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Expanding Green Roofs in NYC: A Dialogue with the City of Copenhagen

April 20, 2017, 6:30 pm8:00 pm EDT

Green roofs promote a number of New York City’s environmental policy goals. They can cut a building’s electricity demand, filter harmful urban air pollutants including asthma-inducing particulate matter, provide disadvantaged communities with access to green space, and significantly reduce storm water runoff. Yet, despite their great potential, green roofs are still few and far between in New York. As City policymakers and private actors contemplate the path forward on green roofs, they could benefit from dialogue with individuals from the City of Copenhagen, which was the first Scandinavian city to adopt a mandatory green roof policy. This upcoming event will provide a forum for just such a dialogue. Key questions to be examined include the decision-making process that led Copenhagen to adopt a green roof mandate, the challenges that have been encountered since then, and the extent of the potential for green roof development in New York City. We’ll also examine early experiences with green roofs in New York City and policy reforms that could effectively encourage their proliferation.

Thursday, April 20th, 6:30 – 8:00pm

NYU School of Law
Lester Pollack Colloquium Room, Furman Hall (9th floor)
245 Sullivan Street
New York, NY 10012

Please register, here

1 CLE credit offered in the areas of Professional Practice category. The credit is both transitional and non-transitional.

Speakers include:

Opening presentations:

  • Herbert Dreiseitl, Director, Livable Cities Lab,  Ramboll
  • Mette Skjold, Partner and CEO, SLA

Panel discussion:

  • Rebecca Bratspies, (Moderator) Professor of Law at CUNY School of Law; Director, Center for Urban Environmental Reform
  • Jacob Larsen, Director, Climate Change, Water management, Urban drainage, Infrastructure, Orbicon
  • Lykke Leonardsen, Head of Resilient and Sustainable City Solutions, City of Copenhagen
  • Max Lerner, Sustainability Project Development Coordinator, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Alan Steel, CEO, Javits Center

This is event is being hosted in collaboration with the Danish Cleantech Hub.






Speaker bios:

Rebecca Bratspies is a Professor of Law at the CUNY School of Law and Director of the CUNY Center for Urban Environmental  Reform. Her scholarly research focuses the transnational dimensions of environmental regulation.  She has published widely on questions of environmental democracy, food policy, and human rights. Professor Bratspies serves on EPA’s Children’s Environmental Health Protection Advisory Committee, and is a member-scholar with the Center for Progressive Reform, and with the Environmental Law Collective. She has served on the ABA Standing Committee on Environmental Law, and as an advisor to the CGIAR. She is past Chair of the American Association of Law Schools Section on the Environment.

With artist Charlie LaGreca, Professor Bratspies created Mayah’s Lot, an environmental justice comic-book. Mayah’s Lot has been used in classrooms around the country, adopted by state environmental agencies, and made into a video. The book is freely available online. The sequel to Mayah’s Lot will be published in Fall 2016.

Herbert Dreiseitl is an urban designer, landscape architect, water artist, interdisciplinary planner and Professor in Praxis. He is an international expert in creating livable cities around the world with a special hallmark on the inspiring and innovative use of water to solve urban environmental challenges, connecting technology with aesthetics, encouraging people to take care and ownership for places. As the Director of the “Liveable Cities Lab”, the new think tank at the Ramboll Group International (LCL) and as founder of Atelier Dreiseitl, Herbert integrates the organization´s strategic design and planning efforts by demonstrating a portfolio of site-responsive interventions of urban planning, hydrology and environmental engineering.

Jacob Larsen is Director at Orbicon and Chairman of the Environment and Climate Committee of the Danish Association of Consulting Engineers, where he works with current trade political issues on behalf of the whole industry including dialogues with political decision-makers at ministerial level.   Mr. Larsen has an engineering degree in wastewater and stormwater solutions from the Technical University of Denmark and specializes in climate change adaptation, strategic planning, business development, project management, IT solutions, Urban drainage, and Infrastructure. He is a board member at the Danish Water Forum.

Lykke Leonardsen has worked with urban development for the past 25 years in Copenhagen. This includes local regeneration projects, international urban policies and communication.

Since 2008 she has worked for the Technical and Environmental Administration in charge of making Copenhagen more blue and green – in charge of water management and green infrastructure planning. It was as part of this work that the Climate Change Adaptation plan was developed.

Since June 2016 she is Head of program for Resilient and Sustainable City Solutions, and before that Head of the Climate Unit, in charge of the Climate Change Adaptation program, and the city’s ambitious plan to be the first carbon neutral capital of the world before 2025.

Ms. Leonardsen has a Master in Near Eastern Archaeology and Master of Public Policy.

Max Lerner manages a team of visionaries tasked with the ever-evolving goal of designing new and intrepid ways to optimize NYC Parks urban stewardship through the dynamic application of emerging technology and sustainable best practices. His teams rigorous research into piloting new projects in their facilities living laboratory allows them to model, review and actively shape the landscape of New York to ensure our incredible city has a sustainable future.

Mette Skjold is partner and CEO at SLA. With more than 15 years of experience as a leader of sustainable urban planning and development projects, Ms. Skjold has vast experience in leading complex processes with multidisciplinary teams solving some of today’s hardest urban problems. Besides being trained as an architect, Ms. Skjold holds an international master degree in leadership and innovation.  Before joining SLA in 2010, Ms. Skjold was associated partner at Henning Larsen Architects where she in 2004 was one of two lead designers behind the Olympic City in New York’s bid for the 2012 Olympics. Ms. Skjold thus has intimate knowledge of working with New York City stakeholders from city officials to local residents and businesses.

Alan Steel is the President & Chief Executive Officer of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation, which operates the Javits Center. Under Mr. Steel ‘s leadership, the Javits Center underwent a comprehensive renovation including significant investments in technology and sustainable improvements. Mr. Steel has spent more than 30 years as an event management executive and United Kingdom trade development official. He is the former President of George Little Management (GLM), a major producer of trade shows in the United States and Canada, where he was responsible for the creation of new events, oversight of corporate strategic planning, marketing programs and the direction for various company events including NY NOW (formerly New York International Gift Fair), the National Stationery Show, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and SURTEX. Mr. Steel was also active in developing domestic and international markets for the company. Before joining GLM in 1982, Mr. Steel worked for more than 15 years with the British government in a number of trade-related positions at the Department of Trade and Industry in London, the British Consulate in Chicago and the British Trade Development Office in New York. In these roles, Alan bought and sold exhibit space to participants in trade and consumer shows, conferences, and special events. In 2014, Mr. Steel was awarded with the King’s Glove award by the International Association of Exhibitors and Events (IAEE) for his enriched contributions to the trade show industry in New York and beyond.


April 20, 2017
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm EDT
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NYU School of Law, Furman Hall, Lester Pollack Colloquium Room
245 Sullivan Street
New York, NY 10012 United States
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