A free virtual event series charting the changes and challenges confronting our urban areas—and how we should navigate them. Explore how the decisions we make now will shape the of future of work, our climate, how we eat, how we shop, and the very nature of our lives. Hosted by Blueprint and The Aspen Institute Energy & Environment Program.


Powering resilient cities.

Powering Resilient Cities

02.26.21 at 12 p.m. ET via Zoom

The future of our energy system is diversified, distributed, and clean. Cities are epicenters of energy consumption and can be vulnerable to large scale blackouts resulting from severe weather events and natural disasters, human error, or cyber-attacks. By decentralizing the grid through distributed microgrids, regions can fortify themselves to prevent widespread power failures. And by leveraging underutilized urban spaces, cities can facilitate the growth of distributed energy resources, from generation—like solar panels and small modular reactors—to energy storage like batteries and fuel cells, and even support electric vehicle charging and carbon capture technologies.

This panel discussion on Powering Resilient Cities explores how municipal, business, and energy leaders are helping cities adapt to, and overcome, pressures imposed by climate change, the push to decarbonize, and the need for power system reliability.


Galina Russell

Galina is SVP and COO of REEF Energy and is at the forefront of establishing key partnerships with public- and private-sector organizations to pioneer the transformation of conventional parking infrastructure into dynamic neighborhood hubs rooted in sustainability and clean energy. Her areas of specialty include shared, electric, and autonomous mobility.

Galina previously led operations and finance strategy for Envoy Technologies, a California based green mobility start-up. She holds a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts and a Chinese language certificate from Harvard University.

Nicole Sitaraman

Nicole is vice president of strategic engagement at Sustainable Capital Advisors where she is responsible for building broad strategic networks to facilitate inclusive investment in sustainable infrastructure projects. A thought leader on climate and energy issues, she has been involved in local, regional, and national discussions regarding the integration of clean energy resources and community-driven climate solutions for the benefit of communities of color, low income families, the environment, and the broader energy grid.

Nicole is a former senior manager of public policy at Sunrun, Inc., the nation’s largest residential solar, battery storage, and energy management services provider.

Jon Wellinghoff

Jon is CEO of GridPolicy, Inc. which is dedicated to furthering the deployment of and investment in clean, sustainable distributed energy resources (DER) and efficient grid-enhancing technologies (GET).

An internationally recognized expert in energy policy, electric grid operations and markets, and the interface of disruptive energy systems with traditional utility structures, Jon works to remove regulatory, policy, and institutional barriers to the widespread adoption of cost effective DER and GET resources and systems.

Jon is a past Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), where he led efforts to make the U.S. power system cleaner and more efficient.

Lauren Faber O’Connor

As chief sustainability officer for the City of Los Angeles, Lauren Faber O’Connor is driving the implementation of L.A.’s Green New Deal, a global model for local action to confront the climate crisis and build an inclusive green economy that prioritizes equity. Lauren has spent her career working on environmental issues, previously serving as West Coast political director for the Environmental Defense Fund, assistant secretary for climate change programs at the California Environmental Protection Agency, and senior policy advisor at the British Embassy.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in earth systems and economics from Stanford University and master’s degree in climate and society from Columbia University.


    A New Era for Cities

    01.22.21 at 12 p.m. ET via Zoom

    Cities have largely been the same since the dawn of the industrial revolution and rise of the automobile. The ways we design and build them are outdated. The dual crises we face this decade—the COVID crisis and the climate crisis—are forcing us to re-examine and change the ways our cities are designed and built.

    How can we reimagine the process of urban planning in a way that is more equitable, just, and environmentally sustainable?


    Moderated By Bloomberg CityLab’s Nicole Flatow

    Featuring Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Mark Falcone, Federico Negro, and Emily Talen.



    Mayor Daniella Levine Cava

    Daniella Levine Cava was elected Miami-Dade County’s first-ever woman mayor in November 2020. She enters the mayor’s office following a nearly 40-year career as a relentless advocate for South Florida families in public service and elected leadership. As Miami-Dade County’s mayor, she oversees a metropolitan government with more than 28,000 employees serving nearly 3 million residents, managing an annual budget of approximately $9 billion.

    Federico Negro

    Federico Negro is CEO and founder of CANOA, a scaling platform for design and construction of physical spaces. CANOA aims to drastically reduce the difficulty, waste and cost of quickly adapting and retrofitting existing buildings and infrastructure for new uses.
    Federico was previously the Head of Design for WeWork, running their internal global design studio of more than 900 architects, interior designers, engineers and more. Prior to that, he ran his first startup, CASE, which focused on developing and implementing technology into built-environment businesses.

    Mark Falcone

    Mark G. Falcone founded Continuum Partners, LLC, in Denver in 1997. Since its inception, Continuum has successfully completed over $2.5 billion of development and has another $3 billion in its pipeline. Continuum has won numerous awards for its innovative projects and established itself as a national leader of complex, mixed-use urban infill projects. Throughout his career, Mark has been actively engaged in the dialog to advance more sustainable settlement patterns within his industry and among public-policy makers.

    Emily Talen

    Emily Talen is Professor of Urbanism at the University of Chicago, where she teaches urban design and directs the Urbanism Lab. She holds a PhD in urban geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Talen has written extensively on the topics of urban design and social equity. Her books include New Urbanism and American Planning, Design for Social Diversity, Urban Design Reclaimed, City Rules and Neighborhood. She is co-editor of the Journal of Urbanism.

    The Rise of the
    15-Minute Neighborhood

    11.20.20 at 12 p.m. ET via Zoom

    COVID-19 could change city life forever. How do we make it count? Join a panel of leading experts as they explore new ideas for reimagining urban life and creating more walkable and vibrant neighborhoods.


    Moderated By The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson

    Featuring Richard Florida, Professor Carlos Moreno, Janette Sadik-Khan and Padden Murphy.



    Photo of Professor Carlos Moreno

    Professor Carlos Moreno

    Innovation expert Carlos Moreno is co-founder and scientific director of the Entrepreneurship, Territory, Innovation Chair at IAE Paris – Panthéon Sorbonne University. He is a pioneer of the 15-minute city concept and has acted as the Mayor of Paris’ Special Envoy for Smart Cities since 2015.

    Janette Sadik-Khan

    Former NYC transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan is one of the world’s foremost authorities on transportation & urban transformation. She now works with mayors around the world to reimagine and redesign their cities as a principal with Bloomberg Associates.

    Photograph of Richard Florida

    Richard Florida

    CityLab co-founder Richard Florida is one of the world’s most influential urbanists.He is professor of Economic Analysis and Policy at the Rotman School of Management and Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, School of Cities, at the University of Toronto and a Distinguished Fellow at NYU’s Schack School of Real Estate.

    Padden Murphy, Global Head of Public Policy at REEF

    Padden Murphy

    Padden is Head of Communications & Public Affairs at REEF, a company on a mission to connect the world to your block. He has held senior roles at WeWork, Getaround, Lyft, and Adobe. He also serves on the board of Bunker Labs, on the Executive Council for Y Combinator Growth, and as a Montana Ambassador for the State of Montana.

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