This fall, ​​Streets Ahead is convening interdisciplinary Working Groups made up of our Forum Fellows to advance a set of visionary proposals and tools for a more vibrant, equitable streetscape.

Each Working Group will focus on one of five key lenses: Commerce, Care, Climate, Culture, and Continuity.

Made up of designers, arborists, advocates, and community leaders, the Forum Fellows that make up our Streets Ahead Working Groups have extensive experience shaping the streetscapes of New York City.

 

Commerce ↓
Peter Bacevice, Director of Research, HLW

Peter Bacevice is an Associate Principal and Director of Research at HLW, an architecture, design, and strategy practice based in New York City. In addition, Pete is a Research Associate at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He holds a PhD in Education from the University of Michigan.

 

Jackson Chabot, Director of Public Space Advocacy, Open Plans
Jackson Chabot is the Director of Public Space Advocacy at Open Plans. Since joining Open Plans, Jackson has led the advocacy efforts for Open Plan’s proposal to create an Office of Public Space Management (OPSM). Jackson is a graduate of Pratt Institute’s Masters in Urban Placemaking and Management program.

 

Ed Janoff, Deputy Director/Chief of Staff, Union Square Partnership

Ed Janoff is Deputy Director of Union Square Partnership and an expert in park and streetscape planning. Prior to Union Square, Ed held positions at NYC Parks, NYC DOT, and Bryant Park Corporation/34th Street Partnership. He has orchestrated dozens of projects developing pedestrian and public space improvements citywide.

 

Siqi Zhu, Director, Planning & Delivery, Sidewalk Labs

Siqi is an urbanist, technologist, and designer working across the urban development and technology industries. As Director of Planning & Delivery at Sidewalk Labs, he works with developers to use design and technology innovations to improve urban development and enhance urban quality of life. He also actively develops new ways of integrating digital and physical technologies to enhance the public realm, and currently oversees technology development and pilots focused on innovative street design.

 

Rachel Meltzer, Professor of Planning and Urban Economics, Harvard University GSD

Rachel Meltzer is the Plimpton Associate Professor of Planning and Urban Economics at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Her research is broadly concerned with urban economies and how market and policy forces can shape disparate outcomes across neighborhoods. She focuses on issues related to economic development, housing, land use, and local public finance.

 

Sulin Carling, Principal, HR&A Advisors
Sulin Carling is a Principal at HR&A Advisors, an economic development consulting firm. She specializes in supporting vibrant main streets, planning for urban industrial areas, and fostering innovation in cities. Sulin was previously Senior Economic Development Planner at NYC DCP. She holds a Master in Urban Planning from Harvard GSD.

 

David Vega-Barachowitz, Director of Urban Design, WXY
David Vega-Barachowitz is Director of Urban Design at WXY. As a city planner and urban designer, David’s work explores the instrumentality of codes in shaping the built environment. His practice focuses on the development of new tools, research methods, and design perspectives that investigate and challenge the DNA of cities, from zoning and building codes to street and engineering manuals.

 

Larisa Ortiz, Managing Director, Street Sense

Larisa is an award-winning author, speaker and retail strategist who has led hundreds of comprehensive retail planning efforts both nationally and internationally. A Fulbright Scholar and Watson Fellow, she serves on the New York City Planning Commission and holds a master degree in planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

Culture ↓
Adam Forman, Chief Policy and Data Officer, Office of NYC Comptroller

Adam Forman is the Chief Policy and Data Officer at the NYC Office of the Comptroller, specializing in transportation, economic development, and arts and cultural policy. Adam has been recognized as a City & State “40 under 40 Rising Star” in New York City politics. He previously worked at the Center for an Urban Future and the Office of the Public Advocate.

 

Koray Duman, Architect, Buro Koray Duman Architects
Koray Duman is the principal of B-KD (Büro Koray Duman), a research-driven architecture and design studio based in New York and Istanbul. Established in 2013, the firm completed projects for American Society for Muslim Advancement, Finnish Cultural Institute NY, MoMA PS1 Museum and artist Richard Prince. In 2016, the firm won an invited competition to design an Art and Archive Building for the Noguchi Museum. In 2017, Architizer honored B-KD as Emerging Firm of the Year for ‘its forward-thinking for the role of the architect and the desire to disrupt the stigma of the practice.

 

Wendy Fok, Creative Technologist, Design Manager & Director

Wendy W Fok (she/them), trained as an architect, is interested in design, technology, and creative solutions for the built environment. They have experience in Product Development and Program Management from Zero to Launch, Design-Build, Manufacturing, Hardware/Software, and Digital Fabrication.

