Building A More Resilient Future

Cities throughout the U.S. are becoming increasingly focused on climate risks and resiliency. Innovative thinking related to shaping urban and rural environments, developing green infrastructure, creating transportation innovations, addressing the heat island effect, restoring and preserving open space and waterways, making buildings self-sufficient, and implementing smart waste solutions are key. Many Arizona cities are ahead of the curve; yet more can be done. Hear from experts who will highlight ways to build community resilience, self-reliance and bolster sustainability.

Actions / What we heard:

  • As social justice and equity issues are at the forefront of society today, building a more resilient future must consider the equity of all. It is critical that we listen and empower the voices of those who will be impacted by decisions made today and into the future.

  • An interdisciplinary approach is essential as sustainability priorities such as water, clean energy, heat mitigation, etc. are interwoven and intersect in creating resilient and healthy communities.

  • Building on Arizona’s success in maximizing economic opportunities as one of the fastest growing states in the U.S., will require a renewed emphasis on smart growth, advancing the equity dialogue and re-examining policy structures to ensure that our communities will thrive in 2035.


Colin Tetreault

Sustainability Expert

As a passionate Change Agent and servant-leader, Colin Tetreault facilitates engagement with States & Regions across the US and Canada. He is charged with developing innovative solutions to empower states/provinces and public authorities to disclose sustainability performance data that reduces exposure and risk, links innovation and capital development opportunities, and accelerates awareness and action. Colin is also the Chair of the City of Phoenix’s Environmental Quality and Sustainability Commission.




Steven Duong

Principal, Urbanism & Planning Practice Lead, AECO

Steven Duong, AICP is a Principal and Associate VP with AECOM, overseeing the Urbanism + Planning practice for the firm’s West Region. U+P is a collective of urban strategists comprised of experts in areas such as urban design, multi-modal planning, civic policy, data analytics, economic and real estate advisory, climate and resilience planning, and community planning. Steven has led a wide variety of projects in this role, most recently serving as the lead consultant for the City of Dallas 100 Resilient Cities plan and working with The Nature Conservancy on the Phoenix Urban Heat Island Economic Impact study.



Catherine Kummer

Climate Advisor, Transportation, American Cities Climate Challenge, City of Charlotte

Catherine Kummer is a Climate Advisor for the Natural Resources Defense Council as part of the American Cities Climate Challenge. She is based in Charlotte, North Carolina and focuses on transportation and mobility in this role. She previously served as Senior Director of Green Innovation for the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and played a significant role in the arena of greening sports.


Michael Johnson, PLA, ASLA

Principal | Co-Director of Urban Design

An award-winning urban designer, campus planner, and landscape architect, Michael Johnson found his niche solving complex urban challenges. As co-leader of SmithGroup’s Urban Design Practice, his experience includes catalytic landscape architecture and urban design projects in major American cities, innovative campus plans for top urban research universities and Fortune 500 companies, and international large-scale mixed-use development efforts.