Urban Experts

The Next American Dream relied on the expertise of many national real estate executives, urban planners, architects and historians in the making of this film. Following are those featured on screen:

Christopher Leinberger

Expert Resource and Content Advisor

Fellow, Brookings Institution
Washington, DC

Christopher LeinbergerChris Leinberger is a land use strategist, developer, teacher, consultant and author. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, doing research and developing strategies to develop or redevelop “walkable urban” places and develop new strategy, management and financial models for the built environment. He is also a Professor of Practice and Director of the Graduate Real Estate Development Program at the University of Michigan. Chris has written award-winning articles for publications such as the Atlantic Monthly, Wall Street Journal, Urban Land magazine, among others. He has been profiled by national broadcast and print media such as CNN, Today Show, National Public Radio, Progressive Architecture, and Urban Land, among others. His most recent books are The Option of Urbanism, Investing in a New American Dream (Island Press, 2008) and Strategy for Real Estate Companies (Urban Land Institute, 2008). Chris is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Business School. His wife, Lisa, and he live in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, DC. Brookings Institution Invitation Letter (PDF)

Sam Zell

Chairman, Equity International
Chicago, Illinois

Sam ZellSam Zell founded Equity International with Gary Garrabrant in 1999. Mr. Zell has been particularly active with Equity International’s publicly held portfolio companies that span industries and continents, and include interests in finance, energy, transportation, communications, and real estate. In December 2007, Mr. Zell became chairman and chief executive officer of Tribune Company, after financing the sale of the public company to a private Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Previously, Mr. Zell served as chairman for Equity Office Properties Trust (EOP), the largest office REIT in the U.S. EOP was sold in February 2007 to The Blackstone Group for $39 billion in the largest private equity transaction in history at the time. Mr. Zell is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School. He is a frequent contributor of articles to various publications and is often heard as keynote speaker throughout the United States and Europe.

Peter Linneman, Ph.D.

Professor, Wharton School of Business

Principal, Linneman Associates
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Peter Linneman, Ph.D.Dr. Peter Linneman is the principal of Linneman Associates and also serves as the Albert Sussman Professor of Real Estate, Finance, and Public Policy at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. A member of Wharton's faculty since 1979, he served as the founding chairman of Wharton's Real Estate Department, and was the Director of Wharton's Zell-Lurie Real Estate Center for 13 years. He is the founding co-editor of The Wharton Real Estate Review. His teaching and research focuses on real estate and investment strategies. He has published over 80 articles during his career. Dr. Linneman is widely recognized as one of the leading strategic thinkers in the real estate industry, and has been cited as one of the 25 most influential people in real estate by Realtor Magazine, and one of the 100 most powerful people in NY real estate by the NY Observer.

Kathryn Madden

Principal, Madden Planning Group
Watertown, Massachusetts

Kathryn MaddenKathryn Madden is Principal of Madden Planning Group. With over 25 years experience, her professional practice focuses on regeneration of urban districts and strengthening institutional campuses as centers for learning, health, and economic development. Ms. Madden has worked on downtown and riverfront development projects for communities all along the Eastern third of the country and Kansas City. Special areas of expertise are programming, public involvement, and implementation strategies that are fully integrated with the design process. Ms. Madden has been teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Design since spring 2006. Prior to opening her own firm, she was a Principal at Sasaki Associates.

Moshe Safdie

Architect, Moshe Safdie and Associates
Somerville, Massachusetts

Moshe SafdieIn the past decade, Moshe Safdie’s major cultural and educational commissions in the U.S. have included: the United States Institute of Peace Headquarters on the Mall in Washington, DC; the Skirball Museum and Cultural Center in Los Angeles, Calif.; educational facilities such as Eleanor Roosevelt College at the University of California in San Diego; civic buildings such as the Springfield, Mass., and Mobile, Ala., Federal Courthouses; and performing arts centers such as the Kansas City, Mo., Performing Arts Center. Recent building openings include the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia (2006), The Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem (2005), the Lester B. Pearson International Airport (2004), the Ben Gurion International Airport (2004), the Salt Lake City Main Public Library (2003), and the Peabody Essex Museum (2003).

