• Downtown DC
  • Sustainability DC
  • City of Boulder
  • CaGBC
  • Interface Engineering
  • Webcor Builders
  • Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
  • Mithun
  • ZGF
  • International District Energy Association
  • US Green Building Council
  • Integral Group
  • Portland Development Commission
  • National Resources Defense Council
  • Lend Lease
  • City of Portland, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
  • McGuireWoods, LLP
  • Cadmus Group
  • US EPA
  • Green Building Council Australia
  • Georgetown University
  • Google
  • Integrated Environmental Solutions
  • Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
  • Portland State University
  • Washington Gas
  • Alta Planning + Design/ Alta Bikeshare
  • Neighborworks America
  • Clyde's
  • DC SEU

Why Attend



A global Summit dedicated to regenerating cities, from the neighborhood up


This September 24-26, the sixth annual EcoDistricts Summit converges on Washington, DC.

EcoDistricts works to help create sustainable cities from the neighborhood up, and Washington, DC—a case study in inventive collaboration—has captured that spirit like few others.

At this year’s Summit, we’ll explore district-scale sustainable development from every angle and dig deep into the public-private-civic partnerships that are laying the groundwork for the neighborhoods of the future: resilient, vibrant, resource-efficient and just.

Participants will get an insider’s look at the projects (and players) behind the world’s most livable cities, and they’ll dig into information-rich education sessions, mobile workshops and studios designed to inform and inspire with updates on emerging best practices from cities across North America and beyond.

Gather with leaders from over 100 cities from across the globe. the Summit is a uniquely powerful event: a hands-on forum that brings thinkers and doers, policy makers, real estate and community developers, designers and engineers, entrepreneurs and leaders of all stripes together to test out ideas and create new knowledge.

You’ll come away with a clear sense of the state of the movement, a new community of fellow practitioners and the inspiration to go back to their own communities and start making change from the neighborhood up.



District-scale sustainability is local. The movement is global. True collaboration happens when all stakeholders have a voice. With the District of Columbia as exemplar, the 2014 Summit will focus strategies for making collaboration, equity and diversity the cornerstones of every project. Through mobile workshops, plenary keynotes, hands-on educational sessions and informal conversations, participants will dig into these issues and our eight Summit themes.

Collaboration Districts

Collaboration is the key to successful district-scale projects, but what does that look like on the ground? This theme explores practical strategies for creating effective (and sometimes, unlikely) stakeholder partnerships, and highlights successful case studies.

Green Districts

More than half of the world’s populations live in cities, and we’re just at the start of the biggest urbanization boom the world has ever seen. We’ll look at the structural changes cities can make to improve quality of life while reframing our relationship to energy, waste, and water.

Health Districts

The zip code you’re born into goes farther to determine your life expectancy than any other single factor. So how do we create neighborhoods that build the context for healthy, thriving communities? We’ll explore diverse health topics, from food, to transportation, and even happiness studies.

Tech Districts

Innovative technologies are opening new doors for crowd-sourced fundraising, decision making and movement building, but what do these technologies really offer, and how can we get the most out of them?  We’ll look at the tech revolution from unique perspectives.

Innovation Districts

District-scale sustainability projects on the ground in DC and beyond are a central part of our Summit. You’ll get an up close look at the District’s work, including three local Target Cities projects, and how they are spurring economic development, next generation infrastructure, resiliency and placemaking.

Building the Toolshed

Rating tool geeks, unite! At the 2014 Summit, we are assembling the tool builders, tool owners and tool users from across the world to share and engage in lively discussions on where we are and where we are going in the world of rating tools for neighborhoods, infrastructure and cities.

DC as Lab

Each year, the Summit’s host city plays the role of “innovation lab“- providing a backdrop to innovators and best practices that are transforming the city. We’ll get you out in DC to meet the leaders and kick the tires across a range of projects from rehabilitated main streets to bike sharing to new mixed use neighborhoods.

A Global Marketplace

District-scale sustainability projects are local by definition, but the movement is global. Last year, more than 100 cities from across the world were represented at the Summit! This is your chance to compare notes with sustainable district scale development leaders from around the world.


Wednesday, September 24th

Georgetown University Downtown Campus

9:00am - 5:00pm

Today, urban leaders are increasingly grappling with the challenge of providing basic services, rebuilding infrastructure, revitalizing neighborhoods, and responding to the urgency of climate adaptation, energy security, and rising food and resource costs in cities. EcoDistricts understands the need to document, compare and contrast neighborhood-scale sustainability efforts to accelerate knowledge and dissemination of best practices and successful implementation of district-scale development solutions. Building on the success of the 2013 Research Symposium, the 2014 Research Forum will gather researchers, policymakers and practitioners to engage in a facilitated discussion and free interchange of ideas designed to help shape the evolving research agenda on sustainable district-scale development. 2013 Research Symposium Report Final.

Washington Council of Governments

1:00pm - 4:30pm

The urban marketplace is rapidly growing with opportunity to change the way we revitalize our cities. In this engaging half-day training course, you’ll get a guided tour of the EcoDistricts Framework—our research-driven tool for cultivating public-private-civic partnerships and creating innovative district-scale projects—and learn firsthand how to fit all of the pieces together and accelerate sustainable development in your community, from the neighborhood up.
Rob Bennett, CEO, EcoDistricts

Thursday, September 25th

Marriott Marquis, Independence Ballroom

8:00am - 9:00am

Join us at the Marriott Marquis in Washington DC to kick off the 2014 EcoDistricts Summit! Registration opens at 7:30am.

Marriott Marquis, Independence Ballroom

9:00am - 10:30am

Charles Montgomery is an award winning writer and urbanist who creates conversations about cities, science, history and human well-being. Montgomery works to create public programs that help citizens treat their cities as hands-on laboratories and transform their relationships with each other and their cities. In 2010, his Home for the Games initiative tested the limits of trust, convincing hundreds of residents to open their homes to strangers during the Vancouver Winter Olympics. And working with researchers, scientists and the citizens of New York City, he used mobile phone applications to map the emotions of public space in the Lower East Side.

His book, Happy City, examines the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness. The book shows the striking ways that our cities can influence our thoughts, feelings and actions. The message is as surprising as it is hopeful: Doomsayers have warned that action to tackle the urgent challenges of climate change and energy scarcity will lead us into decades of hardship and sacrifice. But evidence in Happy City and Charles’s own projects suggests the opposite: that using cities to save the world can simultaneously make us happier.

11:00am - 12:00pm

Feeding the Village: Three Approaches to Community-based Food Systems

This session will focus on food systems, to demonstrate how the maturation stages and iterative process of Ecodistrict development can offer new opportunities to build holistic systems that are both inclusive and economically sustainable. Possibilities of addressing food production and distribution on a district-wide scale within a maturing Ecodistrict will be presented. Then, we’ll take a look at Nanhu Village, a new form of development that establishes a dense urban village while retaining and enhancing existing agricultural production. Finally, we’ll come back to Toronto to hear lessons learned about neighborhood wide urban agriculture through the Sustainable Neighborhood Retrofit Action Plan.

Christina Grace, Principal and Food Systems Consultant, New Territories
Christine Mondor, Principal, EvolveEA/Faculty, Carnegie Mellon University
Ellen Lou, Director of Urban Design and Planning, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP
Adriana Gomez, Project Manager, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Sustainable Revitalization without Gentrification in Metro DC

The communities East of the Anacostia River are in the center of the next substantial transformation in DC. Significant demographic shifts are taking place as a result of major revitalization planning projects in the Metro DC area. This session will use case studies on current projects, including the redevelopment of the 34-acre Barry Farm neighborhood, which is presently almost entirely occupied by public housing. The plan calls for the primarily African American neighborhood to be redeveloped from single-use, low-income community to a mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood designed to complement its historic setting and close access to the Metro Station. This session will review planning strategies that can revitalize communities without gentrification and encourage cooperation and collaboration among developers, planners and community members.

Charles Hostovsky, Professor of City and Regional Planning, Catholic University of America
Hazel Edwards, Associate Professor and Director, Master of City and Regional Planning Program, Catholic University of America

The Devil’s in the Details: The Business and Social Consequences of Entity Choice

This session will survey the various entity and structure choices to be made in an ecodistrict and describe the economic, busniness, legal,and social advantages and disadvantages in each.  We will recommend an approach to determining entity choice(s) and structuring the relationships among entities.  We will compare b-corps, CDCs, unincorporated associations, BIDs, HOAs, non-profits and other entities and advance the theme that different entities are more appropriate for different functions within an ecodistrict, and consequently, a structure should be utilized that allows specialized entities but coordinates them for district driven outcomes.

Dan Slone, Partner, McGuireWoods LLP
Llew Wells, President, Living City Block

Smart Cities: Using Technology to Spark a Sustainable Planning Revolution

Smart cities of the future will only exist if we create shareable cities now—this means we have to develop Smart tech solutions, implement resiliency strategies, and utilize local knowledge in ways that bridge race, class, gender divides and meaningfully reconnect people to built environments while reducing the carbon footprint. This presentation illuminates how local knowledge can be transformed into game-changing analytics and revenue streams that improves the lives of residents, city-planners, businesses, and ultimately helps the triple bottom line.  If you want to learn how innovative change-makers move from big data to real change, join this session.

Antwi Akom, Associate Professor, San Francisco State University/Executive Director, I-SEEED
Melanie Nutter, Principal, Nutter Consulting
Erin Barnes, Founder, ioby
Laura Schewel, Founder, Streelight Data

On the Ground Around the World: Case Studies in International Projects

Take a tour around the world with case studies of international district-scale sustainability projects. This session will showcase a range of diverse projects from different areas across the globe, including Asia, South America, Arabia, Europe and Oceania.

Marriott Marquis, Independence Ballroom

12:00pm - 1:30pm

Lunch at the EcoDistricts Summit is a great opportunity to network and connect with leading city-makers from across the country – and globe.


Healing Districts: Public Health from the Neighborhood Up

This session will present strategies for implementing the Health + Well Being performance area of the EcoDistricts Framework. Case studies of Health District planning projects will be presented, along with evidence-based models for improving public health through urban design and planning.

Jason Harper, Associate Principal, Perkins + Will

Practical Tools for Integrated Water Strategies

Cities are waking up to the benefits of green infrastructure.  Join the discussion with a developer, a civil engineer and a landscape architect who are testing new neighborhood scale models to respond to consent decrees and new stormwater regulations being adopted in many major cities. Green stormwater management systems like bioswales and rain gardens can offer cost savings and amenity benefits over traditional gray infrastructure. These systems often yield the greatest benefits at a district scale, but district implementation requires coordination between multiple public and private stakeholders.  This presentation and structured discussion will provide attendees with a range of policy and funding tools to support the creation of green stormwater/open space districts.

Deb Guenther, Partner, Mithun
Steve Benz, Partner, OLIN
Caroline Moore, CEO, Ekistics LLC
Candace Damon, Vice Chairman, HR&A Advisors, Inc.

Stone Soup: Unlocking the Funding Potential of Green Benefits Districts

This session will provide insight into innovative public-private partnerships. Hear a sustainable design expert speak about the Green Benefits District, an exciting new special benefits district model, which provides reliable, long-term funding for neighborhood scale sustainability efforts in residential and mixed-use urban neighborhoods. We’ll also explore other models, including crowdfunding.

