While I am from NYC, I have been in Barcelona now for several years. I am working with a former mayor here to launch an urban governance executive education program at the Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (www.ibei.org); the program, which is based on the United Nation's New Urban Agenda, will be for officials from local municipalities to better understand how to manage and improve their cities. I am also collaborating with a data science company called Eixos (eixos.cat) to advise cities on improving their commercial areas, including through placemaking, forming business improvement districts, and forming innovation districts.
Which additional experience/skills can people of Placemaking Europe reach out personally to you for?
Prior to coming to Barcelona, I managed several large-scale masterplanning and park design projects in both New York and London. These included projects with strong economic development objectives, such as transforming contaminated, underutilized industrial areas to new mixed-use urban districts. It also included the development (or redevelopment) of large-scale parks. These park projects included experimental green infrastructure projects to prepare for sea level rise and flooding from bigger storms.
Which experience/skills can people of Placemaking Europe reach out to your organisation for?
The academic program at IBEI will need interesting case studies related to placemaking and urban transformation, especially when data can be provided that demonstrates impacts. However, as the program at IBEI is still in the planning stages and has not been formally launched yet, I would prefer that you contact me directly.
Eixos would love to be in touch with other professionals with experience improving downtown urban commercial areas, whether through placemaking, business improvement districts, or other measures. Also very interesting to Eixos would be others working on addressing these issues through data.
Describe one of the projects you are most proud of
The redevelopment of Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx, New York. Following severe flooding from Hurricane Sandy in 2012, we used reimagined this outdated, overly urban park. One aspect was an effort to connect the very poor, adjacent community to nature by inviting the Harlem River into the park. The 1,000 m2 "Intertidal Area" is a constructed wetland that is designed to clean water from the river, create habitat for marine and terrestrial species, provide flood protection for the park, and create opportunities for environmental education of local residents.