Waterfront Conference 2023 has ended
Events Hall (2nd Floor) [clear filter]
Monday, May 8

8:00am EDT

10:45am EDT

How to Get Major Infrastructure Projects Done—An Audience Roundtable Exploring Major Challenges and Best Practices
Join a critical conversation at this year’s Waterfront Conference where we explore the major opportunities, challenges, and barriers to infrastructure projects. Questions to cover include: What do operators and owners need to ensure a project is built on time and on budget? What does government need and how do consultants help? What are the systemic barriers to implementation? How do we ensure equity in project design and funding are a part of every project? What lessons did we learn from Hurricane Sandy when there was a last major influx of funding? Starting with short presentations by leading voices on these issues, the session continues with the audience joining roundtable discussions covering a set of the above questions. Participants will share their expertise and learn from peers on these critical questions. Report-outs from the tables and responses from the panelists conclude the hour.

Panel sponsored by:

avatar for Damian Bednarz

Damian Bednarz

Managing Director, Attentive Energy
Damian Bednarz leads the Attentive Energy team and is responsible for managing day-to-day operations and resources of Attentive Energy to implement its business and project development strategies across multiple markets. Damian also serves as Attentive Energy’s primary external... Read More →
avatar for Jonathan Bowles

Jonathan Bowles

Executive Director, Center for an Urban Future
Jonathan Bowles is executive director of the Center for an Urban Future, a leading NYC-based think tank that focuses on expanding economic opportunity in New York City. During his 21 years at the organization, he has been the architect of the Center’s policy agenda and is responsible... Read More →
avatar for Brian Matthews

Brian Matthews

Senior Advisor, Brown & Weinraub
Brian Matthews is pleased to bring his vast experience in government, and as a member of an advisory firm working with companies who are leading the way to a more sustainable future, to the Waterfront Alliance’s annual Waterfront Conference. An expert in government procurement and... Read More →
avatar for Peggy Shepard

Peggy Shepard

Co-Founder and Executive Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Peggy Shepard is co-founder and executive director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice and has a long history of organizing and engaging Northern Manhattan residents in community-based planning and campaigns to address environmental protection and environmental health policy locally... Read More →
avatar for David Tweedy

David Tweedy

SVP Program Management and Business Development, BRAVO Inc.
David Tweedy joined BRAVO Group in 2019 after a 40-year career working on large-scale infrastructure projects, in both the public and private sectors. His public sector work has included executive positions at NYC Transit, N.Y.’s Dept of Environmental Protection and the Port Authority... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 10:45am - 11:55am EDT
Events Hall (2nd Floor)

12:00pm EDT

Monday May 8, 2023 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT
Events Hall (2nd Floor)

2:00pm EDT

The Imperative to Go Beyond Public Meetings
The full menu of methods for informing communities and obtaining public input is vast, yet many continue to rely on the use of public meetings or open houses as the primary tool for public participation. What is the full menu of tools for involving communities, soliciting information, gathering input, and building trust?  What else is needed to make sure methods go beyond the public meeting model? What methods are most equitable and what are the costs and implications of a wider range of commitments to other methods by project sponsors?

Panel sponsored by:

avatar for Robert Atterbury

Robert Atterbury

EVP Relationships & Programs, Hudson River Park Trust
Robert Atterbury joined the Hudson River Park Trust in January 2022 as the executive vice president of park relationships and programs. He has responsibility over programs, initiatives and external relationships that support the park’s engagement with patrons and communities. Prior... Read More →
avatar for Frank Avila-Goldman

Frank Avila-Goldman

Chair, LES East River Residents Committee
Frank Avila-Goldman proudly joins a long list of local advocates fighting to protect the future for subsidized housing developments along the Lower East Side. In 2019, after months of local organizing, Frank helped form the Lower East Side East River Residents Committee, a group of... Read More →
avatar for Marisa Denker

Marisa Denker

CEO, Connect the Dots
Marisa Denker is the founder and CEO of Connect the Dots (CTD), an impact-driven, fully women-owned firm that specializes in outreach and community engagement. CTD is focused on connecting diverse voices to decision-making by building innovative, meaningful engagement and outreach... Read More →
avatar for Arif Ullah, WEDG

Arif Ullah, WEDG

Executive Director, South Bronx Unite
Arif Ullah is executive director of South Bronx Unite. He is a social and environmental justice advocate, grassroots urban planner, and community activist. He has experience in designing and managing community development programs, establishing alliances, and co-creating campaign... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
Events Hall (2nd Floor)

3:05pm EDT

Lowering the Tension: Resilience, Development, and the New Wave of Environmentalism
A wave of energetic resistance has been rising against key resilience projects and infrastructure development. Some projects have become mired in public controversy, with epithets such as NIMBYism (Not In My Backyard) and BANANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone) thrown back and forth. These dynamics of community opposition present challenges for the future of climate-resilient infrastructure projects. As neighborhoods and communities face change, how can we steer the environmental movement to think creatively and innovatively about what our future communities need to look like? What are strategies that work for engagement processes experiencing resistance and hardship? How can projects that expect resistance prepare for it? How do design teams balance incorporating legitimate community concerns with misinformation? What has worked well and why?

avatar for Gwen Dawson

Gwen Dawson

Senior Vice President of Real Property, Battery Park City Authority
Gwen Dawson is the Battery Park City Authority’s senior vice president of real property, responsible for the Authority’s planning, design, construction, and facilities management activities. During her tenure, the Authority has overseen the completed build-out of the Battery Park... Read More →
avatar for Ali Estefam, WEDG

Ali Estefam, WEDG

VP/Project Lead—Planning & Design, Melissa Johnson Associates
Ali Estefam is an award-winning urban planner and community consultant. She uses planning tools for public participation, to leverage power imbalances, and to advocate for social justice. Ali conducts and strategizes community engagement for large-scale urban, resiliency, housing... Read More →
avatar for Andrea Parker

Andrea Parker

Executive Director, Gowanus Canal Conservancy
Andrea Parker is the executive director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, where she works to empower a community of environmental stewards and design advocates in the Gowanus Watershed. Her background as a landscape designer and gardener provides an invaluable pragmatic understanding... Read More →
avatar for Alexis Taylor

Alexis Taylor

Vice President of Climate Resilience, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Alexis Taylor is vice president of climate resilience for NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) where she is responsible for leading a portfolio of resilience and waterfront projects, which include neighborhood-scale resilience projects like the Financial-District & Seaport... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 3:05pm - 3:55pm EDT
Events Hall (2nd Floor)

5:10pm EDT

Reception, Hosted by Equinor
Reception hosted by:

Monday May 8, 2023 5:10pm - 6:00pm EDT
Events Hall (2nd Floor)
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