Urban Ecosystem Health Indicators for LA county and LA city:Presentation III by Alina Bokde Chief Deputy Director, County of Los Angeles Presentation IV by Dr. Isaac Brown, Senior Scientist, Stillwater Sciences
Grant Pearsell is a registered professional urban planner with a focus on long range planning for urban biodiversity and parks. He has 40 years of experience in the environment sector in a variety of planning and engineering roles. As a former Director of Urban Analysis and Parks and Biodiversity in the city of Edmonton, he led the creation of the city’s award winning ecological planning system and directed the implementation over 20 years. He has expertise in wetland and natural area conservation and management.
Xiaohui Li is the director of Research Center for Low-Carbon & Eco-City in Guangzhou Urban Planning & Design Survey Research Institute. Being an urban planner for 14 years, he directed a number of projects including city master plans, detailed plans and eco city plans. In recent years, Xiaohui mainly devoted to green and eco-oriented urban planning and focused on the fields of urban spatial regulation policies, urban ecosystem services and low carbon and eco-city planning. He worked with the World Bank in the technical assistant program “Support Sustainable Cooling Strategy in Guangzhou” since 2020.
Mark Gold joined OPC in July of 2019. As Executive Director of OPC and the Deputy Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Policy for the California Natural Resources Agency, Mark serves as a key advisor to the Governor and the Secretary of Natural Resources, and directs policy, scientific research and critical partnerships to increase protection of coastal and ocean resources in California. Prior to his appointment, he was the UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability, where he led their Sustainable Los Angeles Grand Challenge effort. Prior to UCLA, Mark was the first hire at Heal the Bay, where he served as their President for 18 years. During that time, he worked on ocean and coastal legislation and policy, stormwater, watershed management, and marine conservation and coastal restoration issues, projects and programs. Over the course of his career, his research focused on beach water quality and health risks, as well as sustainable water resources management. Mark received his B.A. and M.A. in Biology as well as his doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering, all from UCLA.
Richard Weller is the Meyerson Chair of Urbanism and Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture and co-executive director of the McHarg Center at the Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. In both 2017 and 2018 he was voted by the Design Intelligence Survey as one of North America’s “most admired” teachers. In over 30 years of practice he has worked simultaneously as an academic and a consultant specializing in the formative stages of design and planning projects ranging across all scales. Weller's recent research concerns global flash-points between biodiversity and urban growth as documented in the web-based publication ‘Atlas for the End of the World’ and the ‘The Hotspot Cities Project’. His current project is a feasibility study into the concept of a ‘World Park’. Weller has 6 books to his name, and over 100 academic papers and his work has been covered in the popular press by Scientific American and National Geographic.
Clare Warburton is Principal Adviser for Green Infrastructure in Natural England. She has over 20 years’ experience in the environment sector, both public and private, with a particular focus on urban greening and embedding green infrastructure in development through strategic planning and good design. She is currently overseeing the 25 Year Environment Plan’s Green Infrastructure Framework project which is developing a national framework to support the delivery of more good quality green infrastructure close to where people live and work.
Gillian Dick is the Manager of Spatial Planning – Research & Development team within the Development Plan Group at Glasgow City Council. She has a BSc (Hons) in Town Planning from Heriot-Watt University and BSc (Hons) in Human Geography from the Open University. She is a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and currently the Vice Chair on their Partnership and Accreditation Panel. She has just completed six years as the RTPI nominated practitioner rep on Queen University Belfast Planning school partnership Board, which she also chaired for the final two years. She has just started a similar role with the Technical University Dublin Partnership Board, where she is the vice-chair. Gillian has the lead role for the Council within the Horizon 2020 Connecting Nature project, where Glasgow is one of the front runner cities.
Javier Castaño Caro is Senior Adviser in the Cooperation and International Affairs Area at Madrid City Council. He has a BSc in Environmental Sciences complemented with a master's in environmental management and engineering. Javier started his career in the private sector working for consulting companies such as COVITECMA and CH2M Hill. Since 2009 he has been working at Madrid City Council where he now leads operations on environmental management and climate change.
Benoit de Saint-Martin is an Architect graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris-Belleville. He also got a master degree in Urban Planning from de l'Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. He began his career as a consultant for the Institute Paris Région, during a coopération mission in Cairo (Egypt). After an expérience as urban project manager in the area of La Défense Business District (EPAD 1992 -1999), he joined the City of Paris, where he was initially urbain project manager of North East Paris. He is now especially in charge of the implementation of greens infrastructures in the bioclimatic Local Urban Plan of Paris, at Urban Ecology Agency (Green Spaces and Environmental Department).
Dr. Tim Beatley is the Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, School of Architecture at the University of Virginia, where he has taught for the last twenty-five years. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Biophilic Cities Network. Much of Beatley’s work focuses on the subject of sustainable communities, and creative strategies by which cities and towns can fundamentally reduce their ecological footprints, while at the same time becoming more livable and equitable places. Beatley believes that sustainable and resilient cities represent our best hope for addressing today’s environmental challenges. Beatley is the author or co-author of more than fifteen books on these subjects, including Green Urbanism: Learning from European Cities (recently translated into Chinese), Habitat Conservation Planning, Native to Nowhere: Sustaining Home and Community in a Global Age, and Planning for Coastal Resilience.
