, Santa Monica and Toronto, Canada were presented. Table exercises were used to explore the approach. 

get-slide-deck

Jeb Brugmann

MANAGING PARTNER, THE NEXT PRACTICE 

Saharnaz Mirzazad

CITY RESILIENCY SPECIALIST, ICLEI USA 

Session: Leading Energy System Transformations in the Mile High City and Beyond

Cities and development teams are working to figure out how to successfully transition to sustainable, zero emission buildings, districts and cities. This session brought together members of both development teams and cities to share how they are tackling this challenge and engage audience members in a discussion on how to better collaborate and affect the change needed to accelerate the transition to zero emissions. First, participants from the Mile High Zero Energy/Emissions District (ZED) provided an overview of four projects and the approach to collaboration they are using to enhance each project's individual efforts and overcome policy barriers. Then, participants heard from members of a team working to develop a guide supported by the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance focused on decarbonizing cities’ energy systems.

get-slide-deck

Jocelyn Hittle

DIRECTOR, DENVER PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT, COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY 

Shanti Pless

SENIOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY RESEARCH ENGINEER, NREL
Greg Fisher

Greg Fisher

MANAGER, DEMAND PLANNING, DENVER WATER 

Brett KenCairn

SENIOR ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE PLANNER, CITY OF BOULDER

Maxwell Sykes

PLANNER, INTEGRAL GROUP • @

Session: Healthy Communities Designed

There is a long history of the powerful and direct relationship between the design of cities and public health, and it has become more significant as the world becomes more urbanized with people continuing to locate to cities. This session shared explicit real-world examples how policies and urban design solutions are applied in neighborhoods to achieve healthy communities in the areas of better physical environmental, economic opportunities, and social outcomes.

get-slide-deck

Neil Sullivan

SENIOR PLANNER, GENSLER

Matt Raimi

PRINCIPAL, RAIMI+ASSOCIATES 

Claudia Carol

SENIOR ASSOCIATE, GENSLER

Evelyn Kasongo

WARD 8 NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNER, DC OFFICE OF PLANNING

Session: Smart Districts Powering Sustainable Cities

Integrated data and information communication technology is starting to become a critical backbone to sustainable city-making and management. Our ability to gather and analyze data and create interconnected information platforms for the purposes of building greater intelligence of our urban systems, is rapidly evolving. When we embrace a smart cities lens to our district and neighborhood planning and design processes, the opportunities to create more livable, efficient, and resilient communities are enhanced. This studio session offered a panel of smart cities leaders who shared real-life case studies of how a smart cities agenda in neighborhood development can lead to sustainable outcomes.

get-slide-deck

Charles Kelley

ASSOCIATE PARTNER, ZGF ARCHITECTS

Melanie Nutter

PRINCIPAL, NUTTER CONSULTING 

Edward Krafcik

DIRECTOR, SOOFA 

Bobby Godsey

CONSERVATION PROGRAM SPECIALIST, AUSTIN ENERGY 

Adam Beck

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SMART CITIES COUNCIL AUSTRALIA NEW ZEALAND 

Session: A Just Transition to Clean Energy and Climate Resilience

Climate resiliency experts lead a roundtable discussion with participants that explored implementation of the federal Clean Power Plan in a manner that not only mitigates climate change but also prioritizes neighborhood scale clean energy options and green job opportunities in environmental justice communities. Public works policy-makers and professionals, civic engagement and research specialists, and community development experts engaged in a multi-faceted discussion about the roles they will play in the just transition to clean energy and climate resilience.

get-slide-deck

Laureen Boles

CIVIL ENGINEER AND ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNER, E4PROGRESS PLANNING AND ENGINEERING

Dr. Nicky Sheats

DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT, THOMAS EDISON STATE COLLEGE 

Ruth Story

GULFPORT BRANCH PRESIDENT, NAACP 

Session: Water Infrastructure: Triumphs and Tears

What works (and what fails) to create sustainable water infrastructure? At the district level, energy is often considered easier to manage than water, in part because of complexity and quantity of existing water infrastructure. Each of four panelists briefly presented their insights on improving the integration of water strategies, addressing challenges in engineering, regulatory compliance, community support, and ecological function. A facilitated discussion followed.