Michael Yarne, Executive Director, Up Urban, Inc.
Scott Cataffa, Principal, CMG Landscape Architecture
Hannah Smith, Project Manager, Up Urban, Inc.

Big Data, Small Places: How Smart Data Collection Can Shape Ecodistricts

What data does an EcoDistrict need in order to succeed? How can you ensure the data is relevant, reliable, and put to the best possible uses? This panel will discuss best practices in data collection, and analysis and reports to date, from the Downtown DC EcoDistrict, the Pittsburgh 2030 District, and new “Quantitative Communities” in New York City. A variety of replicable strategies for improving the quantity, quality, and transparency of EcoDistrict data will be highlighted, including community outreach, technical assistance, third party verification, utility partnerships, statistical modeling, advanced metering, and synergies with mandatory disclosure programs where available.

Marshall Duer-Balkind, Program Manager of Energy Benchmarking, District Department of the Environment
Helen Gurfel, Executive Director, ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance
Sean Luther, Pittsburgh 2030 District Senior Director, Green Building Alliance
Constantine Kontokosta, Associate Professor and Deputy Director, New York University Center for Urban Science and Progress

The EcoDistricts Protocol in Action

From Denver to Pittsburgh, Ottawa to Austin, projects from across North America continue to use the EcoDistricts Protocol to accelerate their district and neighborhood-scale urban regeneration projects. Find out why, and how, in this engaging session.


Restoring Our Place in the World: The Grassroots Role in Sustainable Urban Development

Sustainable development in disinvested African American communities must grasp and address the whole-system problem common to black communities everywhere, and recognize that to restore their place in the world, decaying legacy communities must drive a whole-system solution. Revival will require increased household income, vigorous circulation of neighbor dollars within walking distance, and the conservation lifestyle. This session will discuss topics such as the “sustainable square-mile” as a grassroots building block of a sustainable neighborhood; programs that highlight the metrics of neighbor-owned businesses and property; the values of home economics and storytelling; and planned land use where every household can to walk-to-work, walk-to-shop, walk-to-learn, and walk-to-play.

Naomi Davis, Founder and CEO, BIG™: Blacks in Green
Dominic Moulden, Executive Director, One DC – Organizing Neighborhood Equity
Wadi Muhammad, Associate, 270 Strategies
Derek Hyra, Associate Professor of Public Administration and Policy, American University

Beyond the Building: Strategies for District-Scale Energy Systems

This session is designed to help community leaders better understand the process of deploying local district energy/CHP/microgrids. The session will include a case review on the steps involved in assessing local energy requirements; aggregating thermal (heating and cooling) loads; identifying local resources (i.e. surplus industrial heat; renewable cooling; etc); modeling business opportunities; and early stage screening tools to conduct iterative analyses of different development scenarios. The session will explore technology options, funding and program supports, and evaluating microgrid solutions if enhanced energy reliability and resiliency are primary objectives.  We’ll also touch on current community energy activity happening in the Washington, DC region.

Zach Dobelbower, EcoDistricts Director, DC Department of General Services
Brad Bradford, Community Energy Planner, International Districts Energy Association
Rob Thornton, President and CEO, International District Energy Association
Patti Wilson, Director of Business Development, Associated Engineers

Mastering the Master Contract: The District that Buys Together, Grows Together

Come to this session to learn how the Lloyd Eco District put together a group contract for a massive LED parking light retrofit, engaged the services of a trade ally to help deliver mutually beneficial project management services, and then duplicated that model in the realm of waste hauling as well. We will talk about the specifics of the contracts, the assessment, the energy savings and waste reduction as well as the revenue potential.

Sarah Heinicke, Executive Director, Lloyd EcoDistricts
Jeff Caudill, Green Building Services
Wade Lange, General Manager, American Assets Trust
Rodrigo George, Lead Sustainability Analyst, Bonneville Power Administration

Common Ground: Unlocking the Power of Shared Spaces

This session will present case studies from Chicago, New York City, Washington, DC and other US and international cities on innovative shared infrastructure initiatives. Utilizing existing rights of way in dense urban spaces, these cities have found design and management approaches that more efficiently and enjoyably accomodate the mobility and quality of life needs of diverse populations and purposes. Partnerships between local government and the affected business and residential communities have provided the political and financial means to create and sustain these improvements over time. Next, we’ll share five bold organizing objectives, that in the hands of decision-makes and designers, will help bring about future of multipurpose, low-carbon, resilient infrastructure that is tightly coordinated with natural and social systems. Using select case studies, we’ll demonstrate how a whole-systems approach that integrates different utility services can result not only in crosscutting benefits and lower costs but also in the inclusion of real civic – recreational, educational or cultural – amenity.

Hillary Brown, Professor, City College, City University of New York
Ellen Jones, Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability, DowntownDC BID
Gabe Klein, Visiting Fellow, Urban Land Institute
Linda Bailey, Executive Director, National Association of City Transportation Officials

Smart Scaling: Lessons from Europe’s Smart City and Ecodistricts

International work among cities in the US tends to be marginalized because of a lack of outcomes from the international conversations and investment in evaluating potential economic, ecological or community benefits to the US cities.  The goal of this panel will be to evaluate how model eco-district in pioneering cities can share technical and policy innovations that will be applied to improve eco-district planning in the US.

Dale Medearis, Senior Environmental Planner, Northern Virginia Regional Commission
Geraldine Gardner, Director of Urban and Regional Planning, German Marshall Fund of the United States
Gloria Piaggio, Head European Projects, Municipality of Genova, Italy
Karl-Josef Jansen

Independence Ballroom


Can our happiness be boosted through design and function of our cities? If so, what can designers, city-builders, and policymakers do to foster happiness? Join us for a discussion with panelists who offer some fascinating perspective on the subject: Mark Abraham, a data hound for community indicators; Emily Talen, an urban planner and designer; David Sloan Wilson, an evolutionary biologist; and Anita Chandra, developer of Santa Monica’s Happiness Index. Moderated by Happy City author Charles Montgomery, this plenary will explore the synergies found at the intersections of planning, architecture, transportation, and social policy.

Charles Montgomery, Author, Happy City
Mark Abraham, Executive Director, DataHaven
David Sloan Wilson, Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences and Anthropology, Binghamton University
Anita Chandra, Research Department Director, Behavioral and Policy Sciences Department, RAND Corporation
Emily Talen, Professor, Geographical Science and Urban Planning, Arizona State University

Friday, September 26th

Marriott Marquis, Independence Ballroom

8:30am - 9:30am

Join us for Day 2 of the 2014 EcoDistricts Summit as we explore DC as Lab. To kick off the day, you will hear from local leaders who are helping transform the District into one of America’s most livable cities and a case study in creative collaboration.


UrbanLab gets you out of the classroom and into the field with your choice of two day-long mobile workshops. Choose the one that piques your interest. (Lab coats optional.)

New Civic Space as a Creator of Place

Catalyzing over three billion dollars of investment, Canal Park and The Yards Park have transformed the area in Southeast DC between the Navy Barracks and National’s Park through multi-faceted civic infrastructure and development. In addition to its beauty and recreational benefits, Canal Park manages stormwater from adjacent streets—the first park on the East Coast to do so. The Yards Park is an award-winning destination on the previously inaccessible waterfront. Nearby is the redeveloped HOPE VI mixed income community in the old Arthur Capper row houses, a new retail and residential community that includes a robotics innovation lab and the redevelopment of old industrial Navy buildings. This master-planned development leveraged the unique attributes of place to create a new waterfront destination for all Washingtonians—a success story of civic space and new environmental consciousness.


Net Zero Neighborhoods

‘Net zero’ and carbon neutrality are becoming increasingly common performance aspirations for building projects, but they are less often explored at the district scale. While it is increasingly clear that district-scale net zero energy/carbon neutrality is achievable, there is no one clear path toward these targets, and there are critical nuances associated with the application of the net zero/carbon neutral objectives at different scales of development. This panel will set the stage by describing a policy landscape that facilitates scaling of net zero energy buildings and quickly move to case studies of net zero plans and projects at the campus, district, and city scales on the east and west coasts.

Kristine Kingery, Director of Army Sustainability Policy, Assistant Secretary of the Army
Ralph DiNola, Executive Director, New Buildings Institute
Tom Puttman, President and CEO, Puttman Infrastructure, Inc.
Jim Bererton, Integral Group
Ray Cole, Professor, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia
Susanne Rasmussen, Director of Environmental and Transportation Policy, City of Cambridge, MA

Equity-Driven Neighborhood Regeneration

What does neighborhood regeneration look like when equity is prioritized?  When urban neighborhoods are regenerated with improved access to assets and services, how can community leaders ensure that those benefits reach existing residents? Discover the strategies used to build sustainable neighborhoods, ranging in topic from cultural sustainability, access to goods and services, development without displacement, and how to engage with underserved communities. Representatives from EcoDistricts Target Cities will highlight the particular challenges and opportunities they have with regard to equity driven neighborhood regeneration.

Ceasar McDowell, President, Interaction Institute for Social Change
Tom Deyo, Vice President of National Real Estate Programs, Neighborworks
Collin Tateishi, Assistant Project Manager and Planner, Little Tokyo Service Center
Chris Parr, Director of Development, Denver Housing Authority
Mark James, President, Urban Green LLC
Dave Queeley, Eco-Innovation Fellow, Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation
Alexis Goggans, Community Planner, DC Office of Planning

Digital Engagement Marketplace

Technology and social networks are transforming how urban planning and redevelopment gets done. Join this interactive session to learn about the district-scale tools that are revolutionizing the way neighbors and municipalities connect to each other, strengthen their community fabric, and manage complex projects.  Participants will explore civic technologies hands-on, followed by a problem-solving session about community challenges they’re currently working through and the specific technologies best suited to each situation.

Don Edwards, CEO, Justice and Sustainability Associates
Robert Paterson, Associate Professor and PhD Coordinator for Community and Regional Planning, University of Texas at Austin
John Zeanah, Program Manager, Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability
Tommy Pacello, Senior Project Manager, Memphis Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team
Ken Snyder, Executive Director, PlaceMatters
Matt Tomasulo, Founder, Walk [Your City]

Rating Tools Symposium

Rating tool geeks unite! We are assembling the tool builders, tool owners and tool users from across the world to share and engage in a lively discussion on where we are and where we are going in the world of rating tools for neighborhoods, infrastructure and cities.


Lunch at the EcoDistricts Summit is a great opportunity to network and connect with leading city-makers from across the country – and globe.


UrbanLab gets you out of the classroom and into the field with your choice of two day-long mobile workshops. Choose the one that piques your interest. (Lab coats optional.)

