Growing our Cities Team in Los Angeles

With growth in our Los Angeles office, Buro Happold is addressing sustainability and resilience at city and regional scales.

This summer, we’re excited to announce growth of our Cities team in Los Angeles with the relocation of Chris Rhie, an Associate who transferred from our New York office to lead OurCounty: The Los Angeles Countywide Sustainability Plan, and the new hire of Sabrina Bornstein, an urban planner who focuses on climate resilience and sustainability with over a decade of experience in the region. Together, and with the support of our offices across the US, our team is excited to tackle climate and sustainability issues affecting communities across Southern California and the western United States.

Chris is an urban planner and sustainability consultant who has been with Buro Happold since 2014. With a background in environmental management, he works with public agencies and universities to develop sustainable infrastructure, land use, and management frameworks. Chris led the energy strategy for New York City’s Roadmap to 80×50, worked with the City of Detroit on the Eastern Market Neighborhood Framework Plan, and delivered the University of Pittsburgh’s Sustainability Plan. Prior to joining the firm, Chris worked on climate action initiatives while employed at the City of Oakland and the City of New York. He transferred to Los Angeles last fall to lead the Countywide Sustainability Plan and bring Buro Happold’s expertise to related efforts throughout the region.

“Urban leaders in California are embarking on the country’s most ambitious efforts to advance sustainability, equity, and resilience in our communities. We are proud to be a part of this movement with the Cities team joining Buro Happold’s talented Los Angeles office.”

Chris Rhie, Associate

The Los Angeles County Sustainability and Climate Action Plans emphasize sustainable and low-carbon transportation modes to enhance mobility while reducing single-occupancy vehicles. Image: LA Metro

Sabrina is a policy expert who served as Deputy Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Los Angeles. She helped develop the City’s first resilience strategy and collaborated with Buro Happold in developing the Countywide Sustainability Plan, the first such plan for Los Angeles County. In her role, she was an active contributor to the 100 Resilient Cities network and collaborated with climate resilience leaders across the state and globe. Prior to joining the City of Los Angeles, she led climate action planning work for the South Bay Cities Council of Governments. Sabrina brings to the team a wealth of public sector experience on climate policy and resilience strategy, as well as the wider national and international policy context. She joins Buro Happold as an Associate.

I’m excited to bring my experience in the climate and resilience fields to Buro Happold and the growing Cities team. Climate impacts are being felt at the local level and the need for resilience planning is greater than ever. I look forward to partnering with leaders to take action and to build climate resilient communities.

Sabrina Bornstein, Associate

People buying fresh fruit and vegetables at an outdoor market
In order to address the climate emergency, Buro Happold is working with Los Angeles County to promote compact, walkable communities with access to farmers’ markets and other neighborhood amenities. Image: County of Los Angeles

Beyond the Los Angeles Countywide Sustainability Plan

With the extensive work completed on the Countywide Sustainability Plan, our team is now helping the County set a course for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also identifying opportunities to reduce air pollution, improve community health, and create green jobs for county residents through the Los Angeles County Climate Action Plan. This plan is the result of an aggressive commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Los Angeles County also recently signed the “We Are Still In” Declaration, affirming its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement in 2018. In order to achieve this goal, the OurCounty Climate Action Plan focuses on unincorporated areas, which are home to over one million residents and include more than 2,600 square miles (that’s twice the size of Rhode Island). Transportation accounts for 62% of greenhouse gas emissions in Los Angeles County’s unincorporated areas. Sustainability planning in these areas are therefore vital for achieving the overall goal of deep reductions in carbon emissions.

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