Keeping Up With the Vanguard

More updates from the Next American Vanguard class of 2009. Also: Help Vanguard 2010 win a grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project!

Members of the 2009 Vanguard share their ideas about improving America’s cities.

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Each year Next American City assembles a group of the best and brightest young urban leaders and holds a conference dedicated to enlightening, inspiring and networking this cohort; the application for the 2010 event is open until March 31. Next American City is also in the run-off for a grant of $25,000 from the Pepsi Refresh project. Please vote for us! Here are just a few updates on where the Vanguard alums have gone…more updates throughout February.

Michael Howard, President
Anchorage Citizens Coalition

In 2010 the Anchorage Citizens Coalition will continue our work with our partners to 1) help wrap up the rewrite of our municipal zoning code (after many years, and we’ve achieved some great gains for good planning), 2) address numerous transportation projects — questioning $1 billion dollar roads/bridges and advocating for land use and transit solutions that support a vibrant city — and 3) continue to advocate for community health, clean air, and safe neighborhoods for walkers and bikers. ACC is particularly excited about the federal Sustainable Communities initiative and HUD/DOT/EPA partnership, and we’re looking forward to positioning ourselves to help implement that on the local level in Anchorage. Along with our exciting mission, a lot of my energy this year is going into developing and growing our organization.

Mike Lydon CNU
The Street Plans Collaborative

I moved to Brooklyn in September, after wrapping up the Miami bicycle master plan project. I spent much of my fall working on Bicycle City — America’s first car-free town — and a few smaller-scale projects (including one in my hometown in Maine), while also keeping myself busy seeking collaborations with new colleagues in NYC. I now have a new website and new digs — sharing office space with The Open Planning Project, home of Ben Fried/Streetsblog. Our book, The Smart Growth Manual was published in mid-November and has fortunately received very positive reviews to date. You can check it out here.

Evelyn Burnett, MPA
Living Cities, Program Associate

Greetings from NYC (not Cleveland)! When the Vanguard met last year I was project director for the office of sustainability and project director at Cuyahoga Community College Green Academy. I guess I move around a bit! Sustainable Cleveland 2019 was a huge success. We had 700 participants for 3 days with participants across sectors. The summit resulted in a sustainable action plan in 28 key areas. The summit report is available here. While planning for the City of Cleveland Sustainable Cleveland 2019 summit, I was offered a position with Living Cities. I am now a program associate for Living Cities policy team. I moved to NYC and have hit the ground running. I’m still working closely with several initiatives in Ohio but working on a national level which is great.

Christine Gaspar
Executive Director, Center for Urban Pedagogy

I started my new job as executive director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) in New York in August. It’s been a great whirlwind. Right now we’re working on distributing our affordable housing toolkit, which includes everything you need to run an interactive workshop and demystify the concepts and terminology around the topic. We’re also trying to figure out how to adapt it for some of the other cities we’ve been hearing from, like New Orleans and L.A. We’re launching another tool this month called Sewer in a Suitcase, which included a scale model of a city street and a working combined sewer overflow system — you just need to add water! You can probably tell how fun this job is. We have lots of other stuff in the works and I’d love to find ways to work with folks on other cities. If you want to find out more about the tools, click here.

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Tags: new york cityclevelandcomplete streetsnext city vanguardtactical urbanismsmart growthliving cities

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