Exploring the Past and Present on U Street

One of Washington DC’s untold success stories is how community leaders have achieved social inclusion while transforming its most significant African-American neighborhood. Historically referred to as “Black Broadway,” U Street was the home to a vibrant culture of theater and jazz and remains one of the city’s most inclusive cultural centers. Beginning with the riots of 1968, U Street suffered from arson, disinvestment, and drugs. The street remained culturally vibrant, however, and beginning in the 2000s, it became attractive to investors, which ushered a new set of challenges. Community leaders, catalyzed by the U Street metro opening in 1991, have prioritized socially equitable redevelopment and preservation of U Street’s historical culture.  As a result, the U Street corridor is now home to many small businesses, nearby outdoor parks and gardens, affordable housing, cultural landmarks, and sustainability initiatives.  Join us as we explore the history of one of DCs most unique neighborhoods, exploring neighborhood change through the lens of the people living and working there: a story of rapid change and equitable regeneration.

Bike DC

Join us for an eight-mile bicycle tour of downtown DC’s sustainable transportation infrastructure led by the Downtown DC EcoDistrict. We’ll explore innovative cycle tracks, bicycle parking and signalization, and transit improvements, as well hear the story of Capital Bikeshare. Representatives from the Downtown Business Improvement District and the District Department of Transportation will share their experiences in implementing these facilities to help participants replicate their successes and avoid their mistakes.




Smart Cities, Thriving Communities

How can smart technologies enhance the environmental performance of a city and make it more competitive too?  Does application at the district scale provide new opportunities or advantages?  How can neighbors help build a smart neighborhood?  Smart technologies have been applied to master planning, intelligent transportation, energy modeling, building energy efficiency, green space planning, and data management. We’ll explore these applications through case studies, from the smart technology in Charlotte to the “wired” city of Dubai. Find out how to use the smart technology available today to make strategic and tactical decisions to integrate smart infrastructure throughout the built environment and how to translate that to the scale of the neighborhood. Help us develop a Smart Neighborhood approach by using an EcoDistrict Target City case study as a proving ground.

Tom Shircliff, Chairman, Envision Charlotte
Stephanie Carnes, Managing Director, Chesapeake Crescent Initiative
Alicia Rouault, CEO and Founder, LocalData
Sandra Baer, Cities Director, Smart Cities Council

The Sharing Neighborhood

Got a sharing challenge in your community?  Then join us for a “sharing clinic” where participants can brainstorm solutions with the experts. The sharing movement is changing the face of our streets and neighborhoods.  The rise of sharing challenges our ideas of ownership and consumption, vocation and recreation, how we travel and how we build our neighborhoods.  Enabled by new technology, people are collaborating on housing, transportation, food, and financing solutions that benefit the environment, their communities and their pocketbooks. This studio will explore the big issues of the sharing economy and also dive into the nuts and bolts of how it’s happening on the ground.

James Slezak, Founder, PEERS
Anita Roth, Head of Policy Research, Airbnb
Daan Weddepohl, Founder and CEO, Peerby
Jordan Sale, Digital Marketing Director, Fundrise
Sharon Feigon, Executive Director, Shared-Use Mobility Center

Healthy Neighborhoods

Increasingly we are learning how our buildings and neighborhoods are contributing to sickness and chronic disease. The green 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, neighborhood design has serious consequences for health and opportunity. Join us in this studio as we explore how the intersection of professions – architects, planners, community advocates, developers, and health professionals – are working in neighborhoods to make healthy choices the easy choices.


Closing Plenary




Charles Montgomery

Author, Happy City

Charles Montgomery writes, experiments, and creates transformative conversations about cities, science, and human well-being. His latest book, Happy City, examines the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness. The book shows the striking ways that our cities can influence our thoughts, feelings and actions, and it offers a vision for urban renovations guided by evidence from around the world. The message is as surprising as it is hopeful: evidence in Happy City and Charles’s own projects suggests that using cities to save the world can simultaneously make us happier. Learn more here.

Charles has won numerous awards for his writing on urban planning, psychology, culture and history in magazines and journals. His first book,The Last Heathen (published internationally as The Shark God), won the 2005 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction and the Hubert Evans Prize for Non-fiction, and was short-listed for two Writers’ Trust of Canada awards. Among his numerous awards is a Citation of Merit from the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society for outstanding contribution towards public understanding of climate change science.

Charles has advised planners, students, and policy-makers across Canada, the USA and England. He has also used insights in happiness science to drive high-profile experiments that help citizens transform their relationships with each other and their cities. In 2010, his Home for the Games initiative tested the limits of trust, enabling hundreds of residents to open their homes to strangers during the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Working with the BMW Guggenheim Lab, psychologist Colin Ellard, and the citizens of New York City, he used mobile phone applications to map the emotions of public space in the Lower East Side. At the Museum of Vancouver and elsewhere, Montgomery and his collaborators create participatory programs that help citizens treat their cities as hands-on laboratories. Charles spends most of his time in East Vancouver and Mexico City.

Learn more about a few of Charles’s other projects here.

Session Speakers



Antwi Akom, PhD

Co-Founder, I-SEEED/ Professor, San Francisco State University

Antwi Akom, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Environmental Sociology, Public Health, and STEM Education at San Francisco State University and is the Founding Director of the Institute for Sustainable Economic, Educational, and Environmental Design (I-SEEED), which focuses on building sustainable cities and schools. Professor Akom has collaborated with schools, community groups, policy makers and researchers to improve living conditions of poor people of color in the Bay area and around the world. He is internationally recognized for his work on culturally and community responsive STEM pedagogy including research and studies on GIS mapping and technological innovation, food security/justice, community- driven sustainability development, and youth participatory action research. Professor Akom has held academic appointments at UC Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the University of California, San Francisco, Health Policy Institute. His forthcoming books are Building Sustainable Cities and Schools and Ameritocracy: The Environmental Determinants of Educational Success.


Erin Barnes

Co-Founder, ioby

Before ioby, Erin was an environmental writer with a background in water management. From 2007-2008, she was the environmental editor at Men’s Journal magazine, and was a freelance writer on climate change and other environmental issues. While completing her Master of Environmental Management in water science, economics, and policy at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, she was a U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies scholar in Portuguese. Erin also holds a B.A. in English and American Studies from the University of Virginia. Erin lives in Brooklyn and serves on the Board of EcoDistricts, Resource Media, the Steering Committee for EPIP-NYC, and as an advisor to ArtBridge, Charity Sub, Shared Squared, and the Social Innovators Collective. The Rockefeller Foundation awarded Erin and her co-founders at ioby the 2012 Jane Jacobs Medal for New Technology and Innovation.


Steve Benz

Partner and Director of Green Infrastructure, OLIN

As Partner and Director of Green Infrastructure, Steve Benz advances OLIN’s research and implementation of sustainable design strategies. A licensed civil engineer, Steve has contributed to several award winning green infrastructure design commissions including the LEED® Platinum-certified Kroon Hall at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ray and Maria Stata Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. More recently, Steve drove many of the environmental strategies for Washington Canal Park, a pilot project for the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™). Steve co-led two competitions with other OLIN partners exploring ways to approach implementing scalable green infrastructure strategies within urban environments. OLIN’s winning entries in both the Infill Soak it Up! Design Competition and the Living City Design Competition demonstrated targeted, achievable solutions that show how various stakeholders can come together to realize change–developers, city governments utility companies, designers and residents alike. Steve is an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and a LEED Fellow. He is past Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Sustainable Sites Technical Advisory Group (TAG) where he led the development of sustainability criteria for site development within the LEED program. He was also two-term and founding Chair of the Massachusetts Chapter of the USGBC, and the Sustainable Sites Initiative’s Technical Core Committees.


HIllary Brown, FAIA

Professor, City College of New York

Hillary Brown, FAIA, is Professor at the City College of New York teaching urban ecology and urban systems in its new interdisciplinary masters program in urban sustainability. Her new book, “Next Generation Infrastructure: principles for post-industrial public works”, published by Island Press in May 2014, addresses innovative solutions for ecologically-balanced urban systems. Since 2001, Brown’s consulting firm, New Civic Works, has engaged public and institutional clients in greening facility and infrastructure capital programs. Clients have included the City of NY, Salt Lake City, NY Power Authority, New Haven public school systems, and the State University of New York. Previously, as former Design Director/Assistant Commissioner at NYC’s Department of Design and Construction, Hillary founded the City’s Office of Sustainable Design in 1996. She was co-author and managing editor of both NYC’s “High Performance Buildings and High Performance Infrastructure  Guidelines.” Brown serves on the Board of Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment under the National Research Council of the National Academies. She is a Fellow with the Post Carbon Institute. She has served on the National and NYC Board of Directors of the U.S. Green Building Council. A 1999 Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, she was a 2001 Robert Bosch Public Policy Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin


Scott Cataffa

Principal, CMG Landscape Architecture

Mr. Cataffa is a licensed landscape architect and principal at CMG Landscape Architecture, leading the design and management on a range of project types from planning and site design to cultural landscape research and preservation. He comes to landscape architecture with prior professional experience as a public art administrator and open-space advocate.  He brings his experience with community-based design processes and consensus building to his current design and planning work.  He approaches site design and planning with an emphasis on social and ecological connectivity and a passion for understanding place through the lens of its past and present culture. He has managed complex and technically challenging projects, requiring multiple agency reviews and approvals. He received his MLA from U.C. Berkeley in 2002. Since then, he has worked with the LAEP Department, teaching design studios and participating in studio critiques.


Jeff Caudill

Senior Consultant, Green Building Services

Jeff Caudill is a Senior Consultant at Green Building Services (GBS), a full service sustainability consulting firm. Jeff combines his experience at GBS with over three previous years as a land use planner to identify innovative green building strategies at a variety of levels, including the planning, design, and construction phases of projects. Jeff works with project teams to reduce the environmental impact of their projects while also managing the certification efforts associated with the LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC), LEED for Core-and-Shell (LEED-CS), and LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) programs. Jeff frequently facilitates eco-charrettes and other green building strategy sessions. Jeff holds a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).


Candace Damon

Vice Chairman, HR&A Advisors

Candace Damon is the Vice Chairman of HR&A Advisors. She is a leading expert in the implementation of sustainable infrastructure plans at a property, district, and City scale and regularly presents at open space and sustainability events around the world. For over 25 years, Candace has been responsible for successful strategies for the redevelopment of urban downtowns and waterfronts across North America. Candace is a member of the Board of the City Parks Alliance and the Urban Green Council. Candace is also a a member of the New York City YMCA Real Estate Advisory Committee. She serves on the Advisory Board and is the former President of the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation and received the “Women of Influence Award” from the Real Estate Forum in 2008. Candace holds a B.A. from Amherst College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.


Naomi Davis

Founder and CEO, BIG: Blacks in Green™

Naomi is one of Chicago’s most celebrated environmentalists. She is an urban theorist, attorney, activist, and proud granddaughter of Mississippi sharecroppers. She is the founder of BIG: Blacks in Green™, an award-winning economic development organization based in Chicago.  Naomi is a Green For All Fellow, and for her work in green community economic development has received Governor Quinn’s 2007 Environmental Hero Award, the 2008 Chicago Magazine Green Award, the 2009 Jewel‐Osco Environmental Stewardship Prize, the 2010 Citizen Newspapers “10 Community Leaders To Watch,”  the 2010 Ebony Magazine Power100, and in 2011 was selected to serve on Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel’s Transition Team for Energy, Environment, and Public Space and also as 1 of 100 international thought leaders to present at Groupon Founder’s First Annual Chicago Ideas Week. This year she was recognized with the ComEd Power of One Community Heroes Award.


