Skip to Content
Home / Events / Generous Cities Summit


Generous Cities Summit

A two-day event hosted by the Biomimicry Center that will consider how cities can become purpose-built, net producers of ecosystem services by taking inspiration from the ecosystems in which they are embedded. Keynote speaker: Janine Benyus

April 19, 2018–April 20, 2018

Arizona State University
The Memorial Union

How to registerRegistration closed, however the event was recorded and can be found at the links below. Please join us.Generous Cities Summit recordings If you have any questions or would like additional information about the Generous Cities Summit, please contact: Olaya Reyes – ovreyes@asu.eduGenerous Cities SummitThe Generous Cities Summit was a two-day event hosted by the Biomimicry Center at Arizona State University April 19th-20th, 2018 that considered how cities can become purpose-built, net producers of ecosystem services by taking inspiration from the ecosystems in which they are embedded.Between now and 2050, the world will welcome an additional 3 billion people, and the vast majority will live in cities. To accommodate these newcomers, we will need to build the equivalent of one new city of one million people every five days for the next 35 years. Our current building stock already consumes 40% of all global energy used while emitting nearly one third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. How will these new cities compare?Imagine “Generous Cities”—urban areas that are purpose-built, with every new design and retrofit, to be net producers of ecosystem services. Our cities should meet or exceed the level of ecosystem services provided by healthy native ecosystems. Buildings, infrastructure, and eco-structure should work together to produce annual per acre goals for clean air, clean water, healthy soil, sequestered carbon, nutrients cycled, erosion reduced, heat reduced, and biodiversity supported.The Generous Cities Summit brought together sustainability scientists, urban designers, architects, ecologists, software developers, and government and business decision makers to consider how our future cities can meet or exceed the level of ecosystem services provided by healthy, native ecosystems. Invited speakers presented on their work and vision for “Generous Cities,” including a keynote presentation by Janine Benyus, author and co-founder of Biomimicry 3.8 and the Biomimicry Institute.The goals for the two-day summit include:
  • Review the state of the art in applied ecosystem-service science, methodologies, and tools.
  • Explore best practices for Ecological Performance Standards, including defining the metrics, designing strategies to meet them and monitoring the results.
  • Build a systems map of experts in this trans-disciplinary field while getting to know each other.
  • Craft a road map for future collaborations and funding.
  • Explore immediate and direct opportunities to apply and test Ecological Performance Standards in the local Rio Salado watershed.
 Day One and the morning of day two featured presentations by a wide range of experts, including keynote speaker Janine Benyus, author and co-founder of Biomimicry 3.8 and the Biomimicry Institute. The presentations addressed how the built environment can leverage the ecosystems in which they are embedded as inspiration for becoming purpose-built net producers of ecosystem services. The first day was an open event featuring talks by invited speakers from a variety of fields (e.g., stakeholders, ecologists, built environment experts, modelers, etc.) as well as breakout sessions to identify gaps in our collective knowledge and opportunities for research and collaboration for developing sustainable cities.Day Two in the afternoon focused on the Rio Salado 2.0 development project proposed by US Senator John McCain to transform the Salt River bottom running through metro Phoenix into an urban and environmental amenity. The session began with talks from stakeholders and researchers working on the Rio Salado 2.0 project, including decisions makers, urban ecologists, architects, and urban planners. A working session followed these