Gregor Herda, Project Task Manager at GAF AG, is an urban planner with a background in GIS and remote sensing. Before joining GAF AG in 2022, Gregor prepared and implemented large urban infrastructure projects in South and South-East Asia with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank covering, among others, social housing, urban transport, and WASH. In addition, he has provided policy advice on solid waste management (World Bank HQ and Nigeria Country Office) as well as affordable housing and resource efficiency in buildings (UN-Habitat HQ and India Country Office).
GAF colleagues also joining Gregor: Thomas Hausler (Head of Forestry Unit), Sharon Gomez (Senior Project Manager); and Fabian Enssle (Senior Project Manager; Earth Observation & GIS Specialist for Forestry Applications)
Alina Bokde was appointed as Chief Deputy Director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation in December 2020. In her role, she is responsible for the Department’s day-to-day operations of 183 facilities that includes an annual budget of $243 million, more than 2,100 employees and 5,400 registered volunteers. Prior, Alina served as the Deputy Director of the Planning and Development Agency for the Department of Parks and Recreation. In this capacity, Alina oversaw planning, environmental permitting, land management & compliance, landscape architecture & design, water & environmental conservation initiatives for 183 park facilities and over 200 miles of trails spanning over 70,000 acres throughout Los Angeles County. Alina’s passion in the field of parks and recreation is based in her strong belief that parks are fundamental community infrastructure that are essential for vibrant, healthy and thriving communities and that everyone should have access to a safe and high-quality park regardless of their race or income level. She brings her commitment to advancing equity in parks and recreation programs and projects. Appointed by the Governor in 2018, Alina serves on the statewide Wildlife Conservation Board. Alina received her undergraduate degree from Macalester College and a Masters Degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico.
Andy Shrader is the Executive Director of Environmental Affairs for Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz. He is best known for his efforts to move the City beyond coal and gas power, close down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, initiate the City's groundbreaking biodiversity index, wildlife habitat connectivity, and healthy soils efforts, and, with the Leap LA Coalition, create the world's first Climate Emergency Mobilization Department, guided by the principles of equity, environmental justice, and a just transition. His latest role is the campaign director of the City’s $1M Cool City Challenge-winning carbon neutral 2030 climate moonshot team.
Isaac Brown, D.Env., is a Senior Scientist at Stillwater Sciences. He is an internationally recognized landscape ecologist, planner, and designer specializing in urban biodiversity and ecosystem stewardship solutions. Dr. Brown has applied these concepts for a wide variety of public and private sector clients worldwide. His specific expertise is in developing comprehensive urban ecosystem indicators that address biodiversity, ecosystem services, pollution, and ecological hazards, and applying them in science-driven design and planning processes. This approach represents a promising new direction for the sustainability of cities.
Elizabeth Reid-Wainscoat, Campaigner, works in the Center for Biological Diversity's Urban Wildlands program to protect natural resources for endangered species and community members by limiting sprawl development. Her work includes campaigns on wildlife connectivity, water resources and destructive land-use policies. Before joining the Center, Elizabeth worked as a senior research and policy analyst at UCLA’s Sustainable LA Grand Challenge and was also a fellow with the Mayor of Los Angeles Sustainability Office. She holds a bachelor’s in environmental systems from the University of California, San Diego as well as a masters in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Mia Callenberg is an architect and urban planner, and works for the Global Environment Facility with special focus on integrated programming and urban systems. Before joining the GEF, she worked several years with environmental design in the private sector, and with land use planning in humanitarian operations.
Russell Galt serves as Head of the IUCN Urban Alliance – a broad coalition of IUCN Members striving to bring cities into balance with nature. His role entails facilitating debate and knowledge exchange, catalysing projects and partnerships, and developing tools and knowledge products. From Brussels, Cape Town, Nairobi and Edinburgh, he has spent the last dozen years working internationally for the United Nations Environment Programme, South African National Biodiversity Institute and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. He holds an LLM in Natural Resources Law and Policy, a BSc (Hons) in Ecological Science and is currently pursuing an Executive MBA at the University of Edinburgh.
Marina Ruta is Lead of the BiodiverCities by 2030 Initiative at the World Economic Forum. Passionate about innovation and initiatives fostering environmental sustainability, with over 17 years of experience within academia, industry, and international organisations she mostly managed projects for research, technology innovation, business and partnership development. She previously worked at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Dow Chemicals, Vestergaard-Frandsen SA, Novozymes, UN Environment Programme and as independent consultant for start-up projects. Marina holds a PhD from the Doctoral School of Environmental Engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and an MBA with specialization in International Organizations from the University of Geneva. She is certified PMI project manager, biomimicry practitioner and yoga teacher. Both Italian and Swiss citizen, she currently resides in Geneva. In her spare time, she can be found in nature hiking and freediving. She constantly explores initiatives shaping the future of urban development, nature and human consciousness.
Defne Osmanoglou is a Nature-based Solutions and Disaster Risk Management specialist with a variety of experience at the World Bank and the Government of the Netherlands. She is core team member of World Bank's Global Program on NBS, in which she is working on the development of knowledge products and mainstreaming Nature-based Solutions throughout Bank operations. She has supported several projects in different regions, such as in Rwanda, DRC, Madagascar and Turkey. She holds a hydraulic engineering degree from Delft University of Technology and is specialized in integrated urban design and stakeholder engagement in flood risk management and climate resilience projects.