Session 6 - Design Track

Transforming Communities to Turn the Tide on Polluted Runoff

Christin Hilton, Urban Partnership Director, The Nature Conservancy

Christin is the urban partnership director for The Nature Conservancy’s Puget Sound program. In her role at the Conservancy, Chris is a founding member of City Habitats, a cross sector coalition focused on working with multi-sector stakeholders to bring nature to Puget Sound to treat polluted runoff while bringing significant health, social, economic, and community benefits to residents.

Kathleen Wolf, Research Social Scientist, College of the Environment, University of Washington

Dr. Wolf is a Research Social Scientist at UW and a research associate with the US Forest Service Pacific NW Research Station focused on Urban Forestry and Stewardship.  Since receiving her Ph.D. from University of Michigan, Dr. Wolf’s research has focused on the human dimensions of urban forestry and ecosystems.


Michelle Benetua, Program Manager, Seattle Parks Foundation

Michelle Benetua is currently the Duwamish Valley Program Manager for the Seattle Parks Foundation where she works with community members to actualize community priorities for green space improvements. With a Masters of Public Administration focusing on Nonprofit Management and International Development from the University of Washington, Michelle has fifteen years of experience managing domestic and international nonprofit programs that connect people and their environment.

Session 7 - Research Track

Carrying the Ball: Profiles of Courage in Urban Rooftop Agriculture A Presentation of Green Infrastrucuture Sociological Benefits

Michael Sanchez, Assistant Professor, Washington State University

Michael teaches design, site engineering, storm water management, construction technology and documentation, and foundational drawing at Washington State University. 

His research explores the dynamic nature of urban rooftop agriculture and its place within living architecture, its ability to reconnect people with nature and its innate qualities that provide more resilient and sustainable urban environments.

Beyond Aesthetic Motivation: Designing Living Walls for Small Scale Urban Agriculture

Dr. Yael Stav, Invivo Design

Dr. Yael Stav is a sustainable design professional with expertise in living walls and urban agriculture. Her PhD research, exploring the design of sustainable living walls, has won an award of excellence. Her studio, Invivo Design, located in

Vancouver is involved in projects related to green infrastructure education and implementation.

Session 8 - Policy Track

Living Architecture Policy-Making in Massachusetts

Peter Lowitt, FAICP, Land Use Administrator, Director & Records Access Officer, Deven's Enterprise Commission

Peter serves as Director/Land Use Administrator for the Devens Enterprise Commission, the agency charged with permitting the redevelopment of the former Fort Devens army base in Massachusetts. At Devens, Mr. Lowitt focuses on the sustainable redevelopment of this 4400-acre former army base. In this capacity he has developed the EcoStar environmental branding and achievement program to promote eco-industrial networking and green building. Prior to coming to Devens, Mr. Lowitt served as Director of Planning and Economic Development for the Town of Londonderry, New Hampshire (1993-1999) where he developed the Londonderry Ecological Industrial Park and the award winning Sustainable Londonderry Program.

Living Architecture Policy Implementation


Dr. Hamid Karimi, Deputy Director, Natural Resources Administration, DC Department of Energy & Environment

Dr. Karimi has more than 25 years of experience in environmental management and is currently the Deputy Director of the District Department of Energy and the Environment. In this capacity, he oversees a number of programs: Stormwater Management Division, the Fisheries and Wildlife Division, the Watershed Protection Division, and the Water Quality Division. The programs he manages address very wide-ranging environmental issues, such as: administering the MS4 stormwater Permit; development and implementation of TMDLs; regulation and management of wetlands and groundwater; construction inspection and enforcement (sediment & erosion control); stream as well as Anacostia River restoration; pollution prevention; management of an extensive monitoring network; Chesapeake Bay restoration and the Anacostia River Partnership. He has worked on development of regulatory processes on stormwater utility, and pollution control.

Dr. Karimi has published and made presentations extensively in national scientific and environmental forums. He is a long standing commissioner on the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin. Dr. Karimi is a member and past chair of a number of environmental committees at Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments in the Washington, DC area.

Session 9 - On the Roof With Panel

On The Roof With - Promoting Greater Equity Through Living Architecture: Are Green Roofs Only for the Rich?

Steve Moddemeyer, Principal, CollinsWoerman

Steve is Principal for Planning, Resilience, and Sustainability at CollinsWoerman, a Seattle-based architecture and planning firm.  He is an appointed member of the National Academies of Sciences Roundtable on Risk, Resilience, and Extreme Events.  Steve is also a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Commission on Ecosystem Management Resilient Theme group and an Advisor to the University of Washington Masters in Infrastructure Planning and Management.  Steve is also an Advisor to the Evergreen College Center for Sustainable Infrastructure. Steve is on the Board of Advisors to International Wastewater Solutions.  He is a popular speaker at dozens of national and international conferences around the world on water and resilience issues.

As a consultant to the International Water Association, Steve helped to launch their Cities of the Future program that highlighted and assessed the most advanced urban development projects around the world. He has served on the program committee for the Singapore Water Week, has developed and presented at numerous sessions at the Stockholm Water Week, the IWA World Water Congress, and has been a keynote speaker at events around the world from Mexico City to Marrakech, Beijing to Singapore, Vienna to Boston, Montreal to San Francisco.  Steve represented the International Water Association at HABITAT in Rio de Janeiro and was the keynote speaker for Stockholm’s celebration as the EU’s first Green Capital.  

Prior to the last nine years as a consultant, Steve was Senior Strategic Advisor to Seattle Public Utilities and Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development.  He received a national award from the ASLA as principal author of the Seattle Green Factor, a landscaping ordinance that made green roofs, vegetated walls, and porous pavement commonplace in Seattle with over 1,000 projects constructed so far.   He was a founding Board Member of the Green Infrastructure Foundation.

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Patti Southard, Program Manager, King County GreenTools

Patti Southard is the program manager for “GreenTools” green building program in King County Washington. At King County Southard runs the Sustainable Cities Program which focuses on coordinating all of King County’s 39 cities on built environment and climate related policies. In addition Southard provides technical assistance for the County’s LEED, Living Building Challenge and Built Green initiatives. Southard has led the GreenTools program as a two time Harvard Bright Idea Award winner and recently received Governor Jay Inslee’s Solar Community Award for the Regional Code Collaboration which she co-chairs with the Kathleen Petrie, City of Seattle. 

Southard was raised on her family farm and has focused her sustainable development career on the juxtaposition between rural and urban communities and planning. Southard’s personal accolades include the Built Green Pioneer Award, Cascadia Green Building Council Public Sector Leadership Award, Sustainable Cities Inspirational Leadership Award, is a Cascadia Fellow, Living Future Hero and Honorary AIA.


Nori Catabay, Green Building Team Program Manager, King Country Green Tools


Paulina Lopez, Community Engagement Manager, Just Health Action

Session 10 - In the Design Studio With...

In The Design Studio With

Watch out for an exciting announcement!