Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates
Zabe Bent has more than 15 years of experience in multimodal transportation planning and urban development. Her skills include project management, conceptual design, transit service planning, and communications. She specializes in projects where multiple modes compete for space or priority in constrained environments. In addition to consulting and lecturing, Zabe has managed a range of public agency efforts including San Francisco’s congestion pricing feasibility study, the update to the long range countywide transportation plan, and various bus rapid transit studies and neighborhood transportation plans focused on delivering near-term safety, performance, and access improvements. Zabe also uses her experience at a funding agency to offer insight on positioning projects for opportunities to advance toward successful implementation.
Zabe has a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University, as well as a Master in City Planning and Master of Science in Transportation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She sits on the TRB Committee on Transportation Planning Applications and has published several papers on bus rapid transit, congestion pricing, and other transportation policies. She has also spoken at conferences and summits across the US, as well as Toronto, Stockholm, and Sydney.
President & CEO
Congress for the New Urbanism
Lynn Richards is President and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Previously, Richards had a long and distinguished career at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), holding multiple leadership roles over 13 years including Acting Director and Policy Director in the Office of Sustainable Communities. She worked with dozens of state and local governments to implement placemaking approaches by developing policies, urban design strategies, and environmental solutions for vibrant, prosperous neighborhoods. Additionally, she produced groundbreaking research on water and land use strategies.
Before joining the EPA, Richards worked briefly in the private sector at a consulting firm. She lived and worked in the former Soviet Republics from 1988 to 1995, helping environmental groups increase their organizational and political effectiveness.
Richards was awarded a Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in the 2012-2013 school year. She has a dual Masters in Environmental Science and Public Affairs from Indiana University.
Director of the MS in Urban Design
Georgia Institute of Technology
Ellen Dunham-Jones, FCNU, is a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Director of the MS in Urban Design. An authority on sustainable suburban redevelopment, she is co-author with June Williamson of Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs, (Wiley; 2009, 2011, 2013.) Her work has been featured in The New York Times, TED, PBS, and NPR. Her research intersects trends in contemporary theory, health, real estate development – and most recently – autonomous vehicles.
Ellen Dunham-Jones is a professor of architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology where she directs the MS in Urban Design degree. An authority on sustainable suburban redevelopment, she is co-author ofRetrofitting Suburbia; Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs (Wiley: 2009, 2011, 2013). Its documentation of successful retrofits of aging big box stores, malls, and office parks into healthy and more sustainable places received a PROSE award and has received significant media attention in The New York Times, PBS, NPR, and is the subject of her 2010 TED talk. She continues to grow her database and lectures frequently on retrofitting, urban design pedagogy, and – most recently – autonomous vehicles. She serves on various national AIA, ULI, and EcoDistrict committees, is a Fellow of the Congress for the New Urbanism, and is working to improve the national standards for teaching architecture students about cities. She received undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture from Princeton University and taught at UVA and MIT before joining Georgia Tech’s faculty to serve as Director of the Architecture Program from 2001-2009.
New Projects Director and Project Manager
Cate Ryba is the New Projects Director and Project Manager at Urban3, a consulting company created by Asheville real estate developer, Public Interest Projects. Urban3’s work in pioneering geo-spatial representation of a city’s economic productivity has prompted a paradigm shift in understanding the dramatic impact that the way we design our communities impacts our municipal fiscal health. Cate’s work focuses on project management, developing relationships with clients and partners, and policy facilitation after an analysis for a community is complete. Cate has the unique experience of being both a former city staffer and a former local elected official. She is an urban designer, planner and self-admitted civic policy geek.
Prior to joining Urban3, Cate ran her own civic consulting practice; led a downtown revitalization nonprofit; spent 5 years as the youngest member of City Council in her hometown of Spartanburg, SC; and worked as a municipal Economic Developer. Cate holds BA from Wellesley College and a Masters of City and Regional Planning and a Certificate of Urban Design from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design. Cate has extensive experience with local government finance and policy, urban design and economic development. She is a graduate of Leadership South Carolina. Cate currently serves as a board member of the Asheville Design Center and is a part of the Creative Mornings Asheville team.
