ISI Welcomes New Board Member, Cris Liban

Washington D.C., January 26, 2024 – ISI is honored to announce that Dr. Cris Liban has joined its Board of Directors. Liban, who serves as Sustainability Officer for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), fills the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) seat vacated by Michael Mucha, who recently completed his maximum allowed terms on the ISI board.

“Cris is an influential leader in sustainability, with three decades of experience in the industry,” said Anthony Kane, President & CEO of ISI. “He has been a long-time supporter of ISI and advocate for Envision. ISI will benefit from his connection to both industry developments and policy, as well as from his long history in sustainability that also includes significant international experience.”

Dr. Cris Liban holds degrees in geology, civil engineering, and environmental science and engineering (Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering, UCLA). He has worked at LA Metro since 2003, growing his agency’s environmental and sustainability practice into one of the most progressive and forward-looking in the country. He has implemented over 150 sustainability initiatives to date and is working to ensure that $140 billion in capital projects programmed for the next 40 years are sustainable, climate-adapted, and resilient for the 10+ million people of Los Angeles County. Many of these projects are targeted for completion before the 2028 Olympics.

Liban holds political appointments as the President of the City of Los Angeles Board of Transportation Commissioners and as a member of the State of California Green Bonds Development Committee. He was previously a member of the USEPA’s National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, California Climate Safe Infrastructure Working Group, and Chair of the Los Angeles County Beach Commission. He was also the Chapter Lead of the Transportation Chapter of recently published Fifth National Climate Assessment.

As former Chair of ASCE’s Committee on Sustainability, Liban has led efforts to develop a global sustainable infrastructure standard along with guidance documents that incorporate climate science into both the practice of civil engineering and the procurement and execution of sustainable infrastructures. He conceptualized and co-led the formation of the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure in 2019, which has become a global coalition of almost 200,000 engineers and more than 10,000 cities worldwide. He is now working to increase sustainable infrastructure capacity building in Asia through the Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council. He also currently serves as Co-Chair of the APTA’s Sustainability Commitment Committee.

In 2016, he received the Philippines’ highest civilian honor for Filipinos living overseas, the Pamana ng Pilipino Award, from Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. He was also awarded Engineering-News Record’s 2020 Award of Excellence for his focus on building a sustainable transportation system that economically and socially benefits all levels of society. He was elected to the National Academy of Construction in 2021 and was designated as a Distinguished Member of the ASCE in 2022.

Liban’s global advocacy and philanthropic involvements are focused on: BIPOC, women and youth empowerment, social entrepreneurship, and advancement of engineering and scientific professions, especially in underserved communities.

At ISI, Liban will serve alongside new Board Chair Erin Cooke (San Francisco International Airport), Lauren Evans (Pinyon Environmental), Sergio Pecori (Hanson Professional Services Inc.), Feniosky Peña-Mora (Tecnológico de Monterrey), Mark Pestrella (Los Angeles County Public Works), and Renee Ring (Environmental Financial Consulting Group).

Osborn Street Plaza Project in Brooklyn Receives Envision Verified Award

(Long Island City, NY – January 25, 2024) The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) announced today that the Osborn Street Plaza project in Brownsville, Brooklyn, which will create an inviting new public space for the community, has been selected to receive an “Envision Verified Award” for sustainability from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). DDC is managing the project for DOT, and the plaza will be maintained by the Brownsville Community Justice Center (BCJC).

“Osborn Street Plaza will expand and enhance an important public space, improve accessibility for community residents and increase access to nearby public transportation,” said DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley. “At the same time, all of our designs are moving toward resiliency and sustainability, and this project will also include features to curb flooding in the area and reduce heat by planting new trees, adding shade furniture, and changing pavement from asphalt to concrete. I thank the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure for honoring this project with its Envision Award.”

“The Osborn Street Plaza Project demonstrates how a section of under-used public space can be thoughtfully reimagined as a community asset with high regard for sustainability and resiliency,” said Kristi Wamstad, ISI Verification Director. “ISI congratulates the NYC Department of Design and Construction, the NYC Department of Transportation and all of the project partners on the success of this project.”