 

Sandra Wheeler, Co-Founder, MATTER Architecture

Sandra Wheeler is an architect, exhibition designer, intermittant educator; co-founder and director of Matter Architecture Practice in Brooklyn. MATTER has realized numerous exhibitions and public installations throughout the continental US, most of which are centered around fostering civic engagement within the urban environment, and addressing urgent social issues of our time.

 

Kathleen Cayetano has over 10 years of design experience working at international practices including OMA and Woods Bagot. Her work centers on projects that strive for better user experience and urbanism. Kathleen holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Toronto and a BA from Smith College.

 

Jennifer Nitzky, Landscape Architect, Studio HIP

Jennifer is Landscape Architect and Certified Arborist with over 20 years of experience in urban planning, streetscape design, parks, and playgrounds. She is skilled in community-oriented planning and design, leading many workshops, charrettes and hands-on activities. Jennifer is a Trustee for ASLA and VP of Fine Arts Federation of NY.

 

Xenia Diente, Deputy Director of Public Art and Design Initiatives, NYC Department of Design and Construction

Xenia Diente is interested in strengthening opportunities for artists and designers to creatively serve NYC. As a Queens based public art professional, she has worked for 17 years with artists and multiple stakeholders improving civic facilities and infrastructure with public art. Xenia has served on selection panels for the NYC Percent for Art Program and Queens Council for the Arts, participated in the NYCxDesign Steering Committee, and co-chaired the Augustus Saint-Gaudens award for professional achievement in Art. She is a 2014 Coro Leadership NY alumna, a 2012 Laundromat Project Create Change Fellow, and a 2011 social practice artist in residence led by Rick Lowe at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. In 2018, she was part of the “S.T.E.P.” exhibition at Flux Factory and currently serves on the board of Filipino American National History Society–Metro NY chapter. Xenia earned a BFA from Cooper Union, formerly a tuition-free art school in NYC.

 

Hatuey Ramos-Fermin, Director of Programs and Community Engagement, The Laundromat Project

Hatuey Ramos-Fermín is an artist and currently is the Director of Programs at The Laundromat Project. He is the co-founder of meta local collaborative, an artist collective, and Boogie Down Rides, a bicycling and art project celebrating cycling in the Bronx. He has organized projects and made presentations at a security guard training school (in tribute to Fashion Moda), community centers, churches, restaurants, laundromats, as well as galleries and museums. 

 

Susan Chin, Principal, DesignConnects

Susan Chin, principal, DesignConnects, is an accomplished architect and civic leader consulting on arts, architecture and urban design. Susan led the nationally recognized nonprofit Design Trust for Public Space, and the capital program at NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. She serves on the East Midtown Governing Group, AIA committees, and is recipient of numerous awards.

 

Climate ↓
Sera Tolgay, Designer, SCAPE

Sera Tolgay, AICP, is a Designer at SCAPE where she he collaborates with architects, engineers and planners on infrastructure, landscape and urban design projects that support resiliency, connect fragmented communities, and restore habitats and environmental systems. Sera holds a Master’s in City Planning and a Master’s of Science in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as well as a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and Policy with Distinction from Yale University.

 

Ankita Navalade, Assistant Urban Designer, NYC Department of Design and Construction

Ankita Navalade’s portfolio is a combination of strong design background and an understanding of sustainable urban systems. Currently, I am working with the New York City Department of Design and Construction as the Sustainability Coordinator and Green Infrastructure Project Manager in the Infrastructure unit.

 

Shachi Pandey, Founding Principal, Metropolitan Urban Design (MUD) Workshop

Shachi Pandey is a people-centric urban designer dedicated to revitalizing neighborhoods and regenerating public places. She is the Founding Principal of Metropolitan Urban Design (MUD) Workshop, an urban design practice that focuses on interdisciplinary public design and development projects in and around NYC.

 

Mike Harrington, Assistant Director, Tishman Environment and Design Center

Mike has worked in the sustainability field in various capacities and is currently an Assistant Director at the The New School. He has worked at Elevate Energy, an energy efficiency non-profit along with various other environmental organizations. He obtained his MS in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management from The New School.

 

Kaja Kühl, Urban Designer, youarethecity

Kaja Kühl is an urban designer and the founder of youarethecity – a people-centered research, design and planning practice that collaborates with communities to promote justice, equity and climate action in the built and natural environment. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University GSAPP, the co-founder of the Hudson Valley Collaborative and a member of the APA NY urban Design Committee.

