Center for Real Estate
2019 Annual Real Estate Conference


Conference Invite



Speakers & Moderators:

Andres Duany

Keynote Speaker: Andres Duany

  • Bio

    Andres Duany is an American Architect an urban planner, and a founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism.

    Duany was born in New York City but grew up in Cuba. He attended The Choate School and Aiglon College and received his undergraduate degree in architecture and urban planning from Princeton University. After a year of study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, he received a master's degree from the Yale School of Architecture.[1]

    Duany was co-founder of the Miami firm Arquitectonica with his wife, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk; Bernardo Fort-Brescia; Laurinda Spear; and Hervin Romney. Arquitectonica became famous for playful Latin-American influenced modernism. The firm's Atlantis Condominium was featured prominently in the opening credits of Miami Vice.

    Duany Plater Zyberk & Company (DPZ) was founded in 1980 in Miami, Florida. DPZ participated in the international movement called the New Urbanism, which seeks to end suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment. The firm first received recognition as the designer of Seaside, Florida and Kentlands, Maryland. It has completed designs and codes for over three hundred new towns, regional plans, and inner-city revitalization projects. He is also a representative of New Classical Architecture.

    Duany is a co-founder and emeritus board member of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), established in 1993. He has co-authored five books: Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, The New Civic Art, The Smart Growth Manual, Garden Cities and Landscape Urbanism and Its Discontents. Duany has worked as visiting professor at many institutions and holds two honorary doctorates.

Rachel Kleit

Rachel Kleit, Ph.D.

  • Bio

    Dr. Rachel Kleit is Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the College of Engineering. Previously, she served as Head of the City and Regional Planning Section at the Knowlton School. Before coming to Ohio State, she was an associate professor in the Evans School of Public Affairs and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington. She received a Bachelor of Arts, with Highest Honors, cum laude, from Brandeis University, a Master of Arts in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University, and a PhD in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Kleit’s research interests include housing mobility and location choice, affordable housing policy, housing as a poverty alleviation strategy, equity impacts of economic development, urban and regional disparity. She teaches courses on affordable housing policy, metropolitan policy, social equity, and advanced planning theory. Kleit is an occasional guest on WOSU’s On the Record, engaging in discussions around economic inequality in Columbus and the city's recent Smart City Challenge win.

    Kleit is the recipient of the 1998 Young Scholar Award from the Urban Affairs Association and Sage Publications, and the 1999 Best Student Paper Award in Housing and Community Development from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and the Fannie Mae Foundation. She is also a recipient of a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Urban Scholar Postdoctoral Fellowship to support research on the New Holly HOPE VI site in Seattle.

Aaron Gruen

Aaron Gruen

  • Bio

    Aaron N. Gruen is a principal with the urban economics, market research, land use policy and pre-development services consulting firm Gruen Gruen + Associates established in 1970 ( He specializes in identifying strategic development, policy, and marketing actions based on changes in demography, consumer and user preferences, and technology. His real estate market research, financial feasibility assessments, impact evaluations, and transaction implementation support has contributed to the development of office, retail, industrial, hotel, and housing uses in many markets. Market, investment, and fiscal and economic impact analysis provided by Mr. Gruen have served as the inputs and framework for the preparation and adoption of land use plans, downtown and commercial corridor revitalization programs, and making decisions about housing policies, economic development and infrastructure programs including enhancements of airports.

    Mr. Gruen earned a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law.

David Gilford

David Gilford

  • Bio

    David helps public and private sector organizations navigate the complexities of technology and harness the benefits of urban innovation. Prior to joining HR&A Advisors, David co-founded and led the Connected Communities practice at Intersection, a technology and media company focused on the built environment, transit systems, and public space. David has led the creation of digital master plans for over 40mm square feet of mixed-use developments, using technology to unlock new sources of revenue, reduce costs, and improve quality of life.

    David previously held leadership positions in economic development with the City of New York, most recently as Vice President for Urban Innovation & Sustainability at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), where he was responsible for supporting the growth of technology companies addressing key city challenges such as sustainability and transportation. As a Director of the Center for Economic Transformation, he created programs such as Urbantech NYC that support entrepreneurs through incubators, affordable workspaces, and access to talent. He has been recognized nationally among the 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Economic Development, as well as one of New York State's Top Ten Energy Government Leaders. David holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Williams College.

Elena Irwin

Elena Irwin, PH.D.

  • Bio

    Elena Irwin is faculty director of the Sustainability Institute and a professor of environmental economics in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.

    A compelling advocate and energetic spokesperson for SI and sustainability at Ohio State, Elena develops and nurtures SI’s academic activities including interdisciplinary research programs and sustainability curriculum development across natural, physical and social sciences, engineering, public health, planning and policy, and the humanities. She leads the overall strategic direction, including cultivating campus-wide collaborative research and curriculum development efforts, partnering with academic units to recruit and mentor Discovery Themes faculty, and working with other faculty and staff leaders to develop partnerships with stakeholders and extramural funding opportunities.

    Her research addresses the sustainability of human-natural systems at local and regional scales, with a focus on land use, ecosystem services and integrated models of land-water systems. She has been principal investigator (PI) or Co-PI on multiple research projects totaling over $17 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as private foundations. She is a member of the U.S. EPA Board of Scientific Councilors Sub-Committee for Sustainable and Healthy Communities and co-author of a 2018 report from NSF entitled “Sustainable Urban Systems: Articulating a Long-Term Convergence Research Agenda.” She is a past elected board member of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and the North American Regional Science Council and a member of the National Research Council’s committee on land change modeling. Her research projects include development of a dynamic model of food, energy and water systems for the Great Lakes regional economy; resilient land use and management systems under a changing climate; and urbanization patterns and impacts of land use change on water quality and ecosystem services. She earned an undergraduate degree in German and history from Washington University in St. Louis and her Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Maryland. She is the past recipient of a Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America and the North American Regional Science Council’s Hewings Award for distinguished young scholars in regional science. She was recognized in 2015 with an Educator Award from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture association.