Zach Dobelbower

Ecodistricts Director, DC Department of General Services, Energy & Sustainability Division

Zach is the EcoDistricts Director for the DC Department of General Services’ Energy & Sustainability Division. He is responsible for identifying and implementing neighborhood-scale solutions that lower energy costs, reduce volatility and risk, decarbonize the city’s energy supply and consumption, and catalyze efforts to address the climate crisis as quickly as possible. Zach plans, designs, and manages projects ranging from energy districts and portfolio management to capital budgeting and policy development. Before joining DGS, Zach owned and managed Carbon Cross Development, a consulting and contracting company focused on building science and clean energy. Prior to that, Zach served as an Urban Sustainability Planner in the DC Office of Planning, managing projects ranging from economic and cultural development to urban design and sustainability. Zach is a LEED accredited professional, BPI Building Analyst, and holds an MPA from American University and a BA from the University of Oklahoma.


Richard Dooley

Community Energy Coordinator, Arlington County (VA)

Rich is currently the Community Energy Coordinator on the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE) team in Arlington County’s Office of Sustainability and Environmental Management. He holds two Masters Degrees in Public Affairs (MPA) and Environmental Science (MSES) from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He previously worked at the NAHB Research Center as a Green Building and Land Use Specialist and at SAIC as an Environmental Management Systems Specialist. His current duties as a Community Energy Coordinator include: • Ensuring that all stakeholders’ voices are heard when it comes to shaping Arlington County’s energy future; • Ensuring the County’s award-winning Community Energy Plan and companion Community Energy Plan Implementation Framework will help: o Provide reliable and affordable energy o Ensure Arlington’s economic competitiveness, and o Protect the environment. • Coordinating with the Community Energy Plan Implementation Review Committee on implementation progress. Rich lives in Arlington with his wife and two daughters. He appreciates the opportunity to have a job that allows him to bike to the office and work on projects that impact the community in which he lives.


Marshall Duer-Balkind

Energy Benchmarking Specialist, District Department of the Environment, Government of the District of Columbia

Marshall Duer-Balkind is the Energy Benchmarking Specialist in the Energy Data and Benchmarking Division of the District Department of the Environment, Government of the District of Columbia. Mr. Duer-Balkind serves as program manager for the District’s groundbreaking energy benchmarking and disclosure program for public and private buildings.  He also works on the development of next-generation energy performance policies consistent with the Mayor’s Sustainable DC Plan, and serves on the Department of Energy’s Building Energy Data Exchange Specification working group. Prior to joining the District Department of the Environment, Mr. Duer-Balkind worked for the Institute for Market Transformation, and for the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. He earned a Master’s of Environmental Management (M.E.M.) from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a B.A. in Political Science and Computer Science from Oberlin College.


Adriana Gomez

Project Manager, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Adriana Gomez, a Professional Engineer and Planner, brings 14 years of experience in Environmental Planning, Green Infrastructure, Community Engagement and Environmental Program Design. As a Project Manager for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan (SNAP), Adriana has worked in the development of retrofit plans for various neighborhoods. She designed a neighbourhood-wide urban agriculture strategy, a revitalization plan for low-income apartment towers and a residential retrofit program, which is now into its second year of implementation, achieving outstanding results. She has also overseen the design of green infrastructure in Parks and Right-of-Ways. In order to make environmental transformation a reality, Adriana has found innovative financing tools, and has implemented out-of-the-box approaches to effectively achieve behavioral change. Previously, Adriana worked at the City of Toronto, managing projects that ranged from Planning of Parks and Open Spaces, to GHG Reduction and stormwater management strategies.


Christina Grace

Principal and Food Systems Consultant, New Territories

Christina Mitchell Grace is a food systems consultant with over 20 years of management experience including 14 years dedicated to developing regional farm-to-market infrastructure, community food projects, and food policy. She collaborates with not-for-profits, government agencies and businesses to implement food systems strategies that address climate change, loss of farmers and farmland, hunger, obesity, and unemployment. Her areas of expertise include regional food systems planning, food distribution and processing, sustainable food sourcing, urban agriculture, and organic waste management. As New Territories, she provides strategic planning; project design, development and management; system and vendor evaluation; policy development and market research services. Christina has participated in regional food systems projects in New York, Oregon and California and national food policy development and advocacy. Prior to working in food and agriculture, Christina was a marketing executive for First Call, Thomson Reuters Company and AMR Research (now Gartner Group).


Debra Guenther

Partner, Mithun

Deb Guenther is a partner and a landscape architect at Mithun – an integrated design firm with offices in Seattle and San Francisco.  Deb’s work integrates function and beauty of ecological systems into habitable places, showcasing her innate perception of the relationship between people and their surroundings.  Her work ranges in scale and complexity and includes urban neighborhood redevelopment and green infrastructure systems.  Deb helped establish the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES), a national site rating tool, linking ecosystem serivices with social and economic value and she serves on the board of the Landscape Architecture Foundation.  She is a fellow of the Cascadia Region Green Building Council and the American Society of Landscape Architects and a former Seattle Arts Commissioner.


Charles Hostovsky

Professor of City and Regional Planning, Catholic University of America

Dr. Charles Hostovsky is an Assistant Professor of City & Regional Planning at the Catholic University of America, School of Architecture and Planning. His research areas include Urban Sustainability; Environmental Planning/Impact Assessment; Sustainable Transportation Planning; Transit-Oriented Development; Travel Demand Management; Sustainable Water Resource Management; Land Use Planning and Urban Sprawl; New Urbanism; Sustainable Solid-Waste Management (garbage); Alternative Dispute Resolution; and Public Consultation and Engagement. He received his Baccalaureate degree in Environmental Systems and Biology from the University of Toronto; Masters in Environmental Studies (Planning) from York University; PhD in Planning from the University of Waterloo; and a Certificate of Postdoctoral Study in Traffic Engineering and Transportation Planning from McMaster University.


Ellen Jones

Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability, DowntownDC Business Improvement District

Ellen Jones is the DowntownDC Business Improvement District’s (BID’s) Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability. The DowntownDC BID incorporates 133 blocks from the White House to Union Station. Her Department’s portfolio includes parks, transportation and the DowntownDC ecoDistrict. Ellen was Executive Director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) to joining the DowntownDC BID. Her career has also included work in the private, nonprofit and public sectors in the fields of transportation and environmental protection at the regional and national levels. Ellen has a Masters of Public Affairs degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School, University of Texas.


Gabe Klein

Visiting Fellow, Urban Land Institute

Gabe Klein has worked in leadership roles in Transportation, Technology, Consumer Services and Consulting. He served as Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation under Mayor Rahm Emmanuel from 2011 to 2013. Under Gabe’s leadership, the agency became a national model for innovation in public space, transportation and technology. The soon-to-be largest bikeshare program in the United States, Divvy, has already revolutionized how Chicagoans navigate their neighborhoods. Gabe served as Director of the District of Columbia Department of Transportation under then Mayor Adrian M. Fenty from 2008-2010. Gabe and his management team transformed the agency into a customer-focused agency that is being hailed as a national leader in technology, customer interface, and multi-modal innovation, as well as innovative finance; Gabe set the standard for everything from parking technology to the nation’s first, and largest, bikesharing program, Capital Bikeshare. Before moving to the public sector, Gabe was a successful entrepreneur. In 2006 Gabe co-founded On The Fly, an innovative, boutique food-service company. On the Fly was one of the first multi-unit and multi-channel street vending companies in the U.S. with brick and mortar stores and mobile catering operations. At the end of 2002, Gabe became regional Vice President for Zipcar, overseeing the carsharing system in the D.C. region. By the end of his tenure in 2006, Gabe had transformed this unheard of concept and brand; Washington had become the nation’s largest carsharing city by membership and vehicles, had purchased Flexcar, and modelled for international expansion.


Constantine Kontokosta

Associate Professor and Deputy Director, NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress

Dr. Constantine E. Kontokosta, PE, AICP, LEED AP, FRICS, is Deputy Director of the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), Director of the Center for the Sustainable Built Environment at the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate, and Research Associate Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. Dr. Kontokosta leads CUSP’s Building Informatics research group, and has worked  with numerous NYC agencies, most recently providing the analysis for the Local Law 84 Building Energy Benchmarking Report. He is the Principal Investigator and Head of the CUSP Quantified Community research facility, which will create a fully instrumented urban neighborhood in New York City. Dr. Kontokosta holds a Ph.D., M.Phil, and M.S. in Urban Planning, specializing in urban economics, from Columbia University, a M.S. in Real Estate Finance from New York University, and a B.S.E. in Civil Engineering Systems from the University of Pennsylvania.


Wade Lange

General Manager, American Assets Trust

Wade is a General Manager of American Assets Trust, A REIT in the Lloyd EcoDistrict. He is also the chair of the Lloyd EcoDistrict and serves as a Board Member of Go Lloyd (Transportation Management) and the Enhanced Service District (formerly the Business Improvement District) and is the 2014 President of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Oregon. Prior to going to work for American Assets Trust, Wade worked for Ashforth Pacific, as Vice President of Property Management, and for the State of Oregon as Facilities Manager. Wade is a native Portlander and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Portland State University.


Ellen Lou

Director of Urban Design and Planning, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

A licensed architect and certified city planner, Ellen Lou leads Urban Design + Planning Group for SOM’s San Francisco office. Lou has directed many world-renowned urban design and planning efforts in the United States and the Pacific Rim countries. Her areas of specialization include urban, brownfield reuse, master plans for new towns and communities, historic revitalization, and campus master plans. Ellen is particularly skilled in developing innovative ideas to address challenging urban planning contexts and in guiding development interests to create public benefit. She is keenly interested in promoting sustainable development. Her tenets of sustainable planning include creating pedestrian-friendly and transit-oriented developments, integrating elements of site features with development needs, and engendering a sense of identity rooted in the culture and aspirations of the place.


Sean Luther

Pittsburgh 2030 Districts Senior Director, Green Building Alliance

Sean Luther manages all aspects of the Pittsburgh 2030 District, including convening the District Partners, serving as the primary spokesman, and collaborating with stakeholders.  Since joining the Green Building Alliance (GBA) in 2012, he has grown both the number and percentage of Pittsburgh 2030 District Property Partners. Previously, Sean served as President of Downtown Roanoke, Inc. in Roanoke, VA. Sean has also worked in various capacities at the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, working chiefly as the administrator of a street activation program, the Market Square reactivation initiative, and office recruitment/retention efforts. Sean earned a BS and a Masters in Real Estate Development from Clemson University.  Sean also holds a certification as an Economic Development Financial Professional from the National Development Council and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois-Chicago.


Christine Mondor

Principal, EvolveEA/ Faculty, Carnegie Mellon University

Christine Mondor is an eternal optimist who believes that design is essential to shape a sustainable environment. She has been active in shaping places, processes and organizations through her work as an architect, educator, and activist. As Strategic Principal of evolveEA, she has led the development of ecodistrict planning in “quilted” communities and has led design teams on award winning buildings and landscapes and is Chair of the Planning Commission for the City of Pittsburgh. Christine also facilitates strategic planning processes and has done research on the relationship between sustainable design and organizational development. Christine teaches architecture, landscape and sustainability at Carnegie Mellon University and has served in leadership roles in organizations that promote design and the environment. She studied at Carnegie Mellon University and in Scandinavia. Christine is a registered architect and LEED AP.


