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The Natural City

February 24, 2022
11:30 - 1:30 PM CT
Digital event

The Natural City

February 24, 2022

A City that Lives with Nature

Cities have long been at odds with nature — using up its resources and depleting its health. They take up two per cent of the Earth’s land base, yet account for 70 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions.

But the Natural City is changing that.

Advances in design, technology, and human attitudes are making a new kind of city possible, one that works “with” nature to benefit the planet and enhance our own wellness, even as we sustain rapid growth.

The Natural City puts a premium on fresh air, and clean, renewable energy and water systems. It’s supported by the electrification of vehicles and smarter infrastructure. It has a vastly reduced carbon footprint and embraces local food systems. It’s a place of innovative urban design, and much more.

Houston, one of America’s fastest growing cities and a leader in the transition to clean energy, offers a useful case study on how we can build it.

CityAge, in collaboration with Jacobs and Biomimicry 3.8, brought together the people who are making the Natural City a reality.


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Specific Areas of Focus Will Be:

  • The devices and system designs that will integrate natural resources into cities
  • New materials that will make buildings sustainable
  • The breakthroughs in renewable energy and the transition to clean energy that Natural Cities will rely on
  • How the electrification of cities’ cars, public transit support Natural Cities


Sylvester Turner
Sylvester Turner
City of Houston, Texas
Katie Hagemann
Katie Hagemann
Resilience Program Manager for Adaptation
Miami-Dade County
James Moore
James Moore
Global Solutions Director, Cities & Places
Priya Zachariah
Priya Zachariah
Chief Resilience and Sustainability Officer
City of Houston
Jane Stricker
Jane Stricker
Executive Director, Houston Energy Transition Initiative
Greater Houston Partnership
Sean Quinn
Sean Quinn
Director of Regenerative Design
Nicole Miller
Nicole Miller
Managing Director
Biomimicry 3.8
Travis Sheehan
Travis Sheehan
Lead for City Solutions, North America
Filo Castore
Filo Castore
Managing Principal
Jacobs Solutions
Lisa Lin
Lisa Lin
Director of Sustainability
Harris County
Joel Walker
Joel Walker
Director, Center Operations
NASA Johnson Space Center
Marina Ruta
Marina Ruta
Lead, BiodiverCities by 2030 Initiative
World Economic Forum
Zahra Alani
Zahra Alani
Broadcast Meteorologist & Communications Strategist, CityAge Anchor

In collaboration with

Biomimicry 3.0


11:30 am

Anchor Welcome and Introduction

11:35 am

Opening Remarks: Sylvester Turner, Mayor, Houston, TX

11:40 am

Presentation: Marc Andrew, Co-Founder, CityAge

11:45 am

Presentation: Transforming Cities' Relationship with Nature to Create a Positive Impact for People, the Economy, and the Ecosystem

What is biomimicry? Hear how it’s making the Natural City possible.

Nicole Miller, Managing Director, Biomimicry 3.8

12:00 pm

Presentation by:  Sean Quinn, Director of Regenerative Design, HOK

12:15 pm

Panel 1: How to Build A Natural City

Engineers and architects are making critical advancements in nature-inspired, green solutions, integrating the natural world right into our cities. These tools are driving down carbon emissions, building resilience to climate change, and accommodating urban growth while restoring biodiversity at the same time.

  • Priya Zachariah, Chief Resilience and Sustainability Officer, Houston
  • Katie Hagemann, Resilience Program Manager for Adaptation, Miami-Dade County
  • Joel Walker, Director, Center Operations, NASA Johnson Space Center
  • Panel Host: Marina Ruta, Lead, BiodiverCities by 2030 Initiative, World Economic Forum
12:45 pm

Presentation: James Moore, Global Solutions Director, Cities & Places, Jacobs

1:00 pm

Panel 2: Building a New Economy With Green Energy

Natural Cities run on green energy. Hear from the leaders who are carving out Houston’s leadership in the energy transition, as well as leaders from other cities who are leading the way to a new economy.

  • Travis Sheehan, Lead for City Solutions, North America, Shell
  • Jane Stricker, Executive Director, Houston Energy Transition Initiative, Greater Houston Partnership
  • Lisa Lin, Director of Sustainability, Harris County
  • Panel Host: Filo Castore, Principal, Jacobs
1:30 pm




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