Urban and Regional Policy Fellowships introduce policy leaders to innovative strategies and equip them with the information, tools, and connections necessary to implement them. Fellowships provide opportunities for practitioners at the urban and regional levels to meet with their counterparts across the Atlantic and examine policies that have been successfully implemented to address similar needs. Fellows travel for short-term (three to five weeks) research periods, with the goal of returning to their work equipped with the ideas and insights necessary to effect significant and lasting change in their own communities. Support for the fellowship is generously provided by the Bank of America Foundation and the Compagnia di San Paolo.
Applying for the Urban and Regional Policy Fellowship
The pre-application window for the 2015-2016 Urban and Regional Policy Fellowship opened on Friday, February 27 and closed on April 15, 2015. For details on the next application cycle, please check this page in early 2016. You can also sign up to receive notificaitons on the application process and timeline by emailing Bartek Starodaj (email@example.com).
Who Should Apply
GMF welcomes pre-applications from mid-career policymakers or practitioners in state/local government, private sector, or non-profit and policy organizations with a strong record of project completion. Though this fellowship is not intended for academic research, researchers that have opportunities to apply fellowship research and outcomes to influence public policy may apply.
How to Apply
Please read the full pre-application instructions here. Please check this page in early 2016 for information on the 2016 application cycle.
Current and Past Urban and Regional Policy Fellows
GMF’s Urban and Regional Policy Program selected Natalie Bonnewit, Andrea Jonas, Michael Skipper, and Catherine Sabbah as our 2015-2016 Urban and Regional Policy Fellows. The four fellows continued the program’s commitment to transatlantic research and practitioner-driven learning. Each fellow was selected for the strength of their research methodology and research question, originality, and potential to make a significant policy impact in their city.
Natalie Bonnewit, principal with Bonnewit Development Services and specializing in affordable and supportive housing development, will study how affordable housing development can include services for marginalized populations. She will travel to Amsterdam and Copenhagen and apply her fellowship experience to her work with numerous governments, developers, service providers, and healthcare companies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Andrea Jonas, planner for strategic urban development with the city of Cologne, Germany, will study integrated planning approaches in the United States that focus on socially and economically diverse populations. She will travel to Austin and San Francisco and will integrate her findings into a new strategic plan for Cologne.
Michael Skipper, executive director for the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization in Nashville, Tennessee, will study European models of regional collaboration, including in Leeds, United Kingdom, and Antwerp, Belgium. His findings will feed into ongoing efforts to reform regional governance across the Nashville region to better meet the area’s policy challenges.
Catherine Sabbah, a staff writer and analyst with the business daily Les Echos in Paris, France, will study urban security in New York City and Chicago, focusing on how French cities could potentially use “smart city” solutions and big data to improve urban security.
Wayne Feiden, Director of Planning and Sustainability, City of Northampton, Massachusetts
Project: Transforming Small Post-industrial Legacy Cities into Resilient and Successful Places
Feiden has been director of planning and sustainability for Northampton since 1997. In this role, he oversees local economic, environmental, and social initiatives. He also recently served as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Feiden will research various revitalization efforts in smaller European legacy cities, focusing on the policies they are pursuing to reignite the vibrancy of their cities. Where relevant, he will highlight the commitments these places have made to sustainability and resiliency. He will travel to Vejle, Denmark, York, United Kingdom, and Londonderry/Derry, United Kingdom. These lessons will prove to be invaluable to Northampton. Though the city’s downtown has resurged, the city as a whole remains plagued by low investment, a shrinking population, and a host of challenges relating to its position as a small postindustrial city.
Julieanne Herskowitz, Vice President, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Project: Addressing New York City’s Crumbling Infrastructure: Lessons from the London Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy & its Funding of Cross Rail
For the past four years, Herskowtiz has been at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. She is currently vice president, where she is the lead project manager for multiple large-scale public/private redevelopment projects across New York City.
