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Before and after shots of Kingsessing Recreation Center in Philadelphia; in May 2006 the group UC Green organized
volunteers and planted 150 trees near the site; in April 2007 the group planted an additional 65 trees in the area.
Michelle Robinson (KF '03) helped organize the tree planting and other volunteer efforts in the community.

Spring 2007 Fellow, Scholar, and Faculty Updates

Lester Abberger (KF ’02) was appointed chairman of the City of Tallahassee Urban Design Commission, was reelected as chairman of the Board of 1000 Friends of Florida, a statewide nonprofit growth management organization, and was appointed to the Florida Department of Community Affairs Growth Management Advisory Committee.

Carolina Arias-Smith (KS ’02) began working for Looney Ricks Kiss Architects in September 2006. She is based in the Memphis office and is working in the housing studio.

Rusty Bloodworth (KF ’06) attended a workshop with Leon Krier at Poundbury under the auspices of the Prince's Foundation in spring 2007. Rusty is serving as the program chair of the newly organized ULI Memphis District and is following up on last year's Knight Program Charrette in Memphis. He is breaking ground on a 600-acre mixed use development in Franklin, Tennessee, and helping plan a conference with the local and state chapters of ULI, APA, ASLA and USGBC to be held in Memphis on Creating Great Communities September 5-7. For his Knight Program research project, Rusty has completed his measurement of 21 London squares and is finishing up related research.

Charles C. Bohl, Knight Program Director, has continued to visit past Knight charrette cities (Macon, San Jose, Coatesville, and Duluth) to evaluate and update implementation efforts. As a follow-up to the Knight Foundation–sponsored Mississippi Renewal Forum, Chuck and Lolly Barnes (KF ’03) have spearheaded an effort to establish a design and development center in Biloxi, Mississippi to assist with the rebuilding of the Mississippi Gulf Coast communities. In response to a request for assistance by the Knight Foundation’s Lexington, Kentucky liaison, Chuck will be working with Carol Coletta (KF ’03) and stakeholders in the community on a Legacy Projects initiative in connection with the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Over the past year Chuck continued to be a much sought-after lecturer and consultant on place making and community building, including presentations at major conferences in the US and abroad. Chuck has worked closely with School of Architecture Dean Plater-Zyberk and faculty to develop a proposal for a master’s degree program in Real Estate Development and Urbanism, a direct outgrowth of the Knight Program in Community Building, which was enthusiastically received at a Graduate School Council meeting in May 2007. In his work as a member of the Executive Committee for the Urban Land Institute’s Southeast Florida and Caribbean District Council, he is helping prepare for the ULI’s national 2008 Fall Meeting that will bring 10,000 industry leaders to Miami. Chuck and Dean Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk co-edited the summer 2006 issue of the journal Places. The theme was “Building Community Across the Transect” and included articles by Knight Fellows Robert Freeman (KF ’03), Neal Payton (KF ’02), and Rick Hall (KF ’01). Chuck also published "Affordable Housing Design for Place Making and Community Building" in Chasing the American Dream: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Affordable Homeownership (William Rohe & Harry Watson, ed., Cornell University Press). He is currently co-editing the book Sitte & Hegemann: Modern Civic Art and International Exchanges to be published by Routledge in 2008. The book is an outgrowth of presentations delivered at the Knight Program’s 2002 conference on Civic Art.

Tom Borrup (KF ’02) had a book come out in August 2006: The Creative Community Builder's Handbook (Fieldstone Alliance). Author and syndicated columnist Neal Peirce called the book: "The 21st century's key guide on the secrets of untapping, recognizing, and building richer community life together." Tom has been busy with his newly established consulting business, Community and Cultural Development. He is currently doing planning and project evaluation for cities and foundations in: San Jose, CA, Yellow Springs, OH, Holyoke, MA, Rochester, MI, Council Bluffs, IA, and Minneapolis, MN as well as developing courses and teaching for the University of Massachusetts and St. Mary's University of Minnesota.

Geoff Dyer (KF ’06) left his partnership in Civic Design Group in November 2006 and formed T-Six Office for Western Urbanism. He is currently involved with several Transit Oriented Developments and other projects in and around Calgary as well as a medieval-inspired vineyard hilltown in Kelowna British Columbia. In Janauary 2007 he also joined Placemakers, a virtual company focused on designing and implementing New Urbanist developments throughout North America. He has recently worked in Lawrence, Kansas; Gulfport, Mississippi; San Diego, and as part of the SmartCode Workshop in Austin.  As director of Canadian Operations for Placemakers, Geoff will be pursuing a number of larger projects in Western Canada. His design firm will provide production support to Placemakers and will continue to pursue local work.

Jonathan Ford (KF ’06) started Morris Beacon Design, a Boston-based New Urbanist civil engineering and planning firm, in December 2006.  In addition to his engineering and planning work, Jon has continued in his role as President of the New England Chapter of the CNU.  In March of 2007, he chaired CNU New England's second annual conference which included speakers Janet Seibert (KF ’06) and Lee Sobel (KF ’01).