“Every New Yorker deserves safe streets and welcoming spaces where they can meet with family and friends or enjoy public events that help build community with their neighbors,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “The Osborn Street Plaza will dramatically expand space for pedestrians and calm traffic at nearby intersections while implementing a climate-forward design. We thank the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure for recognizing this project with its esteemed Envision Award.”

“We believe in the transformative power of community-led initiatives,” said Ionna Jimenez, Project Director, Brownsville Community Justice Center. “The Osborn Street Plaza Project, a testament to years of collaboration and community input, reflects our commitment to public safety, empowering local youth, and enhancing the physical fabric of our neighborhood. Together, we’ve shaped a space that not only embodies our mission but also serves as a symbol of resilience and positive change since the inception of the Osborn Street Plaza in 2015.”

The $2.3 million project will reconstruct the dead-end segment of Osborn Street south of Belmont Avenue, turning it into a pedestrian plaza with a raised intersection to calm traffic in the area, and will include new pavement, sidewalks, curbs, streetlights and landscaping. The plaza will include bike racks and benches, granite seat blocks, raised trapezoidal planters, moveable chairs and tables with umbrellas and an accommodation for a potential future kiosk. The plaza will provide direct pedestrian access to the NYCHA Langston Hughes Houses.

DOT has an agreement with Brownsville Community Justice Center (BCJC) to maintain the plaza after it opens. BCJC will also offer diverse programming in the plaza to residents.

Top: The Osborn Street Plaza will be used as a community gathering area that will allow for programming from nearby non-profit, events, and more. Above: the plaza will be adjacent to the NYCHA Langston Hughes Houses and next to the Brownsville Community Justice Center. The organization will offer programming in the plaza.

Sustainability and resiliency features will include the installation of two new bioswales and five catch basins, to better manage stormwater. The new trees, shade furniture and the change in paving from asphalt to concrete will reduce the negative heat island effect.

Construction for the project is expected to begin March 2024 and is projected to be completed by summer 2025.

The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure developed and manages Envision, a framework that encourages systemic changes in the planning, design and delivery of sustainable, resilient and equitable infrastructure through education, training and third-party project verification. The Envision sustainable infrastructure framework assesses project sustainability across five categories: Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World and Climate and Resilience. To earn an Envision Verified award, a project must achieve a range of sustainability and resilience outcomes. The Osborn Street Plaza project was cited by ISI for improving quality of life, preserving underdeveloped land.

DDC’s Phase II of Broad Channel Infrastructure Project in Queens, East Side Coastal Resiliency project and Starlight Park projects have previously received Envision Awards.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor Adams’ long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $28 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit

About the NYC Department of Transportation
The New York City Department of Transportation’s (NYC DOT) mission is to provide for the safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible movement of people and goods in the City of New York and to maintain and enhance the transportation infrastructure crucial to the economic vitality and quality of life of our primary customers, City residents. NYC DOT’s staff manage an annual operating budget of $1.4 billion and a ten-year $33 billion capital program, along with 6,300 miles of streets and highways, over 12,000 miles of sidewalk, and approximately 800 bridges and tunnels, including the iconic East River bridges. NYC DOT’s staff also installs and maintains nearly one million street signs13,250 signalized intersections, over 315,000 street lights, and over 350 million linear feet of markings.

About the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure
The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) is the organization that developed and manages Envision, a framework that encourages systemic changes in the planning, design, and delivery of sustainable, resilient, and equitable civil infrastructure through education, training, and third-party project verification. A nonprofit education and research organization based in Washington, DC, ISI was established in 2010 by the American Public Works Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Council of Engineering Companies. ISI then partnered with the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at Harvard University to develop the Envision sustainable infrastructure framework and rating system.

— text of the announcement from NYC DDC (January 25, 2024).

ISI Announces New Board Chair

Washington D.C., January 22, 2024 — The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure ushers in the new year by recognizing outgoing board chair Michael Mucha for his outstanding nine-year tenure on the board, and by welcoming a highly experienced sustainability leader, Erin Cooke, as its new chair.