Andrea oversees the Propeller team, operations and strategic direction.
Andrea began her career as a high school English teacher at John McDonogh Sr. High School and subsequently trained teachers at the University of New Orleans and The New Teacher Project. She has worked at the Louisiana Association of Charter Schools where she oversaw grantmaking for over $5 million in charter school startup funds and launched a $1.5 million below-market rate Bridge Loan Fund. She was named “40 Under 40” by Gambit Magazine, 2010 City Business Women of the Year, World Economic Forum Young Global Shaper, and is an appointed board member of the New Orleans Business Alliance, the official economic development arm of the City of New Orleans. She graduated from Stanford University, attended Harvard Graduate School of Education and the University of New Orleans, and was trained in business at Dartmouth University’s Tuck School of Business.
Kathryn Lawler, MPP
Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement
Kathryn Lawler serves as the Executive Director for the Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement (ARCHI). As an interdisciplinary coalition with almost 100 member organizations, ARCHI works to enhance the economic vitality of metropolitan Atlanta by improving the health and wellbeing of its residents.
Kathryn’s 20 year career has focused on cross-sector interventions to address complex social problems. From her earliest days as a case worker in downtown Atlanta, her graduate school research and her tenure in a variety of roles at the Atlanta Regional Commission, she has worked to bring together transportation, housing and healthcare systems to support vulnerable populations. Most recently she led a large team as Manager of the Aging and Health Resources Division and Director of the Area Agency on Aging for metro Atlanta, providing expertise in the challenges and opportunities of longevity, developing new policies and programs, publishing articles and giving extensive presentations on the topics of aging in place, demographic change, long term services and supports and health systems reform.
Kathryn holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree from Harvard University.
Laurie Volk is principal in charge of Zimmerman/Volk Associates’ market studies and is the firm’s primary analyst of demographic, market, and lifestyle trends.
Volk’s development of the target market methodology—analytical tools to determine the market potential for downtown housing; for mixed-income, mixed-tenure repopulation and stabilization of fragile inner-city neighborhoods, and for new mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented traditional neighborhoods—has been instrumental in bringing Zimmerman/Volk Associates into national prominence. Volk has conducted more than 85 downtown studies across the country, in cities ranging in size from Petersburg, Virginia (population 32,400) to Detroit, Michigan (population 713,000).
Volk currently serves on the Board of the Congress of the New Urbanism and the Advisory Board of the Remaking Cities Institute. She was a founding board member, now emeritus, of the National Charrette Institute, and served for more than a dozen years on the Board of Governors of the Seaside Institute. She also served as a member of the Technical Advisory Group for Location and Planning of the U.S. Green Building Council. Volk was recipient of a 2002 Knight Fellowship in Community Building, and has been an instructor on market analysis for the Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence at the University of Pennsylvania.
Volk established international credentials for her observations of consumer and economic trends as a writer and researcher for The Times of London and as a member of the prestigious Insight Team of The Sunday Times. In addition, she was chief of research for over a dozen Sunday Times books, covering topics ranging from finance to commercial aviation. She is a graduate of Duke University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Kennedy is one of the nation’s foremost experts on commercial district revitalization, downtown economics, and independent business development. She co-founded the CLUE Group in 2004. Kennedy’s work focuses particular attention on creating dynamic retail development plans, cultivating locally owned businesses, creating effective business and property development incentives, finding new uses for key historic buildings, and strengthening the organizational infrastructure needed to create vibrant town centers.
Before launching the CLUE Group, Kennedy served on the staff of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center for 19 years, the last 14 of them as the director of the national Main Street program. During her tenure the Main Street program became one of the most successful economic development programs in the US, generating $18 billion in new investment and stimulating development of 226,000 new jobs and 56,000 new businesses and expanding to a nationwide network of almost 2,000 towns and cities.
