My grandparents and parents honored the planet through growing food in our garden, using solar hot water, keeping chickens and bees, using public transit and bicycling. For me, this “sustainable” upbringing provided a natural progression into a career.
As principal and director of sustainable development for our Buildings + Places business line, I manage our relationship with 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) globally, working with our directors for Australasia, Europe and the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean. Our 100RC portfolio now includes 30 cities that have made a commitment to developing holistic resilience strategies that address each city’s needs, enabling them to adapt and grow.
Many of the resilience issues facing cities today stem from climate-related impacts, such as flooding, sea-level rise and drought. My group carries out vulnerability assessments and adaptation projects for cities and other public sector agencies, so they’re better equipped to handle future stresses and shocks. Our recent projects have been for the cities of San Francisco and Oakland, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, and the Federal Highways Administration.
I’m a firm believer in knowledge as power and have a great appreciation for the scientific community. As a former staff member of the Science Museum in London, I worked on exhibitions as diverse as the science of beauty, nuclear fusion, genetic disorders and climate change, helping enhance the public’s understanding of these topics. Today, I’m on both the sustainability committee and the policy and practice committee for the local chapter of the Urban Land Institute. Our programs help bring issues of sustainability, climate change and resilience to local developers, the design community, attorneys and other stakeholders in order to find creative solutions together.
For Earth Day this year, I will be at an all-day board meeting in Portland, Oregon, for the non-profit organization Ecodistricts, whose aim is regenerating cities at a neighborhood scale with a focus on equity, climate protection and resilience.
In my personal life, nature and cycling seem to be a theme. I recently made a short film promoting biking to women, which will be released during Bike to Work week in May. And last year, I participated in the five-day Glacier Climate Ride, riding a total of 250 miles and raising $5,000 for the Glacier National Park Conservancy. The photo above was taken at mile 90 of the 105-mile ride — that’s me on the left!