 

Daphne Lundi, Deputy Director for Social Resiliency, NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate Resiliency

Daphne Lundi is Deputy Director for Social Resiliency at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate Resiliency. Her work is focused on creating programs that strengthen and prepare communities against climate change impacts. Projects include programs to increase awareness of heat risk, expanding green infrastructure investments, and retrofitting strategies for social infrastructure.

 

April Schneider, Smart Mobility Practice Lead, Stantec

April Schneider is a civil engineer and urban planner with Stantec’s Smart Mobility team. Her work is focused on reducing carbon emissions from transportation and adapting to the impacts of climate change. Outside of work she is an avid bike rider and urban explorer.

 

Amy MacDonald, Principal & Resilience Practice Leader, Thornton Tomasetti

Amy Macdonald is a Principal and the Resilience Practice Leader at Thornton Tomasetti. She specializes in providing public and private sector clients with strategies to offset physical, operational and financial risk. Amy leads the development of integrated, multidisciplinary resilience strategies, ensuring a risk-informed, future-focused approach is applied to design of the built environment.

 

Jieun Yang, Principal, Habitat Workshop

Jieun Yang is the principal of Habitat Workshop, an award-winning architecture and urban design practice in Brooklyn, NY. The practice creates spaces, objects, and interactions that activate human connections, build resiliency, and explore the potential of a place. Jieun teaches at CityTech (CUNY), NYIT, and Parsons School of Design.

 

AJ Pires, President, Alloy Development

AJ has been practicing real estate design and development in New York City for over 15 years. He started his career as a project manager for Peter Walker & Partners on the World Trade Center Memorial in downtown Manhattan. In 2006, AJ became a founding member of Alloy Development, a real estate development company based in Brooklyn, NY. At Alloy AJ manages the acquisition, design, capitalization, construction and disposition of projects that seek to promote thoughtful design and add value to the built environment of New York City.

 

Care ↓
Jenna Miller, Director, Landscape Architecture, Snøhetta

Jenna is a transdisciplinary designer focused on advancing equity in the public realm. She is Co-Founder/Principal of design firm RUEd’ ARCH and Urban Design & Policy Manager at the NYC Public Design Commission, where she leads the Streetscapes for Wellness initiative. She holds a M.Arch from Columbia University GSAPP and a B.A. in Architecture and Environmental Studies from Wellesley College.

 

Gloria Lau, Senior Land Scape Architect, Stantec

Gloria is a landscape architect and urban planner, working at the intersection of urban landscape, resilient infrastructure, and equitable design. She is currently a senior landscape architect at Stantec, focusing on large-scale public space and resiliency projects. Gloria is an UDF Forefront Fellow and a member at NEW INC.

 

Tei Carpenter, Founder, Agency–Agency

Tei Carpenter is an architectural designer, educator and founder of Agency—Agency, an award-winning New York City-based architecture and design studio. Agency—Agency has been honored as a winner of the 2021 League Prize by the Architectural League of New York, the 2018 New Practices New York by the American Institute of Architects, featured as a Next Progressives by Architect Magazine, and included in Domus Magazine’s 2019 list of the Best 100 Architecture Firms. She has taught design studios and seminars at Columbia GSAPP, the University of Toronto, Rice University and Brown University.

 

Nels Erickson, Designer, Kohn Pedersen Fox

Nels Erickson is a designer at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates in New York. He has an M.Arch from Tulane University and B.A. in International Studies from Lafayette College. His interest is in granular details where physical and non-physical systems intersect, and loves talking with people about the Bronx, particularly the Bronx River.

 

Huston Dawson, Senior Principal, Thornton Tomasetti

Huston Dawson is a Senior Principal and Thornton Tomasetti’s New York Protective Design Practice Leader. He has led numerous protective design projects for the Department of State, the General Services Administration, the Department of Defense, and in the private sector. He has worked on over a dozen U.S. embassy projects, multiple federal buildings, and dozens of private sector buildings. Many of these projects were related to the renovation of existing facilities.

 

Ruth Ro, Associate Principal, Dattner Architects

Ruth brings to her work a background both as an economic development analyst and as a painter, as well as a commitment to social equity. She is passionate about the role of design and the built environment in developing an equitable economy in cities and sees social infrastructures as long-term physical assets that help overcome the income divide.

