Cities have been transformed significantly by the global pandemic. Urban population centers have seen people move out of cities, office buildings and restaurants have been forced to close, and limited public transportation has reduced urban mobility. With these dynamic changes, some cities have decided to put things on pause, while others adapted to the new reality. Join us for an insightful discussion with leaders in smart urban planning for a glimpse into the future of cities.
Alison Novak is Head of Sidewalk Urban Development. Alison has overseen the acquisition, design, financing, construction, and completion of a wide range of housing developments ranging from affordable to high-end, home ownership to rental, single-family to high-rise. She has over 15 years of real estate development experience.
Prior to Sidewalk she was a principal at one of New York City’s premier residential development firms, The Hudson Companies Inc. Under her leadership, Hudson launched its commitment to green building, its first equity investment funds, and its internal committee for Equity, Inclusivity and Diversity.
Alison studied Community Development at Grinnell College and earned her Master of City Planning and Master of Science in Real Estate Development, both from M.I.T. She is a Vice Chair of Women in Housing and Finance, an honor bestowed on past board presidents. Alison is a member of the 21st cohort of Coro Leadership New York and sits on the board of The Osborne Association. Alison is from Iowa and has lived on both coasts, but now calls Brooklyn home.
Courtney Sung is an urban planner with a passion for helping cities become more inclusive and vibrant with better technology and policies. Currently the Director of Economic Development at Via, Courtney is developing innovative partnerships to transform land use and improve economic development through new mobility and technology offerings. Previously, Courtney was the Head of Business Development and Strategy at Remix, where she worked with over 300 transit agencies and city departments of transportation across the world to develop technology solutions that dramatically improve the planning process, while enabling greater exploration and public engagement.
Courtney launched the urban development practice at Chemonics International, a consulting firm implementing international development projects in over 60 countries; wrote for the Brookings Institution on housing and land use; and developed master urban plans in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bangkok with MIT. She is a founding member of the Sidewalk Laboratory at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where she developed cartography experiments and economic analyses to map 100+ street vendors, sidewalk life, and public spaces. She has a master’s and bachelor’s in city planning from MIT, is originally from the Boston area, and is currently enjoying the outdoors while living in San Francisco.
Oliver is an inter-disciplinary Design Director and the Global Cities & Urban Design Resilience Leader whose expertise is developing holistic, civic-minded, and sustainable places. Oliver oversees and spearheads planning and urban design projects, strategies, and communication tools for projects including master plans, environmental systems, commercial and institutional headquarters, mixed-use campuses, and residential developments. Oliver’s recent work includes the master plan and design for a 22-building waterfront development in Istanbul; an area-wide master plan for downtown Brooklyn; and a net-positive residential complex with electric car sharing in Ontario. Oliver has taught at various universities and has built a reputation as a leader in his field through his regular presence at industry events, speaking on various topics, participating on juries, and acting in expert advisory roles. Oliver is a fellow of the Urban Design Forum.