TIM W. SMITH, AIA, AICP
Tim Smith is Principal and founder of the Urban Design and Planning Studio at SERA Architects, a Portland, Oregon firm that offers integrated services in architecture, urban design, planning, and sustainability consulting. He is a registered architect and a certified planner with over 35 years of professional experience. Tim is passionate about the art and science of placemaking and his work is aimed at creating whole and beautiful places that enrich the human experience and integrate nature at the aesthetic and systemic levels. Toward this end he incorporates cognitive mapping, biophilia, Civic Ecology community systems planning and strategic visioning into his urban design projects. His work spans a variety of scales, from the site, block and neighborhood to the community, campus, city and region.
Tim developed Civic Ecology, a citizen-driven, whole systems framework for community design and has helped implement the framework in numerous communities nationally and internationally. He co-authored Making EcoDistricts: Concepts and Methods for Advancing Sustainability in Neighborhoods, authored Civic Ecology: A Citizen-Driven Framework for Transforming Suburban Communities, delivered a TEDx talk on Civic Ecology and lectures widely on the topic. Recent Civic Ecology work includes workshops and training sessions for the cities of Damascus and West Linn, Oregon, five neighborhoods along Portland’s Hawthorne Boulevard, three neighborhoods in Atlanta, Georgia and the Oregon Zoo. He recently facilitated workshops in Haley, Idaho that have generated community support for a new mixed-use, sustainable neighborhood development project that will include ecological restoration, organic agriculture and food production, community innovation space, a charter school and on-site energy generation and waste water treatment.
Tim has served as Vice President of the Portland Planning Commission, on the Portland Chapter AIA Urban Design Committee, the Portland Mayor’s Central City Roundtable, as Chairman of the Portland Metro Construction Excise Tax/Community Planning and Development Grants Advisory Committee and as a member of the City of Portland EcoDistrict Technical Advisory Committee. Tim currently serves on the National Board of Sustainability Advisors for KB Home, a national homebuilder located in Los Angeles engaged in sustainable homebuilding practices.
BEN WEBER, AICP
Ben is dedicated to creating urban environments that are highly tuned to human interactions and experiences. He enjoys being a hands-on participant in the urban planning process. By interacting with people on both an individual and group basis, he helps them define their needs and develop ways to effectively communicate their goals through the design process.
In over four years at SERA Ben has worked with public and private clients and diverse stakeholder groups across Portland, rural Oregon, and the California Bay area, helping to envision and implement rejuvenated, safe, and resilient communities that provide opportunities for all people to live, work, and gather.
Ben’s interest with urban planning started when he traveled throughout the eastern U.S., gaining a unique perspective on cities while operating a mobile mapping van. Through his Civic Ecology work, Ben has engaged with communities seeking self-sufficient neighborhood revitalization in Detroit, sustainable energy and waste systems in Portland, and local-governance partnerships between diverse stakeholders in Atlanta. Ben has also conducted several Civic Ecology training sessions with groups of professional planners and neighborhood organizers to help them develop the skills to investigate and envision the future of their communities