Nate joined University City District (UCD) in 2012 and has served as the Director of Planning and Design since 2015. Nate uses his urban design expertise and dedicated enthusiasm to enhance urban quality of life issues throughout University City. He served as the project lead on Trolley Portal Gardens, UCD’s largest project to date that turned a utilitarian trolley facility (busiest at-grade rail station in Philadelphia) into a vibrant public space along with a two-story new construction restaurant. He greatly expanded the district’s parklet and public space program and has been influential in developing UCD’s progressive placemaking, and tactical urbanism methodology to enhance urban quality of life in West Philadelphia. Nate was instrumental in launching Green City Works, UCD’s landscaping social venture, and serves as lead designer for all landscaping and public space projects that the venture executes. Nate is passionate about the belief that Streets are Public Spaces, in line with that thinking, he is one of the founding members of Open Streets PHL and was the External Communications Director for the organization. The Group successfully lobbied for and developed an Open Streets event in Philadelphia in less than one year.
A Frequent speaker on the national and international level, Nate has taken the UCD message across the nation and Europe as a speaker in Amsterdam, NL as part of Placemaking Week 2017, and the World Urban Parks Congress in Kazan, Russia in October of 2019. He has also had the opportunity to speak on Tactical Urbanism / Placemaking / Trust Building topics in Chattanooga, TN, Memphis, TN, Nashville, TN, Portland, OR, Phoenix, AZ, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Syracuse NY where he led a series of Tactical Urbanism / Placemaking / workshops with students and members of the community. He has appeared in various media & publications speaking on progressive urbanism, including The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and WHYY’s RadioTimes.
Before UCD, Nate worked as a landscape architect/urban designer for two firms in Philadelphia for nine years, he served as an adjunct professor of landscape architecture at Jefferson University, heading the urban design and community design studios for four years.