Given the importance of well-maintained infrastructure for the social, environmental, and economic health of cities such as New York City, Herskowitz will research London’s infrastructure levy, a fee applied to new development to address local infrastructure needs. She will also assess the viability of transferring such a model to her hometown. Given the scale of the infrastructure maintenance backlog in New York City and the need for a new and innovative financing infrastructure financing tool, her research will be valuable to the local discussion on solutions.
Lykke Leonardsen, Head of Climate Unit, Technical and Environmental Administration, City of Copenhagen
Project: Implementation of Climate Change Solutions in U.S. cities
Leonardsen has been with the city for past 16 years, and has been head of Copenhagen’s recently established climate unit since January 2014. The unit combines the city’s adaptation and mitigation goals relating to climate change, and is charged with leading the city’s ambitious goal of becoming the first carbon neutral capital by 2025.
She will research emerging best practices for climate adaptation measures in four U.S. cities. She will travel to Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; New York City, NY; and Philadelphia, PA, focusing specifically on what these cities are doing in the fields of storm water management and costal protection. She will also focus on other important aspects of these measures, including implementation and maintenance, citizen involvement, and land use aspects such as zoning. The ultimate aim of the project will be to influence the evolution of Copenhagen’s own climate adaptation strategy.
Karin Morris, Manager, Office of Smart Growth, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
Project: Age-friendly Cities and Regions: Lessons from Europe’s Policies, Plans, and Development Projects
Morris has been with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the metropolitan planning organization for Greater Philadelphia, since 1999. In her role as manager of the Office of Smart Growth, she works with hundreds of municipalities and government agencies to advance smart growth principles and link transportation and land use policy.
Morris will research how select European cities and regions are meeting the dual challenges of aging and urbanization, as Europe has the highest median age in the world, with life expectancy increasing into very old age. She will investigate how cities, particularly those in the U.K. Urban Ageing Consortium, have integrated age-friendly concerns into urban planning and design, specifically in housing, transport, and public spaces. The ultimate aim of this research will be to see how these strategies could be implemented in the 352 municipalities that are within the Commission’s purview.
Matteo Robiglio, CEO & Senior Designer, TRA architecture
Project: Adaptive Reuse and Housing: the Potential of Industrial Infrastructure for Sustainable Urban Regeneration, Community Development, Mixed Use and to Provide Permanent Affordable Housing
In addition to his position at TRA, a Torino-based architecture firm, Robiglio is a professor at the Politecnico di Torino. His research topics include energy efficiency, green architecture, community design, and urban design. He has also held numerous advisory and consulting positions for urban planning projects in Torino, Milan, Rome, and many other Italian cities.
Robiglio’s project will focus specifically on adaptive reuse and the potential of industrial area to ignite and support creative urban regeneration, and will catalog emerging best practices in U.S. cities with a focus on key factors promoting successful reuse such as placemaking, sustainable design, and community involvement. Through his research outcomes, he will hope to influence local community groups, practitioners, and public authorities locally and beyond.
Leah Shahum, Executive Director, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
Project: Saving Lives, Expanding Mobility: Vision Zero Lessons for San Francisco & Beyond
For the past 11 years, Shahum has been the executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. In this role, she advocates on behalf of bicycle policy for the city and engages within the broader transportation and sustainability dialogue within the city.
Shahum’s project will take her to Northern European cities to study their Vision Zero policy frameworks for reducing and ultimately eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries while simultaneously promoting non-automobile transportation options. Her travel will take her to places such as Sweden, where traffic fatalities have decreased over 30 percent since adoption of Vision Zero in 1997. Given that San Francisco has adopted a Vision Zero goal for 2024, her findings will be particularly timely to determine how exactly the broad coalition behind the vision should move forward with implementation.
