Bios (Sustainability Committee)

 Leadership Working Group

AlexLAlex Lantsberg

Co-director (September 2015)

Alex was inspired to co-direct the Sustainability Committee because of it’s leading-edge focus and planners operating at an important “regulatory” systems change lever. Alex has advanced sustainable development policies, projects, and practices for nearly twenty years as a researcher, analyst, and organizer. Bringing together extensive experience in environmental, labor, economic development, and urban planning he has developed campaigns to clean up toxic sites, shut down power plants, and reform water infrastructure policy. Alex has co-authored numerous economic impact studies, including research analyzing the economic impact of prevailing wage laws in California, Wisconsin, Michigan, the public costs of wage and benefit restructuring, and the economic impacts of minimum wage increases. He is active in shaping the redevelopment of former military bases and is committed to ensuring social justice, labor rights, and accountability in urban development throughout Northern California.

HollyPHolly Pearson

Co-director (September 2015)

Holly was drawn to lead the Sustainability Committee based on her long-standing interest in the profession’s contribution to society’s sustainability response and her career as a planner and initiatives to advance sustainability in her planning work. . Holly is an urban planner specializing in local strategies to promote sustainability, with an interest in cities in the U.S. as well as in the global south. She has worked for the City of Vancouver, BC, on both land use planning and the creation of a city-wide plan for social development. In 2005 Holly was awarded a grant to work for six months with Fundación Biosfera, an environmental organization in Argentina, on the development of a municipal climate action program in the city of La Plata.  At home in the Bay Area, Holly has worked as a planner for the Cities of Oakland and San Francisco.  She currently works with the Oakland-based non-profit organization Ecocity Builders, managing sustainable cities projects in Latin America. She also works locally in the Bay Area as independent planning consultant. Holly holds a master’s degree in Planning and a professional certificate in International Development from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, ISSP-SA

Founder, past co-director (Sept. 2011-Jan 2013), Research Program Lead 

Scott is a Strategic Sustainability Planner-Economist with the SF Planning Department and one of 12 national sustainability champions with the APA Sustainable Communities Division’s program. Scott brings expertise in strategic sustainability, planning, and economics to the Sustainability Committee. Since stepping down as co-director to focus on the research program, and developing the APA Sustainable Communities Division’s Sustainability Champions program for APA California, he continues to contribute to the Committee’s Plan-it sustainably Column (Northern News) and web-blog/journal, Research Program, and developing the Section’s leading-edge sustainability learning-practice network.  Scott has over 30-years of experience and leadership providing complex strategic and technical decision support to clients and senior management. Practice areas include long-range land use and strategic sustainability planning and policy, CEQA/NEPA compliance, and facilities planning. He was an advisor and contributor to the San Francisco Sustainability Plan (1996).

His current focus is advancing the emerging practice of integrative urban systems planning and its two components: (1) formulating the long range planning and information system needed to respond to 21st century urban-regional system challenges; (2) advancing the emerging practice of “regenerative” urbanism. Together they enable the capacity to strategically define, promote, and “plan” urban systems sustainability. Scott has an MA in Urban Planning from UCLA and a BA in (Sustainable) Development Studies from UCB.

A key interest is how people, organizations, and communities can understand and harness the transformational power and potential of sustainability to create a new basis for resilient communities, businesses, and regions rooted in an economics that will generate high levels of durable economic prosperity, security, and community well being. His long-standing interest in sustainability includes foundational development in a first-generation sustainable development undergraduate program (UCB, 1975-79), work with the OECD on sustainable urban economic development (1983-84), advising the SF Sustainability Plan (1996) and co-facilitating its economics group, being a participant and SF Liaison for the regional BAASC Compact and Footprint project (2002/3), adding sustainability to a labor-management partnership (SF-UCP, 2005), developing a web-based strategic sustainability research and information service (Sustainable Futures Project, 1990-2005 & Sustainability 2030 Institute, 2005-present), and a variety of writing and presentations (1990-present). Beginning in 2008, he reconnected with The Natural Step and began deepening his expertise in strategic sustainability through training in The Natural Step (BHGICSP, TNS-US). He worked with TNS-USA developing a strategy and action plan to support TNS/APA collaboration around the APA’s new sustainability initiatives. Out of his training, he proposed and developed this Sustainability Committee focused on learning and practice for the APA California Chapter Northern Section (2011).

Katja HeadshotgKatja Irvin, AICP

Former co-director (Sept. 2010-Sept. 2015)

Katja is a life-long environmentalist who chose planning as a second career after many years working in software development for IBM. As a planner with Santa Clara County, she had the opportunity to develop the County’s Green Building Program and do research to support solar energy and agriculture from a land use planning perspective. She is now a Management Analyst for the County Department of Planning and Development. She previously worked in current planning at the City of Rancho Cordova and was a Research Assistant for the Mineta Transportation Institute while earning a Master of Urban Planning at San Jose State University.

DaveJDave Javid, AICP, LEED AP

former co-director (Jan. 2013-Sept. 2015)

Dave, a Principal Planner + Urban Designer with M-Group in San Rafael, was inspired to take on the co-director position because the Committee’s mission statement and charge is central to his professional interests and passion to infuse sustainable practices into all of our planning practices. He is especially enthusiastic about this position because of the wide range of participants it can reach, the focus on strategic sustainable development, and the implementation of realistic solutions. Dave has a Master’s in City and Regional Planning (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo) and has experience in the public and private sectors working closely with communities, city agencies, and private developers. He has led teams in a range town center and downtown revitalization projects. Dave fosters community input with tailored comprehensive outreach strategies to forge essential stakeholder and community consensus. With a strong foundation in both urban planning and design, Dave understands the importance of respecting the historical context of a place while creating design guidelines, development standards, and polices that support it. Dave is passionate about educating communities about sustainable concepts designed to create places that offer a well-connected mix of uses that can induce active modes of transportation while encouraging a sense of community.

