Global Leaders in Sustainability Come Together to Establish WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities Advisory Group
On September 23, 2015 the Advisory Group to WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities convened for an inaugural meeting in New York City. The Advisory Group is comprised of globally recognized city leaders, prominent experts and academics in the field of sustainable cities, and business leaders who are making a difference in urban sustainability. The Advisory Group will help shape our program, guide our strategy and create opportunities for working closely with cities to achieve our goal of delivering integrated, deep, and long-term solutions for sustainable urban communities.
Chaired by Stephen M. Ross, the Chairman and Founder of Related Companies, the Advisory Group currently consists of 15 distinguished leaders in urban sustainability:
- Stephen M. Ross (Chairman and Founder – Related Companies)
- Charlotte Matthews (Vice President of Sustainability – Related Companies)
- Mayor Marcio Lacerda (Mayor of Belo Horizonte, Brazil)
- Rohit T. Aggarwala (Sidewalk Labs)
- Robin Chase (Buzzcar, author of Peers. Inc.)
- Ede Jorge Ijjász Vásquez (Senior Director for the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice, Urban, Rural & Social Development - World Bank)
- Morten Kabell (Mayor of Technical and Environmental Affairs - Copenhagen, Denmark)
- Clay Nesler (Vice President Global Energy & Sustainability - Johnson Controls)
- Sam Parker (Director – Shell Foundation)
- Patrick Phillips (Global CEO – Urban Land Institute)
- Shirley Rodrigues (Climate Change Director – Children’s Investment Fund Foundation)
- Eduardo Paes (Mayor of Rio de Janeiro), represented by Rodrigo Rosa (Special Advisor)
- Janette Sadik-Kahn (Principal – Transportation, Bloomberg Associates)
- Gino Van Begin (Secretary General, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability)
- Mark Watts (Executive Director, C40 Cities)
A Comprehensive, Integrated Approach to Creating Sustainable Cities
Bringing together leaders with diverse backgrounds, the Advisory Group will provide external guidance for our program as we develop a strategy for delivering fresh, timely, relevant, and credible offerings to the world’s most pressing urban challenges.
“Climate change poses the single biggest threat to the future health and livelihood of today’s children. I’m very pleased to be joining the Advisory Group to WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and helping them to secure transformational change in our cities to avoid locking-in high carbon lifestyles,” said Shirley Rodrigues, Climate Change Director, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.
With buildings account for about one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, our Building Efficiency Initiative is dedicated to speeding the adoption of innovative solutions for efficient, sustainable buildings. Clay Nesler, Vice President of Global Energy & Sustainability Johns Controls, remarked, “I’m excited to be joining the advisory group and helping WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities to improve the efficiency of the built environment. Buildings account for half of global electricity use and improving their efficiency is a critical element in meeting a city’s environmental, economic and social objectives.”
Efficient and sustainable land use is essential for compact and coordinated urban development. An expert on urban planning, Patrick Phillips, Global CEO of the Urban Land Institute, said “I'm grateful for the opportunity to advise WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities in their work to foster more compact, better connected communities. The Center is well-positioned to make a meaningful impact on how cities grow and change, and how they can improve the human condition.”
About WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities works to make urban sustainability a reality. Global research and on-the-ground experience in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Turkey and the United States combine to spur action that improves life for millions of people.
Based on longstanding global and local experience in urban planning and mobility, WRI Sustainable Cities uses proven solutions and action-oriented tools to increase building and energy efficiency, manage water risk, encourage effective governance and make the fast-growing urban environment more resilient to new challenges.
Aiming to influence 200 cities with unique research and tools by 2019, WRI Sustainable Cities focuses on a deep cross-sector approach in four megacities on two continents, and targeted assistance to 30 more urban areas, bringing economic, environmental and social benefits to people in cities around the globe.