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3/3/22, 12pm - 1pm

The State of California is leading the way in sustainable urbanization initiatives. The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, led by Sam Assefa, is helping the transition to a circular, climate-resilient economy, and meeting the challenge of a net zero future. The state is also taking action to prepare for the unavoidable impacts of climate change, including the increased likelihood of flooding and drought. OPR has issued an Environmental Goals and Policy Report that considers the state’s future in the context of a changing climate and a population that is projected to grow to 50 million residents by 2050. The report provides a vision of the state’s future, along with a broad overview of the state’s programs and policies to achieve that vision. Five broad goals outlined in the report are now being implemented:

  1. Increasing the share of renewable energy in the State’s energy mix to at least 50 percent by 2030
  2. Reducing petroleum use by up to 50 percent by 2030
  3. Increasing the energy efficiency of existing buildings by 50 percent by 2030
  4. Reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants
  5. Stewarding natural resources, including forests, working lands, and wetlands, to ensure that they store carbon, are resilient, and enhance other environmental benefits

Join us for this installment of Green Cities, where Assefa will discuss his work in the Office of Planning and Research, as well as his prior experience in Seattle, Boulder, and Chicago.

Green Cities is a virtual lecture program organized by the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization taking place on the first Thursday of each month at 12:00 PM ET. The series focuses on innovations and achievements in sustainability and resilience worldwide. More information about Green Cities, including the previous talks on New York, Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona, can be found on the CSU website.

Sam Assefa, Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research for the State of California and Chair of the Strategi Growth Council

Prior to being appointed OPR Director by Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2021, Sam Assefa was Director of the City of Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development, having started in that position in 2016. He was Senior Urban Designer for the Department of Community Planning and Sustainability of the City of Boulder from 2010 to 2016 and Director of Land Use and Planning Policy for the Department of Planning and Development and Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic and Physical Development for the City of Chicago Mayor’s Office from 2004 to 2010 and Senior Urban Designer for the Smith Group JJR from 2002 to 2004. Assefa was Director of Special Projects for the City and County of San Franciso Department of Planning and Development from 1999 to 2002 and Senior Urban Designer for SMWM Architecture and Planning from 1993 to 1999. Assefa earned a Master of City Planning degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, DPACSA, NOMA, President, Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization

Collaborating Organizations for Green Cities 2022:
Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, UN-Habitat, AIA New York, AIANY Planning & Urban Design Committte, NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, Habitat Professionals Forum for Sustainable Cities, Perkins Eastman, Creative Exchange Lab, Columbia Center for Buildings, Infrastructure & Public Space and Global Urban Development (GUD)

This event is a webinar, registrants will receive the Zoom link.


Organized by
Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization; UN-Habitat; AIA New York
3/3/22, 12pm - 1pm
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