talks to discuss opportunities for collaboration to support the implementation of ecological performance standards for the development of the Rio Salado. Keynote Speaker: Janine Benyus, Co-founder of Biomimicry 3.8 Summit Speakers: Kenneth J. Bagstad, Ph.D. Research Economist, USGS Geosciences & Environmental Change Science CenterPeter Brastow, Senior Environmental Specialist, San Francisco Department of EnvironmentDan Childers, Ph.D. Professor, School of Sustainability, and Director of the Central Arizona-Phoenix LTER Program, ASUPaul Coseo, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, The Design School, ASUChip Crawford, Architect, Senior Principal for Forum StudioJamie Dwyer, Research & Design Principal, Biomimicry 3.8Mounir El Asmar, Ph.D. Co-director, EPA National Center of Excellence on SMART Innovations, ASUChris Garvin – Founder, Biome ImpactNancy Grimm – Ph.D, Professor and Co-director of Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research, ASUKevin Halsey, Principal Consultant, Ecometrix SolutionsMaike Hamann, Postdoctoral Researcher, Natural Capital ProjectDavid Hondula, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, School of Geographical Science and Urban Planning, ASU Scot Horst, President/CEO, Arc Skoru, Inc.Bonnie RichardsonArchitect/Urban Planner, City of TempeChristine Lintott, Architect, Christine Lintott ArchitectsGlen Low, Co-Founder of the Earth GenomeMelissa McCann, Director of University City Exchange, ASUSara Meerow, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, School of Geographical Science and Urban Planning, ASUErin Meezan, Vice President, Sustainability at Interface, Inc.Maibritt Pederson Zeri, Ph.D. Deputy Head – School of Architecture, Victoria University of WellingtonClint Penick, PhD, Assistant Research Professor, The Biomimicry Center, ASUDarren Petrucci, Ph.D. Suncor Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, The Design School, ASUEric Sanderson, Ph.D. Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation SocietyKevin Stack, Ecological Builder & Building Scientist, The Northern ForestSissel Waage, Ph.D. Director, Senior Advisor, BSR & Independent ConsultantQuentin Wheeler, President, College of Environmental Science and ForestryProgramApril 19th, 2018 – Memorial Union 230
8:30 AMRegistration, coffee/tea/fruits
9:00 AMOpening and Welcome
9:10 AMWhy are we here?
9:30 AMJanine Benyus, Keynote
10:00 AMIntroduction of speakers
10:05 AMSissel Waage
10:20 AMMaibritt Pederson
10:50 AMChris Garvin
11:05 AMEric Sanderson
11:20 AMPeter Brastow
11:35 AMGeneral Q&A, Janine’s synthesis
 April 19th, 2018 – Memorial Union 230
1:05 PMAfternoon purpose
1:10 PMIntroduction of Researchers
1:15 PMKenneth Bagstad
1:25 PMSara Meerow
1:35 PMDan Childers
1:45 PMTransition to rooms (Apache, La Paz, Navajo)
1:55 PMQ&A and roundtable
2:40 PMTransition back to Pima
3:00 PMKey takeaways from Researchers
3:20 PMIntroduction of Tool Creators
3:25 PMKevin Halsey
3:35 PMGlen Low
3:45 PMMaike Hamann
3:55 PMTransition to rooms (Apache, La Paz, Navajo)
4:00 PMQ&A and roundtable
4:45 PMTransition back to Pima
4:55 PMKey takeaways from Tool Creators
5:15 PMSynthesis & Wrap Up
6:15 PMHappy Hour, no-host bar, Graduate Hotel
 April 20th, 2018 – MU 85 Union Stage
8:00 AMCoffee/tea/fruits
8:15 AMWelcome back and recap
8:25 AMIntroduction of Decision-Makers
8:30 AMErin Meezan
8:40 AMQuentin Wheeler
8:50 AMScot Horst
9:00 AMQ&A and roundtable
9:45 AMKey takeaways from Decision-Makers
10:20 AMIntroduction of Practitioners
10:25 AMChristine Lintott
10:35 AMKevin Stack
10:45 AMChip Crawford
10:55 AMQ&A and roundtable
11:40 PMKey takeaways from Practitioners
12:00 PMSynthesis, Summary and Closing; Next Steps
 April 20th, Rio Salado – Design North CDN 68
2:00 PMRio Salado Kick off – Melissa McCann
2:20 PMBiomimicry Center introduction – Clint Penick & Jamie Dwyer
2:40 PMDecision-maker – Bonnie Richardson
2:55 PMPractitioner – Darren Petrucci
3:00 PMTool creator – Mounir El Asmar
3:15 PMQ&A and roundtable
4:00 PMResearcher – Nancy Grimm
4:15 PMResearcher – Paul Coseo
4:30 PMResearcher – David Hondula
4:45 PMQ&A and roundtable
5:15 PMFuture partnerships/ grants and summary