Wadi Muhammad

Associate, 270 Strategies

Wadi Muhammad manages communication and engagement strategies for political, federal and non-profit organizations. Most recently, he served as the Deputy Field Director for a mayoral campaign in Boston, where he led the voter and political outreach in communities of color.  Previously he worked in public relations and stakeholder engagement at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He was the principal advisor for the agency’s African-American and Youth engagement and led the New England ENERGY STAR Houses of Worship efforts at EPA, where he managed the outreach efforts for over 11,000 congregations and increased program participation by more than 90%.  Wadi earned his degree in Business Management with a Minor in Marketing from UMass Boston. As an undergraduate at UMass Boston, he founded a University environmental stewardship initiative that sought to empower communities through capacity building and service to support the local green economy. Born and raised in Boston, some of the same community groups that he was involved with as a youth, are the organizations leading the efforts for the Talbot-Norfolk Triangle Eco-Innovation District, now in early stages of revitalization.


Melanie Nutter

Principal, Nutter Consulting

Melanie Nutter is the Principal of Nutter Consulting that provides sustainability and smart cities strategy development and implementation for cities, foundations and companies. In July of 2010, Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Melanie Nutter as the Director of the San Francisco Department of Environment. She continued to serve in that capacity for Mayor Edwin Lee through February 2014. Nutter led the Department, which helps all San Francisco residents and businesses take an active role in protecting the urban environment, conducts outreach and education on sustainable practices, and runs many innovative environmental programs including on zero waste, green building, climate and energy, toxics reduction and clean transportation. From 2005-2010, Nutter served as the Deputy District Director for the U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, where she managed the Speaker’s district office by supervising staff, addressing constituent concerns, and advising on local policy issues. Nutter founded and is Chair Emeritus for the Energy and Environment Circle for Full Circle Fund. Nutter also served on the Planning Committee for the Urban Sustainability Director’s Network (USDN) and Co-Chaired USDN’s Innovation Fund. She currently serves as an EcoDistricts Board Member. She also currently serves on the Sustainability Subcommittee for the 2016 Superbowl. Nutter was appointed in 2014 to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Smart and Sustainable Cities Network, working on international standards for smart cities. Nutter holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Northwestern University in Communications and Environmental Studies. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and son.


Laura Schewel

CEO, Streetlight Data

Laura, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Streetlight Data, is a leading advocate and researcher in advanced transportation, with particular expertise in transportation systems, sustainability and safety, and vehicle/system modeling and analysis. After completing degrees in engineering and comparative literature at Yale University, she worked at the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), managing their vehicle electrification projects, including the Smart Garage Charrette and Project Get Ready. Next, Laura joined the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to develop planning for regulatory strategy for electric vehicles and energy storage. Laura’s work at StreetLight is an extension of her graduate studies at UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group. She is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in Energy Engineering, and the author of several publications about vehicle electrification and sustainable transportation.


Dan Slone

Partner, McGuireWoods, LLP

Dan Slone is a partner in the international law firm McGuireWoods, with 900 lawyers and 20 offices around the world. He provides legal counsel for numerous benefit corporations, non-profits, eco-industrial parks and mixed use communities in the design of their governance structures. Dan has been named by several national organizations as one of the best lawyers in the country and is a winner of several awards for his work in connection with urban and sustainable projects and clients. He serves on the Board of the Congress for the New Urbanism, Board of Resilient Design Institute and Board of Tricycle Gardens (urban agriculture). He also serves as national counsel for ecodistricts for the US Green Building Council and World Green Building Council. He is a former Board member of the Form-Based Codes Institute, Eco Industrial Development Council, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, Transect Codes Council and National Charrette Institute. Dan is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on resilient communities, pedestrian-oriented communities and other more sustainable forms of development, as well as co-author of A Legal Guide to Urban and Sustainable Development. Dan is an international speaker on subjects ranging from community adaptation to climate change to storytelling as a method for conveying community principles.


Llewellyn Wells

President and Founder, Living City Block

Llewellyn is the President and Founder of Living City Block. LCB has had projects in Denver, Brooklyn, and Washington, DC. LCB is launching new projects in 2014. Living City Block has created and implements a replicable, exportable, scalable and financially viable framework for the resource efficient regeneration of existing cities, concentrating on the neighborhood or district scale. LCB has deep experience in community engagement around sustainability issues, and in governance structures that allow district wide aggregation projects to be realized.Llewellyn also founded Urban Energy Systems Corporation, a Community Micro Grid consulting firm based in New York City. UESC works with clients to develop, design and implement Community Micro Grids, using those microgrid projects as launching pads for LCB and Eco District development. UESC partners with a select group of finance, legal, design and engineering firms – as well as with local community based organizations -to deliver a full suite of packaged services. As Community Microgrids further evolve, UESC brings unique experience in the aggregation processes needed to develop community scale energy systems. Prior to founding LCB and UESC, Llewellyn was a Vice President at Rocky Mountain Institute. He spent twenty-four years working in the entertainment industry on independent films such as Bagdad Café, The Grifters, Dogfight and Under Suspicion. Llewellyn won five Emmy awards, a Golden Globe and two Producers Guild awards as one of the original producers of the television series The West Wing.


Michael Yarne

Executive Director, Up, Urban

Michael Yarne is Executive Director of UP, Urban, a non-profit dedicated to civic entrepreneurship and a partner at Build Inc., a San Francisco multifamily & mixed-use infill developer. He has 10 years of applied expertise in entitlements, public-private partnerships, development management and local government policy. Prior to joining Build in 2012, Yarne served four years as Development Advisor in the San Francisco Mayor’s Office, where he negotiated and secured approval of the 152-acre, $7B, 30-year Parkmerced Development Agreement that will add 5,600 new units and fund over $200M in transportation improvements in the SE corner of the City.Yarne is an active San Francisco resident, having served on several non-profit boards, including five years as chairman of City Carshare, North America’s largest non-profit car-sharing company, past president of Urban Ecology, co-founder of the Central Market Business Improvement District and former board member of Friends of City Planning. He is also a member of an Honorable Member of the Lambda Alpha Real Estate Economic Society.Yarne received a J.D. and a Masters in City Planning from UC Berkeley and is a member of the California Bar. He is also a graduate of Williams College and served in the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa, helping launch rural micro-credit, reforestation and permaculture projects.

Geraldine Gardner

Director of Urban and Regional Policy, German Marshall Fund of the United States

Geraldine Gardner serves at the Director of Urban and Regional Policy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a non-profit, non-partisan institution dedicated to strengthening transatlantic relations.  In this capacity, Gardner leads several transatlantic initiatives that bring together policy makers and practitioners from US and European cities for peer to peer exchange, leadership development and networking activities.  Prior to joining GMF, she served in various urban planning and economic development capacities under three different Mayors in the District of Columbia.  Most notably she was the Associate Director for Neighborhood Planning in the DC Office of Planning. During her six year tenure at DCOP, Gardner led the successful completion of over 18 neighborhood and revitalization plans, including the master plan to develop the historic Saint Elizabeth East Campus.  She has also worked in a variety or research and planning capacities in Los Angeles, New York, and Berlin. Gardner has a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree in metropolitan studies from New York University. She was the recipient of a Bundeskanzler/ German Chancellor Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to support a year-long research project to track the development of the creative economy in post-Wall Berlin.

Helen Gurfel

Executive Director, Urban Land Institute Greenprint Center for Building Performance

Helen Gurfel is the executive director of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Greenprint Center for Building Performance. Greenprint is an alliance of leading real estate owners, investors, and strategic partners committed to improving the environmental performance of the global real estate industry. As the executive director, she is responsible for the overall management and growth of the center.
Prior to ULI, Helen was a director of GE Capital Real Estate’s global sustainability group, where she spearheaded a number of initiatives, including development of sustainability programs for GE’s portfolios in France, Canada, and the U.K., establishment of a rooftop solar program to deploy solar installations across properties in North America and the U.K., and incorporation of innovative technologies into GE-owned properties. She was also a member of GE Capital Real Estate’s global valuation team and GE Energy Financial Services’ portfolio management team. Prior to GE, she was a principal consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Helen received a B.S. in chemical engineering from Columbia University, an MBA from the Wharton School, and a master’s in international studies from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

Derek Hyra

Associate Professor, American University

Derek Hyra is an Associate Professor of Public Administration at American University. His research focuses on processes of neighborhood change, with an emphasis on housing, metropolitan politics, and race. Dr. Hyra is the author of The New Urban Renewal: The Economic Transformation of Harlem and Bronzeville (University of Chicago Press 2008). He recently completed his second book, which investigates the redevelopment of Washington, DC’s Shaw/U Street neighborhood. Dr. Hyra has received grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Social Science Research Council and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and his research has been showcased in both academic journals, such as Housing Policy Debate, Urban Affairs Review and Urban Studies, and popular media outlets, including the British Broadcasting Corporation, Chicago Public Radio, C-SPAN, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.

Dr. Hyra directs an interdisciplinary metropolitan governance and policy research center at American University. He is also a research affiliate of the National Poverty Center and an affiliated scholar of the Urban Institute. He previously served as chair of the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority, as an Obama appointee on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Council on Underserved Communities and was a U.S. Congressional candidate in Northern Virginia in 2014. He received his B.A. from Colgate University and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.


Venue + Accommodations

The 2014 EcoDistricts Summit will be held at the Marriott Marquis, a brand new 1.25 million square-foot full-service, four-star, LEED Silver Certified convention center hotel. Opened just this May 2014, the new hotel will serve as the centerpiece of continued economic revitalization of the historic Shaw neighborhood.

Marriott Marquis | 901 Massachusetts Avenue NW | Washington, D.C. | 20001

Reserve your room with our reduced conference rate by September 5, 2014.

Book your room today    

Marquis outside


  • Via Metro: We highly recommend using public transportation to get to the Summit. Mt. Vernon Place 7th St./Convention Center Station is 0.1 miles from the venue.
  • Via Train: Amtrak / Union Station is located 1.4 miles from the venue. For stations, timetables and fares, visit their website.
  • Via Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA): The hotel does not provide airport shuttle service. The airport is 4.6 miles from the venue and we recommend taking the Metro Green and Yellow lines from the airport to the Mt. Vernon Square 7th Street – Convention Center station.
  • Via Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD): The hotel does not provide airport shuttle service. The airport is 27.6 miles from the venue. We recommend the Washington Flyer Silver Line Express Shuttle to Wiehle – Reston East Metro Station. Visit their website
  • Via Car: The hotel provides valet parking at 40.00 USD per day. There also is a parking garage located on 901 New York Ave NW, Washington DC 20005. The garage accepts cash and card at $10/hr or $19/day. It is approximately a 3 minute walk  to the Marriott.


