Michael W. Mehaffy


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Michael Mehaffy is a strategic planner, researcher and project manager for sustainable urban developments.    He is president of Structura Naturalis Inc., his Portland, OR. consulting firm incorporated in 1993.  As the name suggests, Michael works to leverage natural structures and amenities to develop the highest value for a community.  He works internationally with governments, NGOs and businesses, to align the ingredients of successful mixed-use, transit-oriented and sustainable neighborhood projects.


Michael’s award-winning work has included key management roles on industry-leading  landmarks of sustainable urban development.  He was project manager for the master developer of Orenco Station, the acclaimed mixed use development on Portland’s light rail line described in a New York Times op-ed as “perhaps the most interesting experiment in New Urbanist planning anywhere in the country.” He was a planner on three different teams for the rebuilding of New Orleans and the US Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, where he spearheaded key elements for the Unified New Orleans Plan.  His other projects have pioneered new urban codes, green development, and innovative strategies to monetize sustainable design features.


Michael is also a widely published author and speaker on sustainable urban development, and a regular contributor to Urban Land magazine, Building magazine (UK) and others.  His research on urban form and climate change was recognized when he was invited to present at the prestigious International Alliance of Research Universities’ Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen, a lead-up to the COP-15 treaty negotiations. He has spoken at many other professional and academic venues in Europe, Asia and North America. 


Michael is an adjunct professor, guest critic and lecturer at a number of institutions in Europe and North America.  He is on the editorial boards of three international urban journals and on boards or advisory boards of a number of other built environment NGOs and urban research projects.  He is research associate with Christopher Alexander at the Centre for Environmental Structure-Europe, where he has collaborated on a new class of “generative code,” and new applications of pattern languages. He has served as a member of the Correspondence Committee for the development of the new urban sustainability rating system, LEED-ND, and has consulted on a number of noted projects to establish LEED-ND certification.  He is also executive director of the Sustasis Foundation, a Portland, OR. education and research foundation. 






















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