Sustainable Solutions for the Built Environment

Combining the strategic perspective of a management consultant, the creativity of a designer, and the entrepreneurial attitude of a real estate developer, through UrbanGreen I bring an integrated approach to the increasing complexity associated with high quality, sustainable development. Flexible services include facilitation or industry education for a day; peer reviews for a week; or as part of an interdisciplinary team spanning a decade.  Through UrbanGreen I provide four thematic areas of expertise:

Trusted Advisor.  Generational lands hold high potential and high aspirations. For NGO’s, family offices, institutions and public agencies seeking value and vision, UrbanGreen becomes their trusted advisor.

Small Town | Big Growth. Changing demographics and more mobile workers mean special small communities are facing big pressures of all kinds. UrbanGreen helps them find balance.

Sustaining Resilience.  Concepts such as sustainability, resilience, regeneration, and now circularity are growing in scale and complexity.  UrbanGreen provides explanations that result in meaningful actions.

Practical Policy. As planning regulations become more complex, the gap between the academically provocative and truly achievable widens. UrbanGreen offers practical perspective to keep it real.

“Jim has been a key strategic resource for our company and projects, whether advising on growing our team, providing thought leadership for projects, or sourcing and leading design charrettes…”

—Jeremy Hudson | President and CEO | Specialized Real Estate Group

Trusted Advisor

Legacy landowners (family offices, institutions, public agencies) often need to balance two competing imperatives – optimizing the value of their asset while demonstrating more responsible forms of development or stewardship.  UrbanGreen works with many clients over many years helping them hold their aspirations while delivering practical, real world solutions.

Markham Hill

Specialized Real Estate Group
Fayetteville, AR

Providing design counsel, strategic team facilitation and peer review for Specialized Real Estate Group once in a generation opportunity to develop a legacy 140 acre parcel into a landmark conservation development.

Pepperwood

Pepperwood Preserve
Santa Rosa, CA

Starting with facilitation of the five year strategic plan, and continuing to advise on new opportunities to integrate Pepperwood’s acclaimed ‘conservation science’ approach with pressing regional land use issues

Keahu’olu

Lili’oukalani Trust
Kona, HI

Over a decade advising the native Hawaiian Lilioukalani Trust, framing sustainability strategies, helping to source consultant teams, and facilitating workshops and community outreach efforts.

“For over a decade Jim has been a trusted thought partner…he is an effective communicator with knowledge, insight, and creativity – as well the pragmatism to keep us real.”

—Robert Ozaki | Trustee and Former President, CEO | Lili`uokalani Trust

Small Town | Big Growth

As generational wealth transfers and more workers are untethered to a corporate campus, small towns with a high-quality-of-life are facing increased growth challenges.  Rising housing prices, increased community friction over new development and a call to better define the future they want. UrbanGreen has developed a common sense set of tools and deliverables that help foster informed conversations leading to community based solutions emerging from growth.

Housing Our Community

City of Healdsburg
Healdsburg, CA

Developed and delivered an innovative community education program on housing economics and how to update City policies and actions to create more diverse and affordable housing options in this lifestyle community of 12,000 residents.

Housing Our Community

City of Sonoma
Sonoma, CA

Based on the successful outcome of similar program in Healdsburg, Sonoma City leadership retained me to deliver a similar program for this community of 12,000 located in the heart of Sonoma valley.

Oxbow District

ULI Technical Assistance Panel
Napa, CA

Chair of ULI TAP tasked with defining the essence of Napa’s celebrated Oxbow District, and then recommending how to allow new growth to occur without spoiling what makes it special.   

One of my clients referred to Jim as our team’s rock star. His innovative approaches to planning, design, and development energizes folks to reimagine their communities. I love working with Jim.”

—Jim Harnish | Principal and Founder | Mintier Harnish

Sustaining Resilience

Since 1995, UrbanGreen has been at the forefront of sustainable community development – helping to define many of the principles and techniques for the Urban Land Institute and as an advisor to BioRegional’s One Planet Living program. UrbanGreen has evolved their approach and deliverables as the industry has expanded the concepts of sustainability to embrace other related ideas including resilience and now circularity.

Estidama

Urban Planning Council
Abu Dhabi UAE

Selected by the Urban Planning Council to organize and lead a team of international consultants in creating the definitive green rating method for the Middle East – the Pearls Rating Method for Communities and Buildings.

Bakers Bay

Great Abaco, The Bahamas
Discovery Land Company

Retained by a premier resort community developer to first define a framework for stewardship on this fragile island in the Bahamas, and then create the tools and methods by which everyone from the development team to the homeowners could participate.

Tower Renewal

ULI Advisory Services Panel
Toronto, Canada

Chair of ULI Advisory Panel tasked with developing market driven recommendations for  renovation of over 800 ‘slab’ towers throughout Toronto, in order improve livability, affordability, and resilience in pursuit of a reduced carbon footprint.

“…through two wildfires and a pandemic, Jim always sees the big picture which is invaluable when negotiating strategies where nature, economy, and resilience intersect.”

—Lisa Micheli | President & CEO | Pepperwood

Practical Policy

The increased complexity, and arguably – academic nature – of many policies means they are often disconnected from the very market forces they are meant to help redirect.  UrbanGreen collaborates with firms specializing in policy development to bring a market balanced voice to leading to new codes, policies and tools.

Housing Action Plan

City of Healdsburg
Healdsburg, CA

Retained to create and lead a citizen based process, and then write a ground breaking ‘action plan’ for creating more housing using market driven strategies and metrics.  In its initial 8 year cycle the Healdsburg HAP created record results for creation of new, deed restricted affordable housing.

California General Plans

Mintier-Harnish
Various Cities

As a regular team member with one of California’s most experienced planning firms, UrbanGreen provides thought leadership and peer review, helping shape emerging policies grounded to the market.  Trends presentations help shape long range plans by getting communities and electeds to see a different future.

Urban Strategies for gROWTH 

ULI Advisory Services Panel
Moscow, Russia

Chair of ULI International Advisory Panel tasked with evaluating relocation of Federal Government from downtown Moscow to a new ex-urban site, in order to reduce urban congestion.  Provided sponsor with integrated recommendations to address concerns surrounding urban condition while proposing regeneration strategies that did not require relocation.

UrbanGreen was born in 2001 during  a presentation on branding.  I was considering my next chapter and the speaker was explaining your company’s name should be something you are passionate about. I kept returning to green development. And urbanism. Green. Urban. Or Urban and Green. I left the presentation and bought the domain for $12 and UrbanGreen was born.

Brookfield Land Visioning Session, 2016
Calgary, Canada