Lida believes in an urban future that is both resilient and just. She leads HPD's neighborhood planning and climate adaptation in Rockaway, Queens. Previously, Lida led nation-wide urban resilience initiatives at The Trust for Public Land and managed public-private partnerships for community development in Arlington, VA. She has presented internationally on cities, climate change and social equity.
On December 5, our Forefront Fellows will explore new systems of thinking that can pave the way for a sustainable future.
Event details to be announced soon.
Guest Policy ↓
The Urban Design Forum promotes conversation between invited civic leaders, designers, developers and advocates. Forum Fellows are welcome to invite one additional guest to attend.
Fall Forefront Events ↓
10/3 Invisible Networks
Digser Abreu, NYCHA
Rhonda-Lee Davis, Lantern Community Services
Dorraine Duncan, NYCEDC
Lydia Gaby, HR&A Advisors
Gloria Lau, Stantec
Manuela Powidayko, NYC DCP
10/24 Public Health
Cyrus Blankinship, NYU Marron Institute
Eileen Chen, Dattner
Gregory Harasym, MTA
Catherine Joseph, 3XN Architects
Amritha Mahesh, NYC DCP
Kathy Mu, Grimshaw
Jill Schmidt, Brooklyn Navy Yard
11/14 Environmental Racism
Abraham Bendheim, Studio Gang
Renée Crowley, NYC Compost Project
Annemarie Gray, NYCEDC
Mike Harrington, New School
Pallavi Mantha, Arup
Mallory Taub, Gensler
12/5 Utopian Systems
Lida Aljabar, NYC HPD
Brandon Cappellari, BIG
Michael Izzo, Hines
Amy Macdonald, Thornton Tomasetti
Rebecca Macklis, NYC PDC
Autumn Visconti, BIG
About Forefront ↓
Forefront is an annual initiative cultivating emerging leaders in urban design, development and policy. This year's theme, Turning the Heat, explores how urban practitioners can advance climate justice principles across New York City.
This program is made possible through the support of Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and our Director's Circle. To learn more, please contact Daniel McPhee, Executive Director, 646-928-0553 or email@example.com.
Brandon is an Associate Principal and Landscape Architect at SWA/Balsley. His strong technical and intellectual leadership skills are exhibited daily in the studio and he has proven to be an effective communicator and liaison between design team members, sub-consultants, contractors, and clients. He is a passionate and motivated professional who thrives in a collaborative team environment.
Michael is a vice president of construction at Hines and is responsible for capital projects within the Hudson Square Properties portfolio. Before joining Hines in 2017, he worked as a mechanical engineer in various capacities. He managed projects within a large capital program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center focusing on infrastructure resiliency, energy efficiency and life cost of systems.
Amy specializes in providing clients with strategies to offset physical, operational and financial risk. Her experience spans four continents and includes reconnaissance following catastrophic hurricanes, earthquakes and floods, along with development of integrated, multidisciplinary resilience strategies. Amy leads the design of high profile risk reduction and climate change adaptation strategies for healthcare, commercial and real estate clients throughout the US northeast.
Rebecca is the Senior Urban Design Manager at the NYC Public Design Commission. Her work is concentrated on design policy and regulatory design review of architecture and urban design projects, with a focus on affordable housing, mixed-use developments, and large-scale urban systems. She manages the Designing New York: Quality Affordable Housing and Prefabrication in the Public Realm initiatives, and is committed to promoting equitable and inclusive design through interdisciplinary collaboration. Her prior experience spans architecture, urban design, and anthropology, where she has explored a continued interest in the intersection of planning, policy, and design of the built environment.
Autumn is a Senior Landscape Architect at BIG leading the East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) and the Brooklyn-Queens Park (BQP) projects. Her approach has been devoted to better preparing cities, communities, and regions for climate adaptation. This direction evolved into designing and developing climate resilient strategies for the national Rebuild By Design and The Mississippi River Delta Changing Course competitions.