Jamie Torres Springer
Jamie helps businesses and governments quantify project benefits, unlock new sources of funding, and structure partnerships for implementation.
Jamie has a unique understanding of how cross-sectoral collaboration, physical planning, and stakeholder engagement are critical to the planning, financing, and implementation of urban projects. His practice incorporates work on urban infrastructure, including a global Resilience Planning practice he created at HR&A; funding strategies and approvals for real estate and open space projects; and citywide strategic plans for inclusive growth and sustainability.
Jamie leads creative interdisciplinary planning for funding, financing, and implementation of infrastructure initiatives across North America.
- Jamie led the master planning effort for the reuse of Rikers Island pending the proposed closure of correctional facilities on the island. This effort supported the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, articulating an alternate vision for the future of the 440-acre island that will provide infrastructure to support the growth and sustainability of New York City.
- Jamie is guiding a strategic planning effort to ensure the long-term resiliency of Lower Manhattan, the nation’s second-largest business district. The strategic plan, part of the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency project, will develop an approach to addressing climate hazards and stresses, mobility challenges, demand for enhanced open space and culture, and the need for adapted buildings.
- For the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC), Jamie led HR&A as it provided technical support on behalf of the Rockefeller Foundation to 67 cities, states, and counties that suffered presidentially-declared disasters between 2011 and 2013. HR&A built the technical capacity of these jurisdictions as they competed for $1 billion in HUD funding for exemplary projects and programs that respond to a broad array of climate-related risks.
- Jamie is supporting the implementation of NDRC-awarded resilience projects in New Orleans, LA – design and development of the $141 million Gentilly Resilience District – and in Norfolk, VA – development of a riverine and parcel-level flood protection program for the Chesterfield Heights district and a regional Coastal Resilience Laboratory & Accelerator.
- Numerous long-term city-wide planning efforts have been greatly enhanced by Jamie’s expertise in climate adaptation, including the NYC Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency, a citywide initiative to address how New York could best rebuild in the wake of Sandy, and Climate Ready Boston, a comprehensive climate change adaptation plan for Boston and its regional systems. For each initiative, Jamie coordinated climate research, vulnerability assessments, and extensive stakeholder outreach to identify focus areas and adaptation opportunities.
REAL ESTATE STRATEGIES
Jamie partners with clients to consider the best opportunities for developing and repositioning urban real estate assets, ensuring alignment between pre-development plans and public-sector priorities to deliver social and economic benefits as well as reasonable returns.
- Jamie is assisting the ownership of Industry City, a 6-million-square-foot industrial campus on Brooklyn’s Sunset Park waterfront, in a broad effort to support the growth of the City’s innovation economy and generate benefits for the local community by repositioning the former shipping and manufacturing complex for a mix of uses including academic, hotel, and retail to support over 19,000 jobs.
- After examining local economic and demographic trends, and assessing the market potential of relevant land uses, Jamie crafted a retail recruitment and development strategy to improve commercial and entertainment offerings within the Delmar Loop in St. Louis, Missouri. The recommended retail tenant mix brought local, regional, and national retailers to the area, improving commercial and entertainment offerings in the district.
- Jamie provided project management and strategic advisory services for master planning and pre-development of the South Street Seaport, managing a consultant team of more than 25 firms and leading the financial analysis of the proposed $1 billion redevelopment of the marketplace into a mixed-use, waterfront destination.
- For numerous innovative open spaces across North America, Jamie has coordinated real estate analysis, environmental assessment, and planning for maintenance, governance, financing, and operations strategies. Completed projects include Brooklyn Bridge Park, the grounds of the Jefferson Memorial Expansion Arch, the Canada Square and Bentway projects on the Toronto waterfront, and open space improvement strategies for Downtown San Antonio and Downtown Austin.
CITYWIDE AND STRATEGIC PLANNING
Across the US, Jamie has influenced the crafting of city plans that encourage equity and growth through innovative land use strategies, capital improvement plans, and governance innovations that align vision with implementation.
- Jamie served as the program manager for the Global Resilience Academy (GRA) Program, a global pilot initiative funded by the Rockefeller Foundation to build the capacity of cities, communities, and institutions around the world to design projects that respond to interdependent risks and produce multiple community benefits. Jamie’s leadership oversaw fifteen Resilience Academies around the world, the development of a network of 1,500 resilience experts, and a final report outlining strategic next steps for the initiative.
- In Boston, Jamie’s led the development and delivery of Imagine Boston 2030, the city’s first comprehensive plan in 50 years. Jamie led the research, design, stakeholder outreach, and production of a Strategic Vision Plan for the city to support growth and vibrancy in Boston in the face of a growing population, new industry investment, and long-term climate change impacts.
- In New York, Jamie managed inter-agency coordination and community and stakeholder outreach in support of OneNYC, a cross-disciplinary planning effort to comprehensively respond to New York City’s growth opportunities, equity goals and environmental challenges by integrating the City’s vision for inclusive growth and economic vitality.
- Serving as lead Strategy Partner for ten of fifteen participating U.S. cities, Jamie advises the 100 Resilient Cities Program – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, a global initiative promoting comprehensive, actionable, citywide resilience strategies that respond to acute physical shocks and chronic socioeconomic stresses as transformative opportunities.
- In San Antonio and Austin, Jamie developed strategic frameworks to drive downtown residential growth. In San Antonio’s Center City, Jamie helped to create a Strategic Framework Plan for Center City to further long term sustainable growth by investing in infrastructure, housing, and amenities in priority growth areas. In Austin, Jamie supported the Downtown Austin Plan through rigorous analysis of Austin’s current policies, workforce needs, and residential market conditions.
Prior to joining HR&A, Jamie was Project Director for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, where he helped manage the public approval process for the creation of an 85-acre open space network along the East River, and as a policy advisor to several federal and provincial government agencies in Canada. Jamie served as Deputy Director for Community Initiatives on special assignment for the New York City Mayor’s Office Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency, where he helped lead New York City through its post-Sandy long-term planning process. Jamie is a former Board Chair of the Fifth Avenue Committee, a member of the Urban Land Institute and American Planning Association, and sits on the Board of the Coro New York Leadership Center and the Waterfront Alliance Council. He has served as an adjunct lecturer at New York University’s Schack Institute for Real Estate and will be teaching at Columbia University’s Graduate School for Architecture, Planning and Preservation in 2018. Jamie holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Member, Board of Directors, Coro New York Leadership Center
Member, Urban Land Institute