Nels is passionate about helping cities and towns become happier, healthier, and more resilient. During the work on Union Square in Somerville, Massachusetts, Nels found a project that embodied many of the ideas he’s been striving for in his practice: a mixed-use, urban infill, transit-oriented, walkable, bikeable, high-design-quality place. His goal today? Using data-driven techniques to optimize smart urban strategies.
Clients across North America have entrusted Nels with transformative initiatives to deliver future-ready plans and designs. For example, he’s overhauled the design approval processes in several communities to create a transparent and beneficial relationship between communities and developers that results in world-class places.
The US State Department and U.S. Green Building Council have recognized his award-winning work, and he’s published articles with Architectural Design, CityLab, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) — see a list of Nels’ articles and citations on Google Scholar. He’s also presented at international conferences including Rio+20, 100 Resilient Cities, Walk21, and Livable Cities.