Celine Gipoulon, Project Manager, French National Agency for Urban Regeneration
Project: Empowering Neighborhood Revitilization: Lessons for France from Three U.S. Cities
Mathias McCauley, Director of Regional Planning and Community Development, Northwest Michigan Council of Governments
Project: Regional Planning as a Means toward Talent Attraction
Eric Eidlin, Sustainability Lead and Community Planner, Federal Transit Administration
Project: Making the Most of High-Speed Rail in California: Lessons from France and Germany
Joan Byron (May-June 2012), Policy Director, Pratt Center for Community Development, New York, NY
Project: Global Cities, Inequality, and the Public Realm
Cities: London, Paris, Amsterdam
Christine Grimando (October 2012), Town Planner, City of York, ME
Project: Recognizing Scale: Sustainability in Smaller Urban Places
Cities: Totnes, UK; Ferrara, Italy
Tony Mazzella (October 2012), Transportation Planner and Strategic Advisor, City of Seattle Department of Transportation
Project: Developing and Implementing a Transit-First Policy for Seattle
Cities: Munich, Zurich
Gareth Potts (Summer 2012), Policy Advisor, Office of Civil Society, Cabinet Office, United Kingdom
Project: The New Barn-Raising: A toolkit for citizens, politicians, and businesses looking to sustain community and civic assets
Cities: Minneapolis, Detroit, Washington DC, Baltimore
Dr. Potts also recorded a webinar on his topic.
Andreas Roehl (October-November, 2012) Head of Bicycle Planning, Copenhagen, Denmark
Project: Promoting Liveable Cities Through Public-Private Partnerships
Cities: Portland, Long Beach-San Diego, Boulder, Denver
Andreas also published an account of his fellowship in a magazine for Danish Bike Retailers (in Danish).
Nat Bottigheimer (July 2011), Former Assistant General Manager, WMATA
Project: Balancing Transit Mode of Access with Urban Design Considerations in Suburban Settings
Cities: Brussels, Copenhagen, Munich, Lyon
Rex Burkholder (September-October 2011), Councillor, Portland Metro
Project: Building Stakeholder Support for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies
Cities: Stockholm, Birmingham, Bologna
Burkholder published an article on the lessons learned from his fellowship travel.
Frank Fernandez (July 2011), Executive Director, Green Doors
Project: Opportunity Based Affordable Housing
Cities: Brussels, Copenhagen, Valencia
Denver Igarta (October-November 2011), Urban Planner, City of Portland
Project: Livable Streets Where People Live: Fostering People-Friendly Streets by De-emphasizing Automobile Traffic in Residential Areas
Cities: Munich, Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Malmö
Igarta also kept a detailed blog of his travel.
Carol Kuester (July-August 2011), Principal Planning Coordinator, Metropolitan Planning Commission
Project: Providing Traveler Information to Encourage Greener Trips
Cities: Brussels, London, Berlin, Munich
Thomas Straatemeier (Fall 2011), Senior Advisor, Transport and Land-use Integration, Goudappel Coffeng
Project: Transit- Oriented Development in the United States: What can the Dutch learn?
Cities: Portland, Washington, DC
Steve Wertheim (June-July 2011), Planner, San Francisco Planning Department
Project: Capitalizing on De-Industrialization to Sustainably Address the Demands of Growth and Modernization
Cities: Turin, Lyon, Copenhagen, Amsterdam
Wertheim also produced a presentation, called Lessons from Europe in Planning and Happiness, summarizing his research and travel while in Europe.
Autumn Bernstein (October – December 2010), Director, ClimatePlan
Project: Regional Collaboration to reduce Auto Dependence: Lessons for Implementing SB 375 in California
Cities: Torino, Lyon, and Stuttgart
Bernstein also kept a detailed blog of her travel.
John Colm (September – October 2010), President and Executive Director, WIRE-NET
Project: Manufacturing Sustainable Urban Regions
Abby Hall (September 2010, January – February 2011), Policy Analyst, U.S. EPA
Project: Building Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience with Smart Growth and Green Infrastructure
Publication: Building Climate Change Adaptation with Smart Growth and Green Infrastructure: Adaptive Planning Policies from Rotterdam, Lyon, and Barcelona
Hall presented the results of her research to the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities (View Powerpoint).
