Virtual Forum: Resiliency in the Post-Covid Era

The Buro Happold Cities team, which focuses on strategic consulting and infrastructure engineering, has spent decades working with public and private clients and partners to develop sustainable solutions and to prepare for a changing future. Our goal has always been to build resilience and improve well-being and quality of life for communities around the world.

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This panel will focus on the topic of Resilience, how communities are being impacted by the Covid-19 stay at home orders and the path toward a resilient and just recovery. Buro Happold has long been committed to transforming the way cities adapt and grow to support equity, the economy, and the environment, through projects such as the Los Angeles Countywide Sustainability Plan, Detroit Future City, RiseNYC, and Reimagining the Canals, as well as a strategic partner for 100 Resilient Cities. The panel will explore the specific ways in which cities and societies have been affected, and how policy makers and institutions are working to support a near and long-term transformation to support more equitable, sustainable, healthy, and resilient cities.

Topics to be explored include:

  • Stories of resilience
  • Social and economic vulnerabilities amplified by COVID-19
  • How cities and organizations can adapt and plan for an uncertain future
  • How to balance short-term recovery with long-term planning
  • Building back better
  • And more, as topics to emerge


Adriana Espinoza – Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice, NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate Policy and Programs

Adriana Espinoza is Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice in the NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate Policy and Programs, where she is leading the execution of New York City’s first comprehensive study and plan for incorporating environmental justice into City decision-making processes. Prior to the Mayor’s Office, she served as New York City Program Director at the New York League of Conservation Voters, where her focus was advocating to the Mayor and City Council on building a more sustainable city and investing in aggressive climate action. She fought for many of the City’s biggest climate victories including the Climate Mobilization Act, Commercial Waste Zones, and a historic $44 million investment in parks in 2019. Adriana has a Master’s of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin, where her concentrations were policy and community administrative leadership. 

Cecilia V. Estolano, CEO and Founder of Estolano Advisors and CEO of Better World Group

Cecilia V. Estolano is a leading expert on contemporary urban planning issues, with experience in economic and workforce development, land use, environmental policy, and urban revitalization. She has worked directly with public, private, institutional, and non-profit clients to plan, finance, design, implement, and operate policy-driven programs and projects that promote sustainable solutions tailored for each community. Cecilia is a Regent of the University of California and has served as President of the California Community College Board of Governors. She received an A.B. from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA, and a J.D. from UC Berkeley. Prior to founding Estolano Advisors in 2011, Cecilia served as CEO of CRA/LA, practiced land use and environmental law while Of Counsel and an Associate at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, served as Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. EPA during the Clinton Administration, and served as Environmental Policy Advisor to former L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley. In addition to her work at Estolano Advisors, she became the CEO of Better World Group, an environmental strategy firm, in 2018.

Noah Koretz, Director of Transformative Development, MassDevelopment

Noah Koretz is an urban strategist with a specific interest in the future of small and midsized cities. He is the Director of Transformative Development at MassDevelopment, the quasi-public economic development agency for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where he oversees the Transformative Development Initiative (TDI), a partnership-based program to accelerate growth within focused districts in Gateway Cities, midsize urban centers that anchor regional economies. Noah first started working at MassDevelopment as part of the inaugural class of TDI Fellows, managing the program’s work in the City of Haverhill, and also served as the Deputy Director of the program. Before coming to MassDevelopment, Noah served as the director of the North Suburban Consortium at the Malden Redevelopment Authority, where he managed federal HOME-funded affordable housing investment in eight municipalities north of Boston, including four Gateway Cities. He formerly practiced commercial and real estate law at a large firm in Boston, and is a graduate of Cornell University with a law degree from The George Washington University and a master’s degree in city planning from MIT.

Corinne LeTourneau, Founding Principal, Resilient Cities Catalyst

Corinne LeTourneau is a founding principal at Resilient Cities Catalyst (RCC). In this role Corinne leads our North America practice to drive systems change and equitable solutions for Cities. Most recently Corinne was the Managing Director for the North America region at 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), overseeing the 100RC program and partnership with 29 cities. Prior to that she was the Director for Policy and Planning for Community Solutions, a national non-profit organization dedicated to working on solving complex problems that impact vulnerable people and communities. Corinne brings vast experience in the Urban Policy space to the Urban Resilience movement, specifically in issues related to transportation, infrastructure, homelessness, housing, and neighborhood poverty. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master’s Degree of Public Administration from Columbia University.

Monique G. López, AICP, MA, MCRP, Social Justice Planner and Founder, Pueblo Planning

Monique G. López is a Social Justice Planner and founder of Pueblo Planning, an anti-racist values-driven participatory planning and design firm that intentionally engages and includes communities that are often left out of the planning process and those most vulnerable to the impacts of planning decisions. This includes Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ, unhoused, and other communities that experience marginalization. Monique utilizes storytelling and participatory art-making to engage communities in the planning process in order to dismantle unjust systems and co-develop equitable communities. For the past 15 years, Monique has been a social justice planner and policy advocate working on transportation justice, environmental justice, and public space access projects, plans, policies, and designs. Specifically, Monique has worked in partnership with communities to co-create meaningful change by defeating polluting industries, stopping freeway expansion and co-developing with the community sustainable alternatives, developing popular education materials to advance justice-centered movement demands, and challenging and changing planning methodology and practice to center the stories and solutions of BIPOC and other communities that experience marginalization. Monique also brings this justice-centered approach and practice into the classroom as a lecturer at Antioch University, Pitzer College, and Cal Poly Pomona.

Sabrina Bornstein, Associate Principal, Buro Happold Cities

Sabrina is a resilience and sustainability expert whose work has spanned climate change policy, infrastructure planning, and community economic development. To each position and project Sabrina brings a broad skillset in policy analysis, project management, and critical thinking. After over a decade working on sustainability and climate strategy, policy, and planning in the Los Angeles region, Sabrina joined Buro Happold to lead the climate resilience practice for the Cities team. Her recent work includes project management for Los Angeles County’s Climate Action Plan, technical advisory services for the Global Covenant of Mayor’s Regional Climate Leaders program, and climate adaptation lead for West Hollywood’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. Prior to joining BuroHappold, in her role as Deputy Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Los Angeles, Sabrina had a major role in developing and implementing the City’s first resilience strategy.

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