“The EcoDistricts Summit was the most rewarding conference we have ever attended both from a professional development perspective but also a business development perspective. We met new clients, and new potential partners, and booked almost $170,000 in new work. We will be back.” -Dave Ramslie, Integral Group

When you sponsor the EcoDistricts Summit, you provide vital support for our organization efforts, but more importantly, you help facilitate the greater, global district sustainability movement. And, not to mention, your Summit sponsorship provides you with a once-a-year opportunity to meet innovative urban sustainability leaders who are working to develop projects in their own neighborhoods.

Sponsorship Benefits Include:

  • Global reach year, leaders from 77 cities and 14 countries attended the Summit
  • Industry recognition as a leader in the ecodistricts marketplace
  • Diverse audience—the Summit attracts industry leaders from city agencies, design firms, development companies, utility companies, community development and technology providers
  • Recognition in EcoDistricts publications, marketing collateral and media outlets
  • Recognition at the EcoDistricts Summit, reduced sponsorship fees and complimentary Summit registrations

2014 Sponsorship Prospectus





VIP Reception



Innovative City




Smart City




Research Forum




Studios and UrbanLab




Founding Members















If your organization is helping to build the sustainable neighborhood marketplace, exhibiting at the EcoDistricts Summit is a powerful vehicle for promoting your products, services and technologies. It provides a once-a-year opportunity to meet urban sustainability leaders and potential clients looking for ideas and solutions for their projects.

Exhibitor Benefits Include:

  • One complimentary full conference pass
  • Booth space located in high traffic area
  • Mailing list of registered attendees before the event and after the event
  • Promotion on web page with hyperlink to company website
  • Promotion in Summit program
  • Exhibitor recognition on name badges for your staff
  • Access to the Speaker + Exhibitor Lounge, providing free refreshments, internet access, and printers during setup and show hours

For more information on becoming a 2014 exhibitor, contact Lynne Barker at lynne@ecodistricts.org, 503.863.2564.



Thank you to our Host and Program Committee members for helping to make the 2014 EcoDistricts Summit a success.


Arlova Vonhm

Principal Planner, Arlington County, Virginia

Arlova J. Vonhm, AICP is a Principal Planner for Arlington County, VA, responsible for coordinating the public review of large development projects. Prior to joining Arlington County in July 2012, Arlova worked as the Zoning Update Manager for the District of Columbia Office of Planning, leading the effort to rewrite and reorganize the city’s 50-year old zoning ordinance. Mrs. Vonhm is an alumna of the University of Michigan Urban and Regional Planning Program, and has been a board member of the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Planning Association since 2008. In her current position as the Chapter’s Professional Development Officer, she helps create and promote continuing education opportunities for planners in the DC metropolitan region, including organizing local conferences and AICP training activities. Arlova is a Chicago native and currently resides in Northeast Washington, DC with her husband, Mainlehwon, and their son, Jackson.

Laureen Boles

Environmental Planner, City of Philadelphia

Laureen is a civil engineer and environmental planner at the City of Philadelphia. She works across all levels of government, with business and industry, neighborhood organizations and residents to develop strategies that result in healthy communities for all. During her tenure at the City of Philadelphia, she directed the city’s Storm Water Management Program, including the creation of new ordinances and policies.

Ms. Boles participates in the development and implementation of the Pennsylvania Climate Change Action Plan, as chair of the Land Use and Transportation committee. As a member of the National Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change and the Greater Philadelphia Green Economy Task Force, she was invited to present Philadelphia’s green economy success stories at the Executive Offices of the White House.

Laureen’s academic experience includes teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and Cheyney University. With the Philadelphia City Planning Commission as a client, her students developed neighborhood plans for several communities in Philadelphia. Laureen has also consulted with the American Institute of Architects on neighborhood plans for New Orleans, Louisiana and Augusta, Georgia.

Ms. Boles is also founder and president of E4Progress, an environmental planning and engineering firm, which analyzes environmental, economic, equity, and energy needs for its clients. Laureen earned her Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Howard University and her Master’s degree in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

Diane Sullivan

Senior Urban Planner, National Capital Planning Commission

Diane Sullivan, Senior Urban Planner at the National Capital Planning Commission, has 17 years of experience in long-range planning, design and sustainability. Her role as lead sustainability planner focuses on implementing the goals of Executive Order 13514: Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance throughout the agency’s initiatives for the National Capital Region, including the SW Ecodistrict. Ms. Sullivan previously worked on waterfront redevelopment projects with the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation in the District of Columbia and with the Portland, Oregon Office of Planning. She began her career at the San Francisco Planning Department. Ms. Sullivan holds a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University and a Bachelor’s from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Roger E. Frechette III, PE, LEED-AP

Managing Principal, Interface Engineering

Mr. Frechette is a Managing Principal at Interface Engineering, in their Washington, DC office. He is a licensed professional engineer and a LEED® Accredited Professional with more than 25 years of experience in the field of high-performance engineering, sustainable building design and energy master planning. His international and domestic work encompasses conceptualization, planning and building systems design for both new and existing buildings, ranging from government facilities and museums to laboratories, airports, hospitals, academic buildings, and offices.

He led the engineering teams for Burj Khalifa, which opened in 2010 as the world’s tallest building, the Greenland Tower in Wuhan, soon to be China’s tallest building and the Pearl River Tower, a super-tall office building in Guangzhou, China, considered by many to be the most energy efficient high-rise in the world.

Mr. Frechette is a Senior Fellow with the Design Futures Council, a global network of design community professionals, and a frequent lecturer and author on high-performance design and green engineering. He is a member of the USGBC, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and numerous other professional organizations. In 2004, the United States Congress recognized Mr. Frechette for his work in the field of sustainable engineering.

Jason Hercules

LEED Manager, U.S. Green Building Council

Jason Hercules has studied, taught and worked to implement sustainable development practices in the US and internationally for more than 10 years. During his time with the U.S. Green Building Council, he has helped to manage resource development for the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, along with many other USGBC rating systems. Jason relies on his expertise in Smart Growth, transit-oriented, mixed-use development, and green building to provide technical development of the rating system; project review and certification; and education on many of the sustainable development element espoused by LEED for Neighborhood Development.

Jennivine Kwan

Jennivine Kwan

VP of International Operations, U.S. Green Building Council

Jennivine Kwan is Vice President of International Operations at the US Green Building Council (USGBC). As part of her responsibilities, she oversees the creation of products and services that better serve sustainability leaders around the world.  She also actively works with organizations in over 40 countries, helping them drive green building development. She is the Chair of the World Green Building Council’s (WGBC) Council Development Committee, and member of the WGBC Steering Committee of the Americas Regional Network.

Previous to joining USGBC, Jennivine was responsible for assisting Johnson Controls, a Fortune 100 company, to develop its green building and energy solutions business in Latin America, focusing primarily on Chile and Argentina. A Canadian national, she has spent over a decade living and working in Asia and Latin America.  She is a LEED AP BD&C and has a Master’s degree in Sustainable Design and Construction from the Universidad del Desarrollo, a leading private university in Santiago, Chile. She speaks fluent Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish and French, and conversational Portuguese. To connect, please find her on Twitter @JennivineKwan.


Ellen Jones

Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability, DowntownDC Business Improvement District

Ellen Jones is the DowntownDC Business Improvement District’s (BID’s) Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability. The DowntownDC BID incorporates 133 blocks from the White House to Union Station. Her Department’s portfolio includes parks, transportation and the DowntownDC ecoDistrict.

Ellen was Executive Director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) prior to joining the DowntownDC BID. Her career has also included work in the private and public sectors in the fields of transportation and environmental protection. Ellen has a Master’s of Public Affairs degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School, University of Texas.

Steven Jumper

Director of Corporate Public Policy, Washington Gas Light Holdings, Inc.

Steven Jumper is currently the Director of Corporate Public Policy for Washington Gas Light Holdings, Inc. In this capacity, he is responsible for leading the company’s government relations, community investment, issues management and corporate philanthropy programs.

Since joining Washington Gas in 1997, Steven has led several major public policy and external relations initiatives throughout the organization’s multi-state operation.

Prior to joining Washington Gas, Steven served in cabinet-level state government positions, including deputy chief of staff to former DC Mayor Sharon Pratt. Steven has also held senior positions in the utility regulatory sector.

Steven holds a Bachelor’s degree from St. Augustine’s College and a Master’s degree from George Washington University. He is also a graduate of Johns Hopkins University’s Leadership Development Institute. He resides in Washington, DC with his wife. They have two adult children.

Dale Medearis

Senior Environmental Planner, Northern Virginia Regional Commission

Dale Medearis is a senior environmental planner for the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. He co-leads the NVRC’s regional climate and energy programs and manages NVRC’s international environmental partnerships. Prior to working for NVRC, Dr. Medearis spent approximately 20 years at the Office of International Affairs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, as the Program Manager for Western Europe and urban environmental programs. Dr. Medearis also managed the U.S. National Park Service’s Potomac American Heritage River Initiative. He has been the Vice-Chair of the OECD Territorial Development Committee and Chairman of the OECD Working Group on Urban Affairs. Dr. Medearis has been awarded fellowships to study urban and environmental planning in Europe from the Humboldt Foundation, Fulbright Commission, European Union, and American Council on Germany. He teaches graduate courses in environmental planning at the Johns Hopkins University. He has a PhD from Virginia Tech University, an MS from George Mason University, an MGA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA from the University of Redlands.

Bungane Mehlomakulu

Principal, Integral Group

With more than 10 years of engineering consulting experience, Bungane focuses on integrated project delivery, building information modeling, project development and multidisciplinary team leadership. He works with architects and owners to identify opportunities outside the traditional scope of MEP services, emphasizing passive strategies such as natural ventilation, day lighting, plug load reductions and solar control to drive down loads and minimize the impact of active systems. He develops sustainable building systems across multiple building sectors, including higher education, K – 12, commercial, educational, institutional and science and technology. Bungane received the 40 under 40 Award in 2011 from Consulting-Specifying Engineers for his commitment to excellence. He shares his knowledge and passion for sustainable design through speaking engagements with industry and community organizations and as a guest lecturer at the Universities of Texas at Austin and San Antonio.

Tom Osdoba

VP of Enterprise Green Initiative, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.

Tom is vice president of Enterprise Green Initiatives and has 22 years of experience building and managing green organizations and communities, including in the clean energy industry. Through its Green Initiatives, Enterprise catalyzes the public, private and nonprofit sectors in its effort to make all affordable housing nationwide green by 2020. Enterprise Green Communities Criteria is the first green building standard for affordable housing in the nation, and tools such as the new Project Management Guide  assist the industry with implementing the criteria.

Patty Rose

Executive Director, Greenspace, NCR

Patty is an experienced leader in the field of design for public service. As Executive Director of Greenspace, she creates partnerships that integrate efforts of the development and advocacy communities to create more vibrant and sustainable real estate, economic and community development. Her leadership contributed to creating the 2006 DC Green Building Act and she is now focused on its successful implementation through Greenspace’s programs and as a mayoral appointee to the DC Green Building Advisory Council.

Her previous work as the Assistant Director for Santa Monica’s experimental College of Design, Art and Architecture, Special Assistant to the Executive Director for St. Louis’ Regional Transportation and Development agency and co-founder of Mindsai Productions, a multimedia edutainment production company gives her the skills to create programs that catalyze transformational changes. She holds a degree in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley.