In addition to her work with the CLUE Group, Kennedy serves as adjunct faculty for the graduate program in historic preservation at Goucher College, where she teaches a class in historic preservation economics. She is a popular international speaker on community economic development and writes occasional columns for several professional journals. In 2002, Fast Company magazine named her to its inaugural list of "Fast 50 Champions of Innovation," recognizing “creative thinkers whose sense of style and power of persuasion change what our world looks like and how our products perform.” She was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design in 2005. In 2009, Planetizen.com included her in its list of " 100 Top Urban Thinkers".
Morris & Fellows
Cheri Morris develops, leases, owns, manages, and consults on upscale mixed-use communities, with a focus on downtown revitalizations. Noteworthy Atlanta-area projects include Vickery Village in Forsyth County, Woodstock Downtown in the City of Woodstock, Town Brookhaven on Dresden Drive, and Luckie Marietta, a three-block dining and entertainment district on Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. Her development in downtownWoodstock has garnered international attention as an unprecedented financial success and driver of ancillary economic development in its downtown environs. She was also on the teams that created downtown Rosemary Beach on Florida’s Emerald Coast, The Summit, one of the nation’s first and most successful lifestyle centers, and Lime Grove, a mixed use resort in Barbados
Her development projects have been awarded the “Development of Excellence” by the Urban Land Institute, cited as “Development of the Year” by the Atlanta Regional Commission, received the CNU International Charter Award for Best Neighborhood-Scale District, named “America’s Best Smart Growth Community” by the National Homebuilders Association, and “America’s Neighborhood” by Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.
She also consults to municipalities, creating downtown revitalization plans that combine her unique knowledge of both public sector planning and private sector development. Morris is a sought-after thought leader in urban planning and a principal in public-private partnerships, often heading teams that redevelop the downtown districts of cities and towns based on her master plans. Morris is currently underway with public-private partnerships to develop Alpharetta City Center and Woodstock City Center.
Morris served on the teaching faculty of the International Council of Shopping Centers for over 20 years. She is a frequent speaker for such groups as ICSC, Urban Land Institute, Congress for the New Urbanism and the Atlanta Regional Commission. Morris has contributed to several prestigious media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Shopping Centers Today, The Journal of Property Management, and Shopping Center Business.
Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company
Marina Khoury is an expert in sustainable urban redevelopment, regional planning, transit-oriented developments, affordable housing and form-based codes. As a partner at DPZ Partners, she has been Director of its Washington D.C. area office since 2007. A licensed architect and fluent in several languages, Khoury has worked on the design and implementation of projects in the US, Canada, Europe and the Middle East including ground-breaking new codes around the world that mandate resilient urbanism. She speaks globally widely on issues related to Smart Growth and affordable, sustainable, and walkable communities. Marina is active in Washington area civic groups, including the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), where she served as a Board member of the CNU-DC chapter from 2007-2012. She currently serves on the following Boards: Form-Based Code Institute (FBCI), and the Center for Applied Transect Study (CATS). She is a member of the New Urban Guild and a LEED Accredited professional.
Director of Mayor Robideaux's Cultural Economy Initiative, CREATE and Creating in Place Director of Creative Mischief
Creating in Place
Kate Durio currently serves as Assistant to the Mayor-President in Lafayette, Louisiana where she focuses on the cultural economy, creative placemaking, transportation and public spaces. She previously served as the Director of Marketing & Events with Downtown Lafayette, where she celebrated the local culture and contributed by producing many loved events, including Downtown Alive! (free, weekly concert series), Movies in the Parc, ArtWalk and anything else that happened Downtown.
She’s been known to start the best kind of trouble including building parklets, planting trees, inciting public art and overall community improvement shenanigans. In addition to her day job, she serves on several boards including The 705: Acadiana’s Emerging Leaders, Southern Screen Film Festival, Leadership Institute of Acadiana and her neighborhood coterie, Freetown-Port Rico.
