Barb Frommell (MUP '02), Senior Director of Government and Community Relations, AIR Communities
Building equitable, sustainable communities: Lessons from 20 years and 4 projects
In her presentation to the Colloquium, Barb Frommell (MUP 2002) will discuss critical lessons from her 20-year (so far!) career about how to build equitable and sustainable communities. She’ll start with her experience as a new graduate leading a U.S. Coast Guard team to ensure that service members could find an affordable place to live in the San Francisco Bay Area’s always-tight housing market. Then, she’ll recount lessons from three large, complicated projects on the Front Range in Colorado. Working for the City and County of Denver, she and her team coordinated with nonprofits, other government agencies, and community organizations to create the award-winning Decatur-Federal Station Area Plan (2013), which aims to transform the Sun Valley neighborhood—one of the most distressed communities in Colorado—into equitable transit oriented development. Thanks to her work on the National Western Center District Energy project, also in Denver, this 250-acre infill redevelopment area built on the site of the Denver Union Stock Yard will generate 90% of its heating and cooling from low carbon thermal energy from a sewer pipeline running through the site rather than burning fossil fuels. In the latest phase of her career, Barb helps obtain zoning approvals and entitlements for multi-family projects throughout the United States. She will touch on a few examples and how NIMBYism and the overall fear of multifamily development is contributing toward our nation’s housing crisis.
Barb Frommell (MUP 2002) has extensive experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors and has demonstrated success as a leader at the intersection of real estate, policy, public relations and the environment. Barb currently serves as Senior Director of Government and Community Relations for AIR Communities (NYSE:AIRC). She facilitates the company’s engagement with elected officials, government, and community partners; executes sustainability and ESG efforts; and facilitates zoning and entitlement efforts nationwide. Her dynamic career has also included traditional city planning and zoning roles as well as renewable energy development, grassroots community development, military planning, transportation / NEPA planning and consulting, and negotiating public-private partnerships.
If you are unable to attend in person, you can register for Zoom information here.
This series is presented thanks in part to the generous support of the Louis B. Wetmore Endowment Fund, which provides resources to bring planning practitioners to our department where they interact with students and faculty.