Scott Pomeroy

Sustainability Manager, DowntownDC Business Improvement District

Scott Pomeroy is the Sustainability Manager for the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID). Since 2008, he has managed a wide range of sustainability initiatives including the DowntownDC ecoDistrict, a comprehensive framework of programs formally established on Earth Day 2011. Included in this work, he insured the ecoDistrict’s participation in the DOE Better Buildings Challenge, piloted the DC Smarter Business Challenge, as well as facilitating the production of the annual Building Energy Summits. Prior to joining the DowntownDC BID, Scott was the Executive Director of the 14th & U Main Street Initiative, the then largest urban main street district encompassing a twenty six linear block area. His leadership and coordination of revitalization efforts in that position laid the foundation for the growth and sustainability of the neighborhood and its recognition in 2011 by American Planning Association, as one of their Great Places in America: Streets. Scott Pomeroy’s commitment to the strength and vitality of his city includes serving on numerous boards and volunteering with a variety of community groups, including Keep Washington DC Beautiful, Career Path DC, and the U Street Neighborhood Association.

Uwe Brandes

Executive Director, Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, Georgetown University

Uwe S. Brandes has over 20 years of experience in the planning, finance, design and construction of buildings, parks and infrastructure across the urban landscape. He is the Founding Executive Director of the Masters Program in Urban and Regional Planning at Georgetown University and Principal of Brandes Partners LLP. Prior to his appointment at Georgetown University, Mr. Brandes served as Senior Vice President at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Director of Capital Projects and Planning for the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation. Mr. Brandes is a Fulbright Scholar and has degrees in engineering science and architecture. He serves on the board of the Landscape Architecture Foundation and Bioregional North America.

Véronique Merier

Former Head of the Energy Administration, District Department of Energy

Véronique, an engineer, chose a focus on the environment over 25 years ago and relentlessly continues to be at the forefront of issues and solutions, from dealing with hazardous environmental emergencies, to improving manufacturing processes for IBM, to developing  energy efficiency as the fuel of first choice, to ensuring training of all partners for the District of Columbia new Energy Assurance Plan, to gathering solar energy stakeholders to talk about issues and solutions on a regular basis thus ensuring the desired growth of solar in DC.

She built a successful green products portfolio for Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES), a Mid-Atlantic energy supplier. Via the development of a carbon offset product, she spearheaded the creation of an innovative long-term linked-to-sale Carbon Reduction Fund benefiting the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. She also partnered with local governments in the promotion of wind power purchasing. More recently, leading DC’s Energy Administration, she had oversight of a set of energy programs spanning from energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy assurance and direct energy assistance. She led the development of DC’s Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP). Based for 5 years in India, as part of a larger climate change initiative, she supported a Municipal Street Lighting Energy Efficiency demonstration project which today is being replicated in several cities. Better street lighting provides stability to the important evening economic activity, increases street safety and in some cases even provides a bright spot for kids to study at night.

Veronique, lives in Montgomery County, Md with her family and speaks French fluently.

Howard Ways, III

Executive Director, Prince George’s County Redevelopment Authority

Howard Ways, III, AICP, was named the Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County in July 2012 where he leads a staff of 15 charged with being the chief redevelopment entity for the county, with an emphasis on mixed use development within inner beltway communities. The agency also manages the County’s home buyer assistance program, neighborhood stabilization program and community impact grant program for local non-profit corporations. Currently the agency is managing projects valued over $300 million.

Prior to joining the Redevelopment Authority, Mr. Ways served as the Director of Planning and Sustainability for the University of the District of Columbia where he managed the university’s sustainability initiative by enhancing academic offerings, greening the physical campus and promoting sustainable procedures to reduce energy consumption, reduce waste, improve recycling and advance the use of renewable energy.

Previously, Mr. Ways worked for more than a decade on various economic development, green building and sustainability initiatives while at the Office of Planning for the District of Columbia and the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation. He also served as a Special Assistant to the District’s Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and managed vacant property acquisition and disposition.  Additionally, Mr. Ways has served as Director of Planning and Housing Development for the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition (HEBCAC), where he managed real estate development, property acquisition, demolition and disposition for the Baltimore Empowerment Zone, as Community Planner for The Enterprise Foundation and as a Development Assistant for The Cordish Company, working on such iconic projects as the Power Plant Live.

Since 2008, Mr. Ways has served as an Adjunct Professor at the School of Architecture and Planning at the Catholic University of America as well as a Lecturer at Howard University School of Architecture and Engineering. He is a frequent lecturer at universities. He earned a Master’s of City and Regional Planning from Morgan State University and his Bachelor’s in Architecture at Temple University. He also was a HUD fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Ways is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and the American Planning Association (APA) and the Washington, DC representative for the TransAtlantic Cities Network of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.


Angela Vincent

Sustainability Project Manager, VHB

Angela is a Sustainability Project Manager for VHB, Inc. based in Watertown, MA. In this role, Angela works with over 60 communities, primarily in New York and Massachusetts, to support and advance their climate protection and sustainability efforts. Angela is working with the Climate Smart Communities program to provide technical assistance such as trainings, resource guides, in-person guidance, and webinars to local governments in the Capital District and Mid-Hudson Region. In Massachusetts she coordinated the public outreach for and development of the Greenfield Sustainable Master Plan in Greenfield, MA. As a volunteer, Angela is the Chair of the Lowell Green Restaurant Certification Program, which she helped to create in 2011 and is a Board Member for the American Planning Association.

Sophie Lambert

Senior Director of UrbanPlan, Urban Land Institute
As the Senior Director of UrbanPlan at the Urban Land Institute, Sophie Lambert oversees the strategic vision, implementation and budget of the nationally recognized education program. Sophie guides District Councils, high schools and universities, teachers, and students as they interact with the redevelopment-focused program. She brings over 12 years of experience in the sustainable communities and districts field and previously served as the director of the LEED for Neighborhood Development program at the US Green Building Council. Sophie holds a MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech.

Barbra Batshalom

Executive Director, Sustainable Performance Institute

Barbra Batshalom, the founder and executive director of the Sustainable Performance Institute, is a social entrepreneur whose vision drives the organization’s programs to transform the market from public policy to professional practice. Her work focuses on the intersection of systems, processes and culture. With a diverse background of fine arts, social psychology and 20 years in architecture and sustainability consulting, she brings a variety of skills to her work and a unique perspective engaging the human dynamics of decision-making and creative collaboration to technical work. She’s an educator, public speaker and change agent that works with a wide range of governmental, institutional and private sector organizations to help them institutionalize sustainability and achieve measurable improvements in performance and profitability. SPI’s green firm Certification program is the first industry program to provide a framework for evaluating the capability of design and construction firms to deliver a consistent, high quality sustainability service and SPI’s Green Firm Boot Camp workshop program has been delivered to hundreds of firms nation-wide to help raise the bar on professional practice in the industry.

Walker Wells

Director of Green Urbanism, Global Green USA

Mr. Wells is Director of the Green Urbanism Program for Global Green USA, a national non-profit organization headquartered in Santa Monica. He works with affordable housing developers, municipalities, and school districts across the country to further green building and sustainable development practices by providing technical guidance, and developing programs and public policy. Mr. Wells is editor and a co-author of the 2007 book Blueprint for Greening Affordable Housing and the 2006 publication Creating Successful Green Building Programs, a 2012 Pritzker Fellow at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, and 2013 Fulbright Fellow with the Royal Institute of Technology Urban Planning Program in Stockholm. Mr. Wells holds Bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara and a Master’s of City and Regional from the California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo. He also studied at Lund University and the Lund PolyTechnic Institute School of Architecture in Sweden. Prior to joining Global Green Mr. Wells was a Senior Urban Design with Gruen Associates in Los Angeles, an Associate Planner with the City of Santa Monica, and an Urban Planner for the City of Malmo, Sweden. Mr. Wells is a certified urban planner, a LEED Accredited Professional, a Green Rater, a member of the State of California Green Building Code Advisory Committee, an invited contributor to the Planetizen web site, a lecturer on Green Urbanism at the Claremont Colleges, and the UCLA Urban Planning Program.


Dana Bourland

VP of Environment, The JPB Foundation

Dana is Vice President of the Environment Program at The JPB Foundation. In this role Dana works at the intersection of issues related to health, poverty and the environment.  Dana is leading the creation and development of JPB’s environment program with a goal to enable healthy and resilient communities across the US. Formerly Dana was Vice President of Green Initiatives for Enterprise Community Partners where she led environmental strategy for the national organization. Dana developed and oversaw all aspects of Enterprise’s award-winning Green Communities program including the creation of the Green Communities Criteria and Enterprise’s multifamily retrofit program.  Dana co-created and served as managing director of the Green Communities Offset Fund. In 2010, Dana was responsible for leading Enterprise’s effort to catalyze the public, private and nonprofit sectors to make all affordable housing green by 2020.

A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Dana is a graduate of Harvard University’s Graduate Program in Real Estate and holds a Master of Planning Degree from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, Univ. of Minnesota. She is a certified planner (AICP), and a LEED Accredited Professional. Dana was recently awarded a Residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. Dana was named one of Fast Company Magazine’s Most Influential Women Activists in Technology and a Young Leader by Affordable Housing Finance. Dana is featured in and has contributed to numerous publications including the book “Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design;” and “Greening Our Built World: Costs, Benefits, and Strategies” and is included as faculty in Fast Company’s 30-second MBA program providing a response to the question “How do you think about sustainability?”. As a national leader in green development, Dana has served on numerous task forces, co-chaired industry wide conferences and addressed national and international audiences on topics related to green community development and affordable housing.

Daniel Hernandez

Project Director, Jonathan Rose Companies

Daniel Hernandez is a real estate developer, planner, and project manager. With over 25 years of experience, Daniel’s portfolio includes a broad range of project types in urban places from San Francisco to New York. He has been in leadership positions throughout his career, and managed all phases of project development, from programming and planning, analysis and financing, through construction and asset management. Daniel has worked in the for-profit, non-profit, and public sectors, and has participated in creating national policy and certification programs addressing sustainable urban development. He is also a professor focusing on social innovation, sustainability, and the redevelopment of urban places.

Daniel is an avid project-oriented person planning and developing complex projects.  He enjoys putting the pieces togetherto make things happen, including a wide range of stakeholders, financial instruments, and public and private partners. He is able to maneuver through programmatic requirements and regulatory parameters to achieve project objectives. He is not interested in projects associated with maintaining the status quo. His interest is in creating dynamic solutions in collaboration with others also excited about addressing new concerns, leveraging assets and investments, and taking on new projects in evolving markets.

This depth of experience provides Mr. Hernandez with strong skills to bring complex urban projects to fruition. He blends vision with pragmatism to achieve interconnected project goals and objectives. Daniel is a strategist and project manager bringing a unique perspective to real estate development that creates value and maximizes asset potential.