get-slide-deck

Josh Radoff

Josh Radoff

PRINCIPAL, YR&G 

Scott Bevan

PRINCIPAL, PAE 

Brent Shraiberg

METROPOLITAN WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT OF GREATER CHICAGO, ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORIES 

Pete Muñoz

SENIOR ENGINEER, BIOHABITATS

Session: Finding A Common Language: Performance Metrics for Key Stakeholders

Attendees learned how developers, designers and public agencies are measuring the success of their land use projects, considering equity, resilience and climate change preparedness. We zoomed into specific case studies presented by the designers who created them, while also zooming out to two different organizations researching them to identify key performance metrics that help us all speak a common language. The Landscape Performance Series, a set of online resources to help make the case for sustainable landscape solutions was introduced, along with the Urban Land Institute’s work on identifying metrics for resilient development projects. 

* No slide deck available

Barbara Deutsch

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE FOUNDATION

Debra Guenther

PARTNER & LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT, MITHUN

Katharine Burgess

DIRECTOR, URBAN RESILIENCE, URBAN LAND INSTITUTE 

Anna Cawrse

ASSOCIATE, DESIGN WORKSHOP 

Session: California’s Climate Investment Fund: Transformational Communities

Years before the Paris accords, the State of California passed pioneering legislation to decarbonize the state, catalyzing a series of cross-sector initiatives investing in sustainable communities. Fees on industries (cap and trade) has translated into several billions of dollars a year invested in green energy, housing, transportation, and natural resources – focused on communities most impacted by pollution. California is building the first high-speed rail system in North America, and has embraced the eco-district framework for their 24 station cities across 500 miles. This session provided an overview of the HSR system and Authority sustainability priorities including details of how ecodistricts catalyze conditions of the system’s success and how government entities can scale-up the EcoDistricts Protocol. 

get-slide-deck

Melissa Dumond

PLANNING & INTEGRATION MANAGER, CALIFORNIA HIGH SPEED RAIL

Meg Cederoth

SENIOR SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTOR, PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF

Session: Ecodistrict Live and Learn, Try and Tell

Excited (or anxious) about district/neighborhood-scale planning, but not sure it’s feasible in your area? Overwhelmed by technical feasibility? Unsure how to convene a successful coalition to plan, champion, and implement an EcoDistrict? Attendees in this session heard honest, real-life successes and challenges from 3 unique San Francisco EcoDistricts: Chinatown (established and dense), Central SoMa (transitioning for major growth), and Mission Rock (blank-slate new neighborhood). Then, each brought a personal challenge to a break-out group discussion (in topic areas such as equity, district-scale infrastructure, performance targets, partnership building, and more), learned from other professionals grappling with similar issues, and came away with new ideas, resources, networks, and inspiration for moving ahead.

get-slide-deck

Lisa J. Fisher

URBAN PLANNER, SUSTAINABLE CITY TEAM, SAN FRANCISCO PLANNING DEPARTMENT 

Lisa Chen

URBAN PLANNER, SUSTAINABLE CITY TEAM, SAN FRANCISCO PLANNING DEPARTMENT 

Claire Maxfield

DIRECTOR, ATELIER TEN 

Session: Stories From Across the Pond: Successful Urban Regeneration in Europe

This session examined two different approaches to successful neighborhood regeneration in Europe. Rosengard, Malmö, Sweden successfully moved from a period of riots, due to a disenfranchised immigrant population by actively engaging and empowering young Muslim women in participatory place making. They organized and led design workshops, redesigning the town center, creating a social space and climate action gardens working with Rosengard residents and the City of Malmö Environmental and Parks Departments. In the Netherlands, unlike traditional developments initiated by cities, developers and housing corporations, the pilot brownfield transformation of the Buiksloterham district of Amsterdam-Noord was intentionally organic; based on simple urban plans in which individuals and groups could build their own housing. The prototype district has been a smashing success, paying a clear "resilience dividend" for the area with increased diversity, economic resiliency, and environmental performance.

*No slide deck available

Paul B. Crane

PRINCIPAL, ATELIER CRANE

 

Matthijs Bouw

PRINCIPAL, ONE ARCHITECTURE