Milos Kovacevic (September – December 2010), Member of Savski Venac Municipal Council, Belgrade, Serbia
Project: Building Sustainable and Inclusive Businesses in Central Cities
See a Serbian television program (English subtitles) on Kovacevic’s fellowship and the incubation center here. A podcast of a GMF interview with Kovacevic can be found here.
Matt Nichols (February to May 2010), Principal Transportation Planner, City of Berkeley, California
Project: Optimizing Large-Scale Transit Investment Benefits through Mobility Management and Land Use
Publication: Planning High Speed Rail Stations for Sustainable Urban Development: European Case Studies
Oliver Mietzsch (December 2009 – February 2010), Senior Policy Officer, Deutscher Städtetag (German Cities Association)
Publications: Non-Fiscal Instruments of Public Transit Infrastructure Funding: Engaging Beneficiaries and Private Capital at the Local Level (for a longer version of the policy brief, click here)
Anne Mariani (October 2009 – December 2009), Chargée des programmes Energie Air Climat, Conseil Regional de Bretagne (Regional Council of Brittany)
Project: Energy and Climate Action Plans: A New Driver for Policies and Action at the Local and Regional Level
Presentation: Climate Action Plans: Best Practices from Pittsburgh, Denver, and Seattle and Perspectives for France (en Français)
Publications: Energy and Climate Change: A New Driver for Local Policy and Action? (en Français) (For a longer version of the policy brief, click here.)
Michelle DeRobertis (August – November 2009), Senior Transportation Planner at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
Project: Transit-Oriented Development in Germany and Italy
Publication: Land Development and Transportation Policies for Transit-Oriented Development in Germany and Italy: Five Case Studies
Tim Campbell (May – October 2009), Chairman of the Urban Age Institute
Project: Smart Cities: Converting Knowledge to Innovation
Publication: Torino as a Learning City (click here for a version in Italian, courtesy of Cluster)
Campbell published a book on the topic in 2012 entitled Beyond Smart Cities.
Iolanda Romano (May – September 2009), President and CEO of Avventura Urbana
Project: Deliberative Democracy and Environmental Land Use Debates
Publication: From Confrontation to Cooperation: Citizen Engagement and Consensus Building in Public Policies
Patrizia Saroglia (February – April 2009), Research Associate at A.lea Consulting
Project: Which Types of Services Can Help Persons with Disabilities to Find Jobs and Keep Them? Learning from the U.S. Experience
Publication: Strategies and Incentives for Matching Disabled Workers with Jobs: Lessons for Italy from the United States
John Swanson (November 2008 – February 2009), Senior Transportation Planner for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
Project: Engaging the Public in Responding to the Pressures of Growth: European Experiences with Public Involvement in Regional Planning
Publication: Gaining Public Support for Congestion Charging: Lessons from Europe for U.S. Metropolitan Areas (for a longer version of the policy brief, click here)
Jess Zimbabwe (November 2008 – February 2009), Director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design
Project: Beggars into Choosers: Promoting Local Leadership in Design in the Face of Weak Market Conditions
Fellows prior to 2008
Heleen Terwjin (October – November 2006) Founder and President, IMC Weekend School
Project: How and when role models motivate children to move socially upward; learning from the United States for European contexts.
Aaron Naparstek (October – November 2006) Editor and freelance writer, Streetsblog
Project: Issues in Urban Traffic and the Environment
Martin Rosenberg (October – November 2006) Editor-in-chief, EnergyBiz Magazine
Project: The European Energy Industry
Eric Hoddersen (April – May 2006) President, Neighborhood Progress, Inc.
Project: Reversing Decline in Older Industrial Cities
Ilene K. Grossman (May – June 2006) Assistant Director of the Midwestern Office of the Council of State Governments
Martin Hirsch (April 2006) Maître des requetes in the Conseil d’Etat
Project: Private Sector-Led Innovations in Combating Social Exclusion