Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM hosted an “Issues & Ales” event concentrating on sustainable development and Birmingham’s future on Wednesday, March 12 at WorkPlay. Listen for highlights from the event on WBHM at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 18
The evening focused on what Birmingham is doing, and what Birmingham’s experts and residents think it should be doing, to improve the environment as the City continues its current revitalization. Lee Ann Macknally, President of Macknally Land Design, was the keynote speaker, followed by Dr. Fouad H. Fouad, director of the Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
A panel discussion facilitated by WBHM’s news director Rachel Osier Lindley followed Macknally and Fouad’s remarks. Panelists included Michael J. Churchman, executive director of the Alabama Environmental Council, Natalie Kelly, founder Kelly Green Marketing and Consulting and publisher of My Green Birmingham, Auburn University’s Ben Wieseman and Stacie M. Propst, Ph.D., Executive Director of GASP.
“With recent developments downtown, and more projects in the works, this is a pivotal moment to talk about how Birmingham will grow – and if a green approach to building and urban planning will be a priority,” said Lindley. “It is important to gather together as a community and discuss these issues in an open forum.”
Speakers and panelists:
Dr. Fouad H. Fouad – Dr. Fouad is the Chair of the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at UAB, and the Director of the UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center. He has extensive research and publication in the area of sustainable infrastructure systems, and has led national technical committees for the development of green building products.
Michael Churchman – Churchman is the Executive Director of the Alabama Environmental Council, a 45-plus year old, state-wide environmental advocacy organization whose mission is to engage citizens toward sustainable living and environmental stewardship. They work on recycling issues across the state and locally run the downtown Birmingham recycling center. The AEC has also been engaging in state energy policy in recent years and promote the wise, efficient, renewable use of power.
Natalie Kelly – The founder of My Green Birmingham.com and Kelly Green Marketing and Consulting, Kelly has created an online resource for learning about living the green, earth-friendly lifestyle. Having worked worked in both the corporate and non-profit sectors, she has found a calling in her mission to help Birminghamians lead a more green lifestyle.
Lea Ann Macknally – As a licensed Landscape Architect and President of Macknally Land Design, Macknally’s experience and passion for her work has led to opportunities in promoting native landscape design and restoration, innovative stormwater management, and the importance of civic spaces. She has led the landscape architectural design of projects such as Railroad Park and Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children.
Dr. Stacie Propst – The executive director of GASP, a health advocacy organization activating Alabamians for clean air, is an Alabama native and an experienced health advocate, public policy expert, scientist and educator. Dr. Propst received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama and a doctorate in physiology and biophysics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where her research included cancer biology and lung inflammation.
Ben Wieseman – As a licensed Landscape Architect, Ben holds a certificate in Planning from the American Institute of Planners and has a graduate degree in Real Estate Development from Auburn’s Masters of Real Estate Program. He has been a practicing landscape architect and planner for 15 years, serving the most recent 11 years with KPS Group. In addition to his work with towns all over the state of Alabama at KPS group, he serves on Birmingham’s Design Review Committee, is a Junior Board member of Rail Road Park, and is an adjunct professor at Auburn University.
Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM, a listener-supported service of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is “Your NPR News Station” and home to the Alabama Radio Reading Service for the blind and print-impaired. WBHM programming and award-winning regional journalism also can be heard in North Central Alabama on WSGN 91.5 FM through a partnership with Gadsden State Community College and on 104.7 FM in Fort Payne. Listen and give online at WBHM.org and follow the station at WBHM903 on Twitter and Facebook.