Jessica Millman: Green Neighborhoods: Envisioning Solutions for Healthy, Sustainable Communities

CRP 2015 Spring Colloquium Series - Environmental Planning Series

Jessica Millman is a leader in urban planning, environmentally sustainable development, and the principles of smart growth. She works on sustainable neighborhood issues across the country. As a founding member of the LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) Core Committee, Millman drafted many of the credits. She is currently experimenting with applying the LEED-ND rating system in non-traditional ways, including using the rating system as an audit tool to measure how well a community is achieving sustainability goals.

She directs the Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) Green Neighborhoods Program. The Green Neighborhoods program works with communities around the country to design, plan, and catalyze the building of model, neighborhood-scale development projects that combine smart growth, environmental justice, green stormwater infrastructure, efficient transportation options, green building, and public health practices. Prior to working at NRDC, Millman served as the planning director for the Coalition for Smarter Growth. At the coalition, Millman advocated for the adoption of good planning policies around Washington, DC. Millman has held many other positions including: deputy director of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute and Smart Growth America; chief of staff for the governor’s Office of Smart Growth (Maryland) and as the director of program and policy coordination at the Maryland Department of Planning; and a variety of positions in the Urban and Economic Development Division and the Office of Water at the EPA.

Millman received her master's degree in regional planning from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1994 and a bachelor's degree in marine affairs in from the University of Rhode Island in 1992.


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is reducing the country's environmental footprint by transforming the way urban revitalization is conducted in communities across the U.S. NRDC's Green Neighborhoods Program demonstrates a new approach to sustainable neighborhood redevelopment by directly helping underserved populations restore disinvested neighborhoods, putting a human face on sustainability; developing and testing innovative solutions to place-based problems; building model practices for community development corporations and municipalities to emulate; and guiding the implementation of LEED for neighborhood development.

Millman will discuss the Green Neighborhoods Program emphasizing NRDC's current portfolio which includes: a Green Neighborhood Assessment in East Ferry (Newark), New Jersey where the team focused on resiliency and social, economic, and environmental equity; and work in Watts (Los Angeles) where the NRDC is working to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Watts uprising by highlighting sustainable redevelopment of several housing cultural, and business sites and greening public infrastructure for a healthy community.

There will be an opportunity to speak with Jessica Millman in a smaller group discussion in Sibley Hall, room 115 directly following the lecture. Light refreshments will be served. 


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