Green Cities 2022 is a monthly virtual lecture program organized by CSU on the first Thursday of each month. The series focuses on innovations and achievements in sustainability and resilience worldwide.


The State of California is leading the way in sustainable urbanization initiatives. The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, led by Sam Assefa, is helping the transition to a circular, climate-resilient economy and meeting the challenge of a net zero future.  Sam will also factor into the discussion his prior experience in Seattle, Boulder, and Chicago. Prior to being appointed OPR Director by Governor Gavin Newsome in September of 2021. California’s groundbreaking efforts are helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are warming the planet. The state is also taking action to prepare for the unavoidable impacts of climate change, including the increased likelihood of both flooding and drought. The OPR has issued an Environmental Goals and Policy Report that considers the state’s future in the context of a changing climate and a population that was projected to grow to 50 million residents by the middle of this century. The discussion draft of the report provides a vision of the state’s future with a broad overview of the state’s programs and policies to achieve that vision. The five broad goals outlined in the Policy Report and now being implemented are:

  1. Increasing the share of renewable energy in the State’s energy mix to at least 50 percent by 2030
  2. Reducing petroleum use by up to 50 percent by 2030,
  3. Increasing the energy efficiency of existing buildings by 50 percent by 2030,
  4. Reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, and
  5. Stewarding natural resources, including forests, working lands, and wetlands, to ensure that they store carbon, are resilient, and enhance other environmental benefits.

Hosted by Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, DPACSA, NOMA, President of CSU

Event Recording

YouTube player

Learning Objectives 

  • Describe the key aspects of the environmental agenda of the State of California, as outlined in the Environmental Goals and Policy Report now being implemented.
  • Discuss how housing can function as Climate Strategy, as announced in California’s 2022-23 budget which focuses housing in places Californians need to be every day – jobs, schools, and other daily destinations. 
  • Illustrate how the newly created Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications, established within the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) will help formalize and build on the work of the state’s Census 2020 and COVID-19 public awareness and community engagement campaigns.
  • Identify how Governor Newsom’s California Blueprint will combat the climate crisis, prepare the state to fight wildfires, and take on the drought.

Collaborating Organizations for Green Cities 2022 

Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, UN-Habitat, AIA New York, AIANY Planning & Design, the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, Habitat Professionals Forum for Sustainable Cities, Perkins-Eastman, Creative Exchange Lab, Columbia Center for Buildings, Infrastructure & Public Space and Global Urban Development (GUD)


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