Bob Freeman (KF ’03) was re-elected to an 11th two-year term as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. This session he is serving as Chairman of the House Local Government Committee which has jurisdiction over local government, planning, and land use issues. He is hoping to move a number of bills to implement Smart Growth initiatives and address issues raised by two Brookings Institute reports on Pennsylvania regarding the problems of sprawl and urban decline. In addition, he is working on a piece of legislation to establish a state revenue sharing program to assist communities with a particularly high percentage of tax exempt property. The idea is to provide a state-dedicated funding stream to help these usually older urban communities meet their fiscal needs. Cities, county seats, and university towns are the ones most in need of this assistance. He is also looking to introduce legislation to revise and enhance provisions of his Elm Street Program Act and update and improve on the TND provision of the Municipalities Planning Code that he incorporated into the legislation revising our state’s MPC in 2000 (Act 68). In addition, his article “The Elm Street Program” was published in the summer 2006 issue of the journal Places.

Ken Hughes’ (KF ’01) 2006 report “Flows: Blueprints for Santa Fe” about Santa Fe’s sustainability was named by Public Radio show Smart City as “a model for cities around the world.” Ken has been tasked to effectuate greenhouse gas emissions reduction programs for local governments in New Mexico and was also appointed to the City of Santa Fe’s Planning Commission.

Jennifer Hurley (KF ’01) has been active on a number of fronts, including her continuing position as a principal of Hurley-Franks & Associates, a planning and urban design firm in Philadelphia. She recently facilitated several charrettes for PlaceMakers as well as Tom Low's School Design Workshop as part of the Civic by Design effort in Charlotte, NC.  Tom’s concept for Learning Cottages adopted from Katrina Cottages was introduced at that workshop. Jennifer also served on the resource panel for one of the School Design Institute's sessions for superintendents (on the same model as the Mayor's Institutes).  She recently was a speaker for the SmartCode Workshop and facilitated the calibration exercise. In addition, she has been teaching an undergraduate course at Bryn Mawr College this semester—Topics in Modern Planning: Placemaking and Citizen Participation. She is also on the local Host Committee for CNU XV. 

Gloria Katz (KF ’02) has continued work on the Smart Growth Partnership in Southeast Florida, dedicated to educating the public and elected officials in Smart Growth principles. The initiative has received several grants, including one from ULI (using EPA grant monies). Smart Growth Partnership has been asked to outreach to all seven counties of Southeast Florida, from Indian River County to Monroe County (Key West), making this a regional effort.

Howard Katz (KF ’03) will be in Columbus, Ohio next fall, working with the new state treasurer on policy issues (such as the subprime lending crisis), and teaching at Capital University Law School. He will be on leave from the Charlotte School of Law. Howard is a member of AIA Charlotte's Architects for Education committee, which advocates for better school design, and has been involved with Tom Low's Civic by Design program.

Kevin Klinkenberg (KF ’03) was recently elected to the Board of Directors of AIA/Kansas City, became a founding board member of the Urban Society of Kansas City, and co-authored a plan for Kansas City called "What's Next? 2006-2020."

Pam Kramer (KF ’03) has continued to serve as Senior Program Director of the Duluth Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Duluth LISC). In the past year, she completed the Blandin Foundation Community Leadership program in November 2006; completed the maximum terms allowed as a Duluth Knight Community Advisory Committee member; was selected as one of 30 Duluth Knight Creative Community Initiative (KCCI) Catalysts in the Duluth-Superior area to work with Richard Florida's KCCI Program in Duluth for the next year (the Duluth area was selected as one of three communities for this initiative); continued to serve as chair of the Duluth East Downtown, Hillside and Waterfront Charrette Stewardship Group to help guide and encourage implementation of the 2005 Knight Program Charrette; and was selected as Minnesota Housing Finance Agency's Outstanding Service Partner of the year in December 2006. Duluth LISC was recently selected as one of 11 LISC demonstration sites for a new comprehensive community development, Sustainable Communities initiative. This will build on the "At Home in Duluth" partnership and the Knight Program Charrette.

Joyce Marin (KF ’01) accepted the position of executive director of the Allentown Economic Development Corp in May 2007. In addition, she was appointed in 2007 to the Lehigh Valley (PA) Planning Commission and to be co-chair of Lehigh County's newly forming Council of Governments. She continues to forward a regional smart growth agenda by co-chairing RenewLV. Marin recently decided to not seek re-election for a third term on Emmaus Borough Council in 2007 in order to have more time to contribute to the discussion of regional issues.

Karin Morris (KF ’06) was recently promoted to manager, Office of Smart Growth, a new office within the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the metropolitan planning organization for the Philadelphia region. 

Mary Newsom (KF ’06) continues as associate editor at The Charlotte Observer, writing editorials as a member of the editorial board, a weekly column on growth and development, and a blog, The Naked City (www.marynewsom.blogspot.com) for Charlotte.com.  She was recently awarded the Nieman Fellowship at Harvard for midcareer journalists for 2007-08.