KateHKatherine Howe, AICP

Member (April 2013)

Kate, as Lead Urban Planner launching the San Francisco-based planning practice of VIA Architecture, spends her days working to make our cities more resilient. In the Pacific Northwest and Metro Vancouver regions, she spent seven years working on a variety of transit-integrated urban infill development plans and projects, drafting downtown and community plans, writing and refining mixed-use, transit-friendly land use policy, and transforming parking policy.

As a sustainability advocate, Kate forges easily adoptable policy options for livable, walkable, low carbon environments. She is intrigued with the challenge of how the APA can engage its members to not only mobilize our constituencies to adopt sustainable practices, but to better enable decision-makers to address long-term choices rather than deferring to politically expedient short-term. To this end, she works to shift the focus from urban environmental impacts to opportunities by orchestrating fair and thorough decision processes that clearly link new growth to investments in urban livability.

Kate received her Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Washington. Early in her career she was a researcher under Jan Gehl and Lars Gemzoe at the Center for Public Space Research in Copenhagen and a planner at the Project for Public Spaces in New York City. She is currently a member of the University of Washington Professional’s Council and Portland’s Sustainable Transportation Council STARS Advisory Board. In San Francisco, she is a fan and a member of Stewart Brand’s Long Now Foundation.

PoonamNPoonam Narkar, AICP, LEED AP

Member (June 2012)

Poonam has substantial experience in planning, urban design, and architecture. She has managed and designed projects ranging from 5 to 5000 acres for public, private, and non-profit sector organizations. She establishes strong working relationships with clients, consultants, and co-workers. Expertise includes research and analysis; development of planning and design concepts and programs; 2D and 3D graphics; presentations, reports and planning documents; client and consultant coordination; leading and managing teams; coordinating project deliverables; developing community engagement strategy; conceptualizing individual workshop formats; developing community engagement tools including graphics and story boards; and developing facilitation training tools and facilitating community groups. Community engagement for some of the significant projects in the Bay Area are Concord Naval Weapons Station for Concord, CA and El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan for Menlo Park, CA; which have been successful in bringing the community and various stakeholders together to make educated decisions in the interest of their community, a hallmark of successful sustainable development. Poonam has notable sustainability planning and design experience, some of it international, including the following:

  • TIDland, Binh Duong, Vietnam. A master plan for a 9-ha residential and mixed-use development in Binh duong New City in Vietnam developing a real estate strategy and preparing a plan that aligns with the vision for the New City.
  • Genentech Campus Master Plan, Singapore. Prepared concept Master Plan strategies to merge two campuses that seamlessly integrates vehicular and pedestrian circulation and landscape treatments.
  • East Linda Reinvestment Plan, East Linda, CA. Prepared opportunity site development concepts for reinvestment plan goals including zoning revisions for streetscape design and multi-modal transportation improvements, conceptual plan illustrations for key corridors, and public infrastructure and facilities for mixed-use development, funding, and implementation strategies.

KristaRKrista Raines

Member (January 2013)

A designer and building performance specialist with Perkins+Will, Krista has experience in research, analysis, and design of sustainable buildings, districts, and cities, and brings detailed knowledge of climate and environmental performance to the design process. She has driven the sustainability efforts on a wide range of project types including education, hospitality, residential, government and commercial in locations around the world. Prior to Perkins+Will, Krista led the sustainable design team at KPF Architects in New York City where she created building, landscape, and public space design guidelines to reduce energy use, mitigate the urban heat island effect, and provide efficient water and waste management for master plans in the U.S., China, and Indonesia. Before joining KPF, Krista was SOM San Francisco’s sustainable design specialist. There she authored the “Urban Ecology Report” on pedestrian comfort for the award winning Treasure Island Redevelopment Master Plan in San Francisco. In her new role at Perkins+Will, Ms. Raines strives to create designs that have a positive impact on occupants and the environment and rigorously measure the results.

Krista received her B.Arch. degree from the University of Southern California and her M.Arch. degree with a focus in Sustainable Environmental Design from the Architectural Association in London. She has been published a number of times, and has presented at several sustainable design conferences including the Passive and Low Energy Architecture Conference and the SimBuild Conference. She has played an active role in many sustainable design organizations including the USGBC, Urban Green Council, ASHRAE Sustainability Committee, and the Living City Block.

RebeccaARebecca Atkinson, PMP, AICP, LEED Green Associate

Member (May 2014)

Rebecca is a planner with the City of Palo Alto. Her work experience includes project manager and collaborator roles on projects spanning civic engagement, urban planning, sustainability, and community resilience to big data and technology-driven solutions to global challenges. She has ten+ years of experience as an urban & environmental planner working with state resources agencies, school districts, local governments & additional stakeholders, including startups & nonprofits. She has a certificate in Project Management, UC Davis; and is a candidate for MCRP and MLA degrees, UCB. She holds a BA (sociology & environmental studies) from Tulane University. See also LinkedIn Profile.

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