“We have been privileged to benefit from Michael’s esteemed leadership on our board over many years,” remarks Anthony Kane, President & CEO of ISI. Michael’s tenure coincided with key developments like the launch of Envision Version 3 in 2018, ever-increasing demand for ENV SP training offered virtually and in-person, and accelerating interest in a verification program that now counts nearly 160 completed projects. “Michael was instrumental in guiding all of that growth, ensuring that we fulfilled our mission to support systemic changes in the planning, design and delivery of sustainable civil infrastructure.”

With over three decades of experience working in local government, Michael Mucha, P.E., ENV SP, Chief Engineer and Director of the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, holds that a commitment to sustainability is the best way to build trust with the public, and this mindset made him well-positioned to support ISI’s leadership and vision. “When we think about sustainable infrastructure,” he has said, “we are really talking about the next generation.”

Michael is a professional engineer, with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington-Seattle. He also serves as chair for the US Water Alliance’s One Water Council and teaches courses in sustainable infrastructure management and adaptive leadership at the University of Wisconsin and Edgewood College.

“Just as Michael helped to pave a strong path forward for our organization,” says Kane, “we are now eager to embark on a new chapter of growth and advancement under the leadership and expertise of Erin Cooke.”

An ISI board member since 2020, Erin is the Sustainability and Resilience Director at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), where she supports the design, management, and administration of sustainability and resilience policies, projects and programs that achieve net-zero outcomes for energy, carbon, and waste and help to prepare the campus for a climate-impacted future.

Erin previously served the City of Cupertino as its Deputy City Manager, where she drafted and activated the City’s first Climate Action Plan and launched a countywide community choice aggregation program (Silicon Valley Clean Energy), Silicon Valley Collaborative Energy Procurement program, and Silicon Valley’s Climate Adaptation & Resilience Plan. Erin was also a member of stewardship and climate planning teams at the Conservation Law Foundation, Goddard Institute of Space Studies, and National Park Service. She currently serves on the Board of LightHawk and leads key task groups for the Airport Council International and North American Committees and the American Association of Airport Executives. Erin holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Earth Institute and two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

“I’m honored to support ISI and its mission to deliver climate-leading and resilient infrastructure that improves communities by providing vital services and enabling better economic opportunities for all,” says Cooke. “The ISI Board, ISI’s incredible staff, and the Envision system itself are supporting the low-carbon transition of our key infrastructure during a critical time for our planet. I’m so eager to continue my service to ISI this next year as we continue to grow Envision’s sphere of influence to ensure the survivability of our shared pale blue dot.”

As Chair of ISI’s Board of Directors with a term that began January 1, 2024, Erin will serve alongside Lauren Evans (Pinyon Environmental), Feniosky Peña-Mora (Tecnológico de Monterrey), Sergio Pecori (Hanson Professional Services Inc.), Mark Pestrella (Los Angeles County Public Works), Renee Ring (Environmental Financial Consulting Group), and new member, Dr. Cris Liban (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority).

Apply to Become an ENV SP Trainer!

Are you an ENV SP who wants to share your knowledge with other professionals in your industry? ISI is now accepting applications from credentialed ENV SPs for our upcoming Train-the-Trainer course in March. This course is designed to prepare participants to plan and deliver their own Envision workshops, and completion of the course will qualify participants as certified Envision Trainers. Applications are due March 11, and this live virtual course will be held March 25 – 28 from 12 – 5 PM EST each day. Enrollment is limited, so click below to get started!


Click here to download the Train-the-Trainer application.

ISI Joins TRB Panel Discussion on Equity

ISI staff contributed to a panel discussion on “Planning for Environmental Justice and Equitable Outcomes at Airports and Beyond,” at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington DC this week. Speaking about Envision, CEO & President Anthony Kane and Verification Specialist Kailey Eldredge discussed how the framework supports equity and environmental justice efforts in airport planning and project delivery. They also highlighted the Envision Credit dedicated to Advancing Equity and Social JusticeQuality of Life 3.1 — and identified project lessons learned.

They were joined by experts from PRR, Inc., The Ohio State University, and the University of California, Berkeley. Speakers all referenced tools and methodologies that assist in understanding equity issues but one of the overarching themes was that the tools help, but do not replace, direct human engagement within the community.

Considered the largest global gathering of transportation professionals and researchers, with a focus on innovative solutions for all modes of transportation, the TRB Annual Meeting is taking place from January 7–11, 2024.