The urban planning department has hired a new senior urban planner and responsible for sustainable development.
Marisa Lau started in the former position in January, the same month that Talia Fox took on the latter position. Lau will participate in the implementation of the city’s master plan through projects related to the historic preservation survey master plan. Fox will help implement the net zero plan and administer the Green Communities grant and projects.
Planning director Jenny Raitt told YourArlington on Feb. 2 that Lau had taken over the position held by Kelly Lynema. She had been a senior planner since October 2018 and was promoted to assistant director.
Fox took the position held by Ken Pruitt, but planning changed the title to project and energy manager. Pruitt, who had worked here since July 2017. Now in Winchester, he has made strides in promoting HeatSmart program heat pumps.
Caryn Cove Malloy, director of human resources, wrote on Feb. 2 that the senior planner’s annual salary is $68,142 and sustainability is $83,287.
Lau will also serve as a liaison with Envision Arlington, serving on the standing committee and liaison with the zoning appeal board providing technical analysis and reviews of special permits and variance applications and interdepartmental reviews of the organization, according to a press release from the city. It will also conduct research and studies on a range of topics, such as land use, housing and economic development, examining alternatives and making recommendations in these areas.
Lau comes from the city of Worcester, where she was a senior planner for the Office of Economic Development. There, she served as a liaison with Planning Council staff for the Planning and Regulatory Services Division, completing technical notes and participating in review sessions for pre-application projects.
Prior to that, she worked at the New Castle, Del., County Department of Land Use, where she created plan review processes, facilitated meetings for land use legislative initiatives, and launched an outreach program. young people for global planning. She also has experience as a recycling planner and works in park advocacy and conservation.
Lau holds two Masters – in Urban Planning with a concentration in Urban Design and Development from MIT and a Masters in Anatolian Civilizations and Cultural Heritage Management from Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Art History from Williams College.
“I am thrilled to bring together my interests and experience in municipal government, parks and cultural heritage, and land use planning in this role,” Lau said in the city’s press release. “I hope to connect people to local planning initiatives and facilitate broad participation in decision-making processes for Arlington.”
Responsible for sustainability, Fox also assists the Clean Energy Future Committee and the Energy Working Group and represents Arlington on the Metro Mayors Coalition Climate Change Preparedness Taskforce and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. It also coordinates with other city departments, councils and commissions on major city sustainability projects.
Fox comes here from Kim Lundgren Associates (KLA), where she most recently served as a sustainability planning manager, leading participatory net-zero planning with municipalities in Massachusetts. Prior to KLA, she worked with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (VHB) as an Environmental and Sustainability Planner, managing climate planning processes and data tracking for New England municipalities and public agencies.
Fox received his master’s degree in urban planning with a concentration in environmental policy and planning from MIT and his bachelor’s degree in linguistics, cum laude, from Harvard University. She is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
“Through my experiences coordinating climate change planning efforts in the region, I know that many municipalities are looking to Arlington for leadership on climate action,” she said in the release. city. “I am thrilled to work with dedicated members of our community to build on this strong foundation and deliver on our carbon reduction and clean energy commitments. We have the tools and the momentum to demonstrate that a fair and carbon-free future is possible. Let’s get to work!”
The Arlington Department of Community Planning and Development oversees community planning and development activities within the city and is committed to improving the quality of life in Arlington by improving housing opportunities, access to transportation and economic development in order to strengthen the vitality of our business districts and to preserve and promote the natural, historical and cultural resources of our community. The Department oversees many key citywide initiatives and the implementation of long-term plans for the community. The Department has operated the City’s Federal Community Development Block Grant program since the program’s inception in 1974. The Department also provides staff support to many of the City’s boards, commissions, and committees. For more information about the department, go to: arlingtonma.gov/planning.
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