She is also an active member of the Congress for the New Urbanism and has also co-produced the CityBuilding Exchange since 2015. She recently co-founded a new non-profit, ReCover Acadiana, with her partner-in-good to achieve their mission of tackling beautification and blight remediation projects through collaboration or rogue action.
Kate has become Lafayette’s resident Tactical Urbanist and Creative Placemaker and works with many community partners to do better for our community through projects and civic service, especially in neighborhoods, since she believes we should all do what we can, where we can, on our own block, street or neighborhood. She is also an award-winning journalist with years of experience in the TV news business both in Portland, Oregon and Lafayette, Louisiana, where she specialized in investigative journalism. She is also currently a freelance writer with a weekly article in both The Daily Advertiser (Lafayette) and The Times of Acadiana (Lafayette). She is a big fan of typewriters, snail mail, vinyl and the public library, which is located Downtown, of course.
Her current hero is Janette Sadik-Khan, who’s book, Streetfight, has changed the way Kate sees pavement and has committed to reclaiming it for people wherever and however possible.
Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company
Andrés Duany is a founding principal at Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ), and a co-founder and emeritus board member of the Congress for the New Urbanism.
In the years since the firm first received recognition for the design of Seaside, Florida in 1980, DPZ has completed designs for over 300 new towns, downtowns, regional plans, and community revitalization projects. These projects have ranged from the scale of the building to over 500,000 acres, and are found in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Andrés has delivered over one thousand lectures and seminars, addressing architects, planning groups, university students, and the general public. He has co-authored many books including “Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream,” “The New Civic Art: Elements of Town Planning,” “The Smart Growth Manual,” “Garden Cities: Theory & Practice of Agrarian Urbanism,” and “Landscape Urbanism and Its Discontents.” He is the principal author of The SmartCode which is the first open source form-based zoning code template, and he is a founding board member of the Transect Codes Council and the Form-Based Codes Institute.
Andrés received his undergraduate degree in architecture and urban planning from Princeton University, and after a year of study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, he earned a master’s degree in architecture from the Yale School of Architecture. He has been awarded several honorary doctorates, the Brandeis Award for Architecture, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Medal of Architecture from the University of Virginia, the Vincent J. Scully Prize for exemplary practice and scholarship in architecture and urban design from the National Building Museum, the Society of American Registered Architects International Award, the Albert Simons Medal of Excellence, the Seaside Prize for contributions to community planning and design from the Seaside Institute, and the Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture.
As the founder of the CityBuilding Exchange, Nathan Norris is leading the organization’s outreach to cities and expand its municipality-focused training and education. In addition to managing CNU’s intensive Core Curriculum workshops, Norris also oversees new technical offerings on a range of New Urbanist topics like coding, development, street design and more. Available to state and local governments of all sizes, CNU’s educational programs offer a crash-course for municipal leaders and staff on New Urbanist principles and strategies.
During Norris’s previous role as CEO of the Downtown Development Authority, Norris led the effort toward major strides in walkable development and won national awards for the Downtown's coding accomplishments and its Creativity Everywhere initiative. Previously, Nathan was the co-founder and Director of Implementation Advisory for the international urban design firm PlaceMakers, LLC. At PlaceMakers, Nathan worked with developers and municipalities to plan, entitle, develop and market neighborhoods, towns and cities.
Nathan is an attorney and has served as the real estate broker for multiple large scale traditional neighborhood developments. Nathan is a contributor to the Charter of the New Urbanism and the SmartCode Manual; a co-founder of the New Urban Guild; a founding board member of the Transect Codes Council; the primary author of the Smart Growth Schools Report Card; a certified instructor for the National Association of Realtors Smart Growth course; and the project manager for the Appraisal System which rates the merits of development from the perspective of Smart Growth principles.
He regularly speaks across the country on how communities can leverage placemaking as an economic development tool. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his law degree from the University of Alabama.