Mayors of Birmingham, Denver, Long Beach and Rochester Selected as 2016 Class of Daniel Rose Fellows

 In All News, Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 29, 2015 – The National League of Cities (NLC) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) today announced that mayors from four cities—Birmingham, Ala.; Denver; Long Beach, Calif.; and Rochester, N.Y.—have been selected as the 2016 class of Daniel Rose Fellows by the Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use. Mayors William Bell, Michael Hancock, Robert Garcia and Lovely Warren will lead teams from their respective cities who will receive technical assistance on a local land use challenge from NLC, ULI and their peers from the other fellowship cities. The four city teams will convene next week for a forum at NLC’s Congress of Cities and Exposition in Nashville, Tenn.

“The 2016 Rose Fellows are dedicated to finding creative solutions to land use challenges in their cities,” said National League of Cities CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony. “Through collaboration, knowledge sharing and innovative thinking, these projects will serve as models for how cities can learn from each other to make urban spaces a vibrant part of our communities.”

“The Rose Center Fellowship program has a consistent track record of mayoral teams effectively working together to help solve the land use challenges of our nation’s leading metropolitan areas,” said ULI Global Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “Cities are the heart of our country’s economy, serving as hubs for human capital and innovation. We are excited to partner with NLC and the new class of Rose fellows to highlight creative approaches and solutions that other communities can replicate to become more healthy, prosperous, and sustainable.”

The Rose Center’s mission is to encourage and support excellence in land use decision making by providing public officials with access to information, best practices, peer networks and other resources to foster creative, efficient, practical and sustainable land use policies. Established at ULI in 2008 with a $5 million gift by ULI Foundation Governor Daniel Rose, the Rose family and ULI in 2014 formed a strategic partnership with NLC to bring that organization’s robust expertise in local government leadership to bear on the Rose Center’s programs.

Now in its seventh year, the Rose Fellowship begins with the selection of four city mayors, each of whom chooses three additional fellows (city department leaders or public agency directors with land use decision-making authority) and a project manager to serve on their city’s fellowship team. The fellowship’s program of work includes working retreats at the NLC Congress of Cities at the beginning and end of the program year and ULI Spring Meeting at its mid-point, a study tour of another U.S. or foreign city, and study visits to each of the four fellowship cities.

The 2016 Rose Fellowship teams are as follows:

  • Birmingham: Mayor William BellPhil Amthor, senior planner, Department of Community Development, City of Birmingham; Denise Bell, floodplain administrator, Department of Planning, Engineering & Permits, City of Birmingham, and; Andre Bittas, director, Department of Planning, Engineering & Permits, City of Birmingham. The project manager is April Odom, director, Mayor’s Office of Public Information.
  • Denver: Mayor Michael HancockEvan Dreyer, deputy chief of staff, Mayor’s Office; Crissy Fanganello, transportation director, Department of Public Works, City and County of Denver; City Council President Christopher Herndon, district 8, City and County of Denver. The project manager is Chris Nevitt, citywide manager for transit-oriented development, Department of Community Planning & Development, City and County of Denver.
  • Long Beach: Mayor Robert Garcia; Sean Crumby, city engineer and deputy director, Department of Public Works, City of Long Beach; Arturo Sanchez, deputy city manager, City of Long Beach; Linda Tatum, manager, Planning Bureau, Department of Development Services, City of Long Beach. The project manager is Carrie Tai, senior planner, Planning Bureau, Department of Development Services, City of Long Beach.
  • Rochester: Mayor Lovely WarrenAnne DaSilva Tella, associate administrative analyst, Project Development Division, Department of Neighborhood and Business Development, City of Rochester; Zina Lagonegro, development review coordinator, Bureau of Planning and Zoning, Department of Neighborhood and Business Development, City of Rochester; Bayé Muhammad, commissioner, Department of Neighborhood & Business Development, City of Rochester. The project manager is Kevin Kelley, senior community housing planner, Housing Division, Department of Neighborhood and Business Development, City of Rochester.

To assist the fellowship city teams, the Rose Center has assembled a team of eight urban development and design leaders from around the nation who will be serving as their faculty advisers. Birmingham’s advisers will be Carlton Brown, co-founding partner, Direct Invest 2015, New York and Ashley O’Connor, vice president/director, Commercial Markets, AECOM Buildings + Places Americas, Arlington, Virginia. Denver’s advisers will be Andre Brumfield, director of Planning + Urban Design, Gensler, Chicago and Kate Collignon, managing partner, HR&A Advisors, Inc., New York. Long Beach’s advisers will be Laura Aldrete, principal planning sssociate, Matrix Design Group, Denver and Christopher Kurz, president and chief executive officer, Linden Associates, Inc., Baltimore. Rochester’s advisers will be Hilary Bertsch, principal, Perkins Eastman, New York and Nadine Fogarty, vice president, Strategic Economics, Berkeley, Calif.

“These four cities are working at the cutting edge of the biggest development issues facing cities,” said Rose Center Executive Director Jess Zimbabwe. “In addition to the valuable insights gained by the fellows during this year, ULI and NLC members will benefit from the practical know-how that emerges when these city leaders get together to share their ideas and expertise.”

Since its inception, the Rose Center has worked with mayors’ teams in 24 cities across the United States: Austin, Texas; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Detroit; Hartford, Conn.; Honolulu; Houston; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; Louisville, Ky.; Minneapolis; Memphis, Tenn.; Nashville, Tenn.; Oakland, Calif.; Omaha, Neb.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Portland, Ore.; Providence, R.I.; Sacramento, Calif.; Seattle; Tacoma, Wash.; and Tampa, Fla.

During the seven years of the fellowship program, teams have been successful in leading change in their communities after receiving technical assistance and strategic advice. In previous years, it has addressed issues such as revitalizing old industrial corridors to attract new businesses and jobs; leveraging visitor and entertainment venues for downtown development; and developing new community engagement models in transitioning neighborhoods.

About the National League of Cities

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

About the Urban Land Institute

The Urban Land Institute ( is a global nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has more than 36,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. 

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