Erin Christensen Ishizaki

Associate Principal, Mithun

Erin Christensen, AIA, LEED® ND AP, is an Associate Principal and co-director of Urban Placemaking at Mithun. Erin is a national leader in integrating public health and design, including pioneering health impact assessments for neighborhood planning projects. An urban designer and architect, Erin’s experience in urban redevelopment and neighborhood planning across the country enables communities, both large and small, to achieve ing vitality and strength. Erin brings innovative thinking to master planning and redevelopment strategies for local governments,neighborhoods, housing authorities, transit agencies, and private developers. She is an expert in ecodistrict planning and integrating a variety of environmental metrics to help guide stakeholders through a proactive decision-making process. Erin is passionate about creating sustainable, high performance development that builds physical and social community and maximizes investment. Erin is LEED ND accredited, and serves on the LEED Location and Planning Technical Advisory Group and as President of CNU Cascadia.

Greg Searle

Executive Director, Bioregional North America

Greg is a sustainable community strategist,  facilitator, and occupant engagement specialist. As a serial social entrepreneur, he is the founder of assorted initiatives like HARVEST NOIR (a pop-up picnic and dance), BIOREGIONAL NORTH AMERICA, and TOMOYE CORPORATION (an internet startup acquired by NewsGator).

At BioRegional, Greg focuses on facilitating community engagement around One Planet Action Plans and implementing occupant engagement programs in commercial/residential buildings. Greg is developing a network of ECOCONCIERGES – on-site coaches who make sustainable lifestyles more convenient for tenants in buildings and ecodistricts. Greg is also a specialist in designing for sustainable behaviors and occupant engagement in existing buildings, master-planned communities, and ecodistricts.He is a certified ecoTeams trainer and designs programs for eco-concierges and property teams to increase retention and  building efficiency while reducing tenant footprint.

Greg is a founding board member of the Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict,  advises the Metcalf Foundation’s Reinventing Growth program (Toronto), and sits on the Program Committee for the 2014 EcoDistrict Summit (Washington DC). He is a past advisor to the US Green Building Council, Clinton Climate Initiative, and Special Advisory Panels of the Urban Land Institute, and is a past Vice President of the Social Planning Council of Ottawa. Previously, Greg worked as an innovation consultant facilitating big ideas into reality for clients like the United Nations (Rome) and World Conservation Union (Brussels).

Maria Koetter

Director of SustainabilityLouisville Metro Government

Maria Koetter is the first Director of Sustainability for Louisville Metro and is responsible for city-wide strategic sustainability planning, policy development and implementation of new programs and initiatives. Ms. Koetter wrote Louisville’s first sustainability plan “Sustain Louisville”, which was released in March 2013. Ms. Koetter’s experience in the environmental industry includes working with both government and Fortune 500 private sector clients.

Ms. Koetter formerly founded and was President of Bgreen2 LLC, which provided sustainability consulting services. Koetter has extensive experience with corporate social responsibility and organizational sustainability planning. Koetter was formerly employed at the top 10 national consulting firm Tetra Tech Inc. as a senior project manager. In this capacity, Ms. Koetter managed and supported numerous multi-project portfolios and worked within a wide array of state and federal EPA regulatory programs.

Marissa J. Ramirez

Sustainable Communities Project Manager, Green Neighborhoods, Natural Resources Defense Council

Marissa Ramirez is the Consulting Project Manager for Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, DC. She is part of the Green Neighborhoods Initiative, which is a project of NRDC’s Urban Solutions Program. She works together with neighbors and local leaders primarily in underserved locations on revitalizing their communities by providing ideas and tools for a more sustainable future.

Marissa has a Masters of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she focused her studies on urban environmental economics. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Yale University. Previously, Marissa was a science researcher and continues to bring both her passion for human and urban health to her professional career.

Shanelle Smith

Local Director, Emerald Cities Cleveland

Shanelle has spent the past few years helping Greater Cleveland’s civic and community leaders adopt economic development practices that will address “the three Es” of sustainability: equity, environment, and economy. In August 2012 she helped to organize a frank conversation between community and labor leaders, anchor institutions and government officials about maximizing public and private investments in Cleveland through community benefits agreements. Shanelle is currently managing innovative partnership between Cuyahoga County Council and others to develop a finance program in support of building energy upgrades in 53 cities and municipalities within the county. She is a member of Mayor Frank Jackson’s Climate Action Advisory Committee. In October 2011 she was named “One to Watch” by the Ohio Environmental Council for her work as a “consensus-builder, bringing environmental, labor, and business leaders together with the African-American community.” Shanelle is a “UAW baby,” committed to forging alliances that lead to good jobs, a cleaner environment, and a more energy-independent and inclusive economy.


Brianne Nadeau

Vice President, Rabinowitz Communication

Brianne Nadeau is the democratic nominee for DC Council in Ward 1. She is a community activist and seasoned professional who is invested in improving the neighborhoods of Ward 1 through her service on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, her work with non-profits dedicated to the Washington community and through initiatives she has spearheaded to promote sustainability and neighborhood cooperation. As a homeowner and 12-year District resident, Brianne is deeply invested in her community and has developed a vision for Ward 1 focused on strengthening our schools, supporting small businesses, increasing affordable housing and public safety, and putting measures in place that will end pay-to-play politics.

In her role as a community leader, Brianne has brought together residents and business owners on two major initiatives in the U Street area. She helped create the U Street Movie Series, now in its third year, and founded Sustainable U, a community-led initiative that strives to increase the availability of, and participation in sustainable living and working options in the 14th & U corridor. The initiative aims to protect the environment, improve community quality of life and reduce energy costs for consumers. It is designed to serve as a model for other neighborhoods across the District.

She enjoys writing and contributes to GreaterGreaterWashington.org, InterfaithFamily.com and contributed in the past to the neighborhood blog Borderstan.

Brianne grew up in Michigan, in a family with a deep commitment to civic and political activism. Brianne earned an M.A. in Public Policy from American University and a B.A. in Political Science from Boston College.

She is an active member of her prayer community, DC Minyan, and is a board member of Jews United for Justice. By day, she works at the firm Rabinowitz Communications, as a communications advisor to progressive non-profit organizations.

Heider, Beth photo w Blue Scarf - close up

Beth Heider

Chief Sustainability Officer, Skanska USA

As Chief Sustainability Officer, Beth translates Skanska’s commitment to sustainability into action, catalyzing leadership across all four of Skanska’s US business units and inspiring a vision of the future. She supports a company of exceptional talent and admirable values with over $7B in annual revenue to build a more sustainable world and a more profitable business. She serves on Skanska USA’s Management Team. Her 35-year career encompasses all phases of design and construction from master planning through project closeout as architect, construction manager, cost manager and value management facilitator. She has presented papers on cost, value, eco-efficient building, and program management at some 150 international conferences. One of ten women named “pioneer in green building” by the Green Economy Post, Heider served for six years on USGBC’s national Board of Directors which she chaired in 2012. In 2013, she received Skanska’s global achievement award for green market making.


Sarah Robinson

Associate, Urban Green LLC

Sarah Robinson is an Associate for Urban Green LLC, where she supports the developer in the planning and construction of affordable green housing projects. Sarah presently holds a board position on the U.S. Green Building Council National Capital Region and is committed to building healthy and thriving neighborhoods. A Northeast Ohio native, Sarah has a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from The George Washington University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in Engineering. Previously as the Community Outreach Associate at the DC Sustainable Energy Utility, she coordinated strategic and tactical outreach efforts within DC’s residential and commercial markets.


Shelley Poticha

Director of Urban Solution, National Resources Defense Council

Shelley Poticha serves as the director of the Urban Solutions program, building NRDC’s work for better cities that support thriving people.  Urban Solutions brings the place-based work of NRDC together into a coordinated strategy and includes promoting transportation choices through mobility options, scaling up building energy efficiency, model green and equitable neighborhoods, sustainable food systems, green infrastructure and climate preparedness.  Urban Solutions is the culmination of NRDC’s thinking and work for sustainable communities since the organization adopted the area as an institutional priority.

Shelley is a longtime partner of NRDC in multiple initiatives including transportation policy reform, LEED-ND, and the creation of Smart Growth America.  Prior to joining NRDC, Shelley was a senior advisor and director of the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Before joining HUD, she served as President and CEO of Reconnecting America, where she became a national leader for the reform of land use and transportation planning and policy with the goal of creating more sustainable and equitable development, particularly around transit stations.  And prior to that, she served as Executive Director of the Congress for the New Urbanism.

Shelley holds a Master of City Planning from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  She works in NRDC’s Washington office.


Stanley Jackson

President and CEO, Anacostia Development Corporation

Mr. Stanley Jackson, the President and CEO of the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation is an accomplished development and financial leader with over 30 years of housing and economic development experience.

As Director of DHCD, Mr. Jackson oversaw a $250 million budget, and spearheaded the District’s participation in the development of over 6,700 units of newly constructed and rehabilitated affordable housing for seniors, special needs, and very low-to-moderate income District residents.

During his tenure as Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Mr. Jackson oversaw the creation of the Site Acquisition Funding Initiative, a low-cost source of revolving site-acquisition and predevelopment funds for non-profit developers. As Deputy Mayor, Mr. Jackson also directed the District’s participation in the development of $2.5 billion in residential, commercial, and entertainment development in downtown District of Columbia, representing the revitalization of the city’s geographic core.


Zach Dobelbower

EcoDistricts Director, DC Department of General Services, Energy and Sustainability Division

Zach Dobelbower is the EcoDistricts Director for the DC Department of General Services’ Energy & Sustainability Division. He is responsible for identifying and implementing neighborhood-scale solutions that lower energy costs, reduce volatility and risk, decarbonize the city’s energy supply and consumption, and catalyze efforts to address the climate crisis as quickly as possible. Zach plans, designs, and manages projects ranging from energy districts and portfolio management to capital budgeting and policy development. Before joining DGS, Zach owned and managed Carbon Cross Development, a consulting and contracting company focused on building science and clean energy. Prior to that, Zach served as an Urban Sustainability Planner in the DC Office of Planning, managing projects ranging from economic and cultural development to urban design and sustainability. Zach is a LEED accredited professional, BPI Building Analyst, and holds an MPA from American University and a BA from the University of Oklahoma.

Wayne Curtis

Project Specialist, University of the District of Columbia

Dr. Curtis is currently a project specialist with the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES), and is the Director of Center for Urban Entrepreneurship. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Business and Public Administration, both with the University of the District of Columbia.

Dr. Curtis earned a Master of Science in Economic Development from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning (focusing on Public Bonds) and a Bachelor of Administration, with honors, from Harvard University, in Visual and Environmental Studies. He holds a PhD in Philosophy, in Leadership and Change from Antioch University.  His research focuses on wealth building strategies for working class Americans through social entrepreneurship and employee stock ownership plans.

Rich Hubacker

Principal, ZGF Architects LLP

Rich Hubacker is a Principal in the Washington, DC office of ZGF Architects LLP, and has over 20 years of experience on complex research and medical institutions, public buildings, transit and educational facilities. Rich builds collaborative relationships among design teams and owners to integrate high performance into building and site design. Rich has worked with nationally recognized clients such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Duke University, the Max Planck Florida Institute, Dickinson College, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the National Institutes of Health, among others. In addition to project responsibilities, Rich demonstrates ZGF’s commitment to high performance by co-founding the Big Green Commute–a DC Green Commuting challenge–and the DC InConference–a focused look on environmental stewardship and project performance education. Rich holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami.


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