In the 70s, the Israeli-born Safdie was intensely involved with the rebuilding of Jerusalem. He was responsible for major segments of the restoration of the Old City and the reconstruction of the new center, linking the Old and New Cities. He has held teaching positions at Yale, McGill, and Ben Gurion Universities. He is responsible for the design of six of Canada's principal public institutions, including the Quebec Museum of Civilization, the National Gallery of Canada, and Vancouver Library Square.

Chris Nelson, Ph.D.

Co-Director, Metropolitan Institute

Professor in Urban Affairs and Planning, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia

Chris Nelson, Ph.D.For the past thirty years, Chris Nelson has conducted pioneering research in growth management, urban containment, public facility finance, economic development, and metropolitan development patterns. Numerous organizations have sponsored Dr. Nelson's research such as the National Science Foundation; National Academy of Sciences; U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Commerce, and Transportation; U.K. Department of the Environment; Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; Fannie Mae Foundation; American Planning Association; National Association of Realtors; and The Brookings Institution. His research and practice has led to the publication of 14 books and more than 200 other scholarly and professional publications.

Al Ratner

Co-Chairman of the Board, Forest City Enterprises, Inc.
Cleveland, Ohio

Al RatnerAl Ratner has been in the commercial and residential real estate industry with Forest City since 1951. Ratner is well known as a long time community booster for Cleveland and a leader in its Jewish community.  In the company's hometown of Cleveland, Ratner was the driving force behind Forest City's dramatic redevelopment of the Terminal Tower and the former Union Terminal into Tower City Center, a mixed-use complex with a multi-floor mall, office space and hotel. That project, which was completed in 1990, is widely regarded as the catalyst for the rebirth of downtown Cleveland throughout the 1990s. Nationally, he is on the board of governors of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and is an honorary trustee of the Enterprise Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the United Jewish Communities. Ratner is a graduate of Michigan State University, with a degree in forestry. He also holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from Long Island University and an honorary doctor of engineering degree from Polytechnic University, both in Brooklyn, N.Y. He is an adjunct visiting professor for the Michigan State University Land Policy Institute.

Tim Leiweke

President and CEO, Anschutz Entertainment Group
Los Angeles, California

Tim LeiwekeTimothy Leiweke is President and CEO of AEG. Now in his 12th year with the organization, he has acquired or merged more than 50 divisions and companies to create a global live entertainment organization that produces, promotes and manages sports and entertainment programming in facilities owned and operated by AEG as well as other venues. AEG owns and operates the Sprint Center arena in Kansas City, Missouri, a major anchor for the city’s recent $5 billion downtown facelift. As president of the Staples Center, Leiweke was responsible for the overall development of the downtown Los Angeles showplace for major events and performances. He is currently overseeing the creation of L.A. Live, a $2.5 billion downtown Los Angeles sports, residential and entertainment district adjacent to the Staples Center. He previously served as president and CEO of U.S. Skiing, president of the Denver Nuggets and vice president of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He is a member of the board of trustees for Para Los Niños, a member of the board of directors of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Rainbow/PUSH Entertainment Project.

Bob Berkebile, FAIA

Principal, BNIM
Kansas City, Missouri

Bob BerkebileBob Berkebile is a founding Principal of BNIM Architects and brings over 37 years of experience to the architectural profession. By combining his design and leadership skills, Bob has consistently created new approaches to holistic, integrated community building. Bob is a board member of the U.S. Green Building Council, the Nature Conservancy and the Center for Global Community and has been a juror and/or guest lecturer at numerous universities from Harvard to Rice to Cambridge University, United Kingdom. Berkebile and his firm are setting new design standards for resource efficiency at the building and community scales including energy, materials and human resources on a broad range of projects including Greening of the White House, Greening of the Pentagon, Greening of the Grand Canyon, two facilities at the University of Texas at Houston, and a 3,000-acre redevelopment in North Charleston, South Carolina. As one of the nation’s leading authorities in the field of sustainable design, Bob was the founding chairman of the AIA’s National Committee on the Environment. He has conducted numerous sustainable design charettes and workshops for the National Park Service, the US Department of Energy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Canadian Provincial Architects. Local municipalities, national organizations, universities, governors, U.S. Senators and Representatives, and organizations such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Urban Land Institute seek his advice and participation.

A Documentary Film By t2 and Inland Sea Productions


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