In late March, Rowell Brokaw Architects hosted a small group of designers, planners, and developers who share a mutual interest in the work of the UO Sustainable Cities Initiative (SCI) and its relevance to topical developments in the Eugene-Springfield area for an intimate discussion with the 2015 SCI Expert-in-Residence, Shelley Poticha, director of the Urban Solutions Program for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Washington, DC.
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. .
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.
SCI is a hub of research related to sustainable cities based at the University of Oregon, and annually hosts the SCI Expert-in-Residence program. SCI's work addresses sustainability issues across multiple scales, from the region down to the building, and its cross-discipline engagement approach is a key strategy for solving community sustainability issues.
These national experts are invited by SCI each year to share their expertise in sustainability ideas for three-day sessions on the Eugene and Portland campuses. During their visit they conduct design charrettes, provide specialized workshops for both private and public organizations in Oregon, and deliver large public lectures on topical sustainable city issues or ideas.
Past SCI Expert-in-Residence (EIR) include:
- 2014 EIR - Stellan Fryxell, SAR/MSA, former Partner at Tengbom Architects in Stockholm, Sweden
- 2012 EIR - Joan Fitzgerald, Director of the Law and Public Policy Program at Northeastern University
- 2011 EIR - Jarrett Walker, President of Jarrett Walker and Associates and an International Consultant in the field of public transit planning and policy
- 2010 EIR - Gabe Klein, former Director of the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) and now the Special Ventures Partner at Fontinalis Partners
- 2009 EIR - Jonathan Levine, Professor and Chair of the Urban and Regional Planning program in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan
- 2008 EIR - Bill Wilkinson, former Executive Director and Founder of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW), originally known as the Bicycle Federation of America