Daniel Parolek (KF ’04) is co-authoring a book on Form-Based Codes with his wife and business partner Karen Parolek and Paul Crawford that will be published by Wiley Press in 2008. His firm Opticos Design has had three Form-Based Codes (FBC) adopted in 2007: 1. A FBC that was part of a new Development Code for the City of Grass Valley, CA; 2. A FBC to replace the zoning and work in coordination with the Historic Conservation Plan for downtown Benicia, CA; and 3. A FBC that is part of a Specific Plan for the Historic District within the former Arsenal in Benicia, CA. In the winter of 2006 Dan was interviewed for a podcast by Post-Car Culture that can be found at http://postcarculture.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=127054.
     The first phase of Opticos’ Seaside, FL Master Plan is scheduled for implementation in late spring 2007; the small kiosks around the Town Square have been moved to make way. In November their Livermore Village project was approved by the City of Livermore, California. It is a six acre catalyst site within downtown Livermore that will include 300 residential units, 6,000 square feet of retail, 6,000 square feet of artist space, and 20 live-work units. Opticos is also working with Anderson Pacific, LLC on the Waterfront District Master Plan in Hercules, California which is a 20-acre mixed-use district that will include 50,000 square feet of retail, 1,200 residential units, an Amtrak station, several public buildings, and a potential ferry terminal that will provide a direct link to San Francisco.

Neal Payton (KF ’02) has been in Los Angeles co-directing the west coast office of Torti Gallas and Partners for a year and a half.  The office now has a staff of 16, including Leslye Howerton (KS ’03). They are currently working on a number of TOD's including a project that promises to be the first one out of the ground along the planned L.A. River revitalization effort.

Raquel Raimundez (KS ’02) is working for Torti Gallas and Partners in their Silver Spring office. She works in the Urban Design studio and has been with the firm for three years.  

Michelle Robinson (KF ’03) has continued her volunteer involvement with community tree planting initiatives in Philadelphia organized by UC Green. Last spring’s planting of 150 trees near the Kingsessing Recreation Center was followed up this spring with 65 more trees, 45 of them at the nearby BB Comegys Elementary School – the hope is that next year the two sites will be connected. Two hundred volunteers of all ages showed up for the planting, and area students were also involved. Michelle recently assembled a team of mostly volunteer professionals to work with the community to develop a playground for the elementary school – as part of the process, the group conducted a charrette to solicit community input. The project will remove 40,000 sf of asphalt in exchange for porous surface (safety surface and plantings). A final preliminary design has been reached and the fundraising phase is beginning for this $1 million project. She recently joined the Executive Board of the Philadelphia Penn State Cooperative Extension and continues to serve on the Executive Board of UCGreen. In addition, she is renovating an abandoned house in West Philadelphia that she bought at a sheriff sale.

Verónica Rosales (KF ’04) was appointed director of the Community Development Department at the City of Sunland Park, New Mexico in November 2006.  Incorporated in 1985, the City of Sunland Park is located in the fastest growing county in New Mexico. Vero is proud to report that the zoning ordinance of the city contains a new chapter called the New Urbanism District and the first subdivision to be designed in accordance with this chapter has been submitted with grading approved.  One of her goals is to develop a town center in the bedroom community of 18,000 residents before 2010.

Tony Sease (KF ’06) After serving on the working committee which led to the creation of PERSI- Practices, Education, Education and Research for Sustainable Infrastructure (www.persi.us), Tony now serves on the Governing Assembly, representing CNU as one of the founding member organizations (along with others including ASCE, AIA, APA, ASLA, USGBC, CSI, NIBS, AWWA, ASHRAE, ASME, NIST, IEEE, ASTM.)   PERSI is intended to serve as a clearinghouse for sustainable infrastructure initiatives, practices, rating systems, and research underway by the member organizations.   

Kris Smith (KF ’06) presented information from his Knight Program research project at the LISC Urban Forum conference in November 2006, at a session titled “Black Broadway and Black Wall Street: Heritage Tourism Fueling Economic Development.”

Lee Sobel (KF ’01) was placed on the International Council of Shopping Center's new Urban Markets Initiative Task Force. He also co-authored This Is Smart Growth, a fall 2006 publication produced by the Smart Growth Network and the International City/County Management Association. The publication features 40 places from around the country where good development has improved residents’ quality of life, and is available for downloading for free from the Smart Growth Network at http://www.smartgrowthonlineaudio.org/pdf/TISG_2006_8-5x11.pdf.

Ken Stapleton (KF ’04) was promoted in January from director to executive director of the University Park Alliance at the University of Akron, and to the position of senior economic development advisor to the university president. In his new position, he will lead expanded efforts to revitalize University Park, a 40-block, mixed-use neighborhood surrounding The University of Akron. The initiative to revitalize University Park was awarded a $10 million grant from the Knight Foundation in fall 2006, the largest-ever single grant given by the foundation.

Peter Swift (KF ’02) is working as the director of Town Planning for Mid Atlantic Global, LLC in Erbil, Iraq. In addition to preparing plans for a University of Salahadin village project, he has been working on a new town plan in Dohuk, infill in the Ankawa Quarter, Erbil, and was a design team member for the redesign of the Palm Jebel Ali and Phases 1-3 of the Dubai Waterfront Master Plan, Dubai, UAE.

 

 


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