 

Colin Brown, Urban Planner, Sam Schwartz Engineering

As a transportation planner, I focus on improving multimodal transportation choices and building more enjoyable public spaces in cities. Transit equity and the safety of vulnerable street users are core components of my planning framework.

 

Delma Palma, Deputy Director of Architecture and Urban Planning, NYCHA

Delma Palma is Deputy Director of Architecture and Urban Planning at the New York City Housing Authority. She is a licensed architect and certified planner who leads several design studios to implement capital projects across NYCHA’s portfolio. Prior to NYCHA, she worked on emergency and affordable housing nationally and internationally.

 

Emmanuel Oni, Community Designer, Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice

Emmanuel Oni is a first generation Nigerian-American living in New York City. He is a Community Designer at the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, assisting in the multi-agency placemaking strategy, Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety. He is an architectural designer interested in using design as a catalyst for social change, and has experience in the arts as a painter and arts facilitator. He received a Master’s in Architecture from Parsons School of Design and a dual Bachelor’s in Biology & Psychology from the University of Houston.

 

Continuity ↓
Yadiel Rivera, Partner, Marvel Architects

Since 2017 Yadiel joined Marvel as lead of its landscape architecture practice, where he has been managing open space, master plans and landscape projects. He has over 13 years of experience as a landscape architect and three as an architect, designing open public spaces in the United States, Puerto Rico and abroad. Through his experience as a multidisciplinary designer, he has negotiated the intersection between landscape architecture, architecture and urban design.

 

Elizabeth Stoel, Associate Partner, Rogers Partners

Elizabeth Stoel, AIA, LEED AP, is an Associate Partner at Rogers Partners, where she leads many of the firm’s institutional and public space projects. Throughout her work, she strives to create spaces and infrastructures that have a transformational impact on the urban environment, and on the communities they serve.

 

Jacob Dugopolski, Senior Associate, WXY architecture and urban design

Jacob Dugopolski, AIA AICP LEED AP is a Senior Associate at WXY architecture and urban design, focusing on innovation in the design and planning of buildings, public spaces, and cities. Leading projects at all scales from cultural renovations to masterplan studies, he has over ten years of expertise in mixed-use rezonings and waterfront planning.

 

Julia Day, Director and Team Lead, Gehl

Julia develops projects across design, policy, and strategy, focusing on creating public spaces where people can engage with and shape their cities. She has worked with city governments, community leaders, and developers across North America and the UK to transform streets into play space, to design mobility networks that position streets as public spaces and make walking and biking convenient and safe, and to develop frameworks for collecting quantitative and qualitative data on things we value, such as inclusion and belonging, but that often are considered too difficult to measure.

 

Dana Chermesh, CEO, inCitu

Dana is an Entrepreneur In Residence at Schmidt Futures, and the Founder & CEO of inCitu: an Augmented-Reality-powered civic engagement app that democratizes city planning. She is an architect from Tel-Aviv, Israel, and an Urban Data Scientist from NYU CUSP (2018). Prior to becoming an EIR, Dana was the Director of Urban Data and Innovation at DRAW Brooklyn, an Urban Design studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn. She worked at the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP), conducting a data-driven analysis of Regional Planning.

 

Jeffrey Shumaker, Founder and President, urbanscape

Jeffrey Shumaker, AICP, has been working at the intersection of architecture, urban design and planning for more than twenty-five years, in both the public and private sectors, and in cities across the globe. He served the City of New York as its Chief Urban Designer and held leadership roles in some of the world’s top architecture, urban planning and design firms.

 

Elise Wagner, Partner, Kramer Levin

Elise Wagner advises real estate owners and developers and nonprofit institutions regarding the land use issues they face when planning and developing new buildings, and when rehabilitating and repositioning existing buildings. Elise’s work encompasses coordinating the public approval processes for major public-private development projects involving cooperation between private developers and New York City and state agencies, consulting about the most efficient and cost effective strategy for obtaining approval of additions to single buildings, negotiating multiparty transactions for the transfer of development rights, and performing due diligence for the purchase and financing of major properties.

 

Melissa Burch, Executive General Manager, Lendlease

A leading developer in New York City for 18 years, Melissa Román Burch is Executive General Manager for Lendlease. Committed to “Creating the Best Places,” Lendlease is an international property firm with a $70 billion pipeline of Urban Regeneration projects across major global cities. Melissa leads Lendlease’s Development unit in New York, originates large-scale development opportunities, and is a National Practice Leader for the firm on Urbanization and Affordable Housing.