After working her way through journalism, operations management, and finance, A-P Hurd found her way to Touchstone Corporation, a Seattle-based commercial real estate developer, where she serves as vice president responsible for corporate and project strategy. Last year, she received the Better Bricks Advocate Award from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, given in recognition of her support of high-performance, sustainable buildings. Here, Hurd discusses why it is that sustainable neighborhoods must have a mix of uses that allow for multiple forms of access; how new urban buildings have a smaller carbon and watershed footprint than new rural buildings; and why sustainability experts that fly all over the country every week is something she could do without.
What do you say when people ask you, 'What do you do?'
I'm a real estate developer. I want to make better cities by example, by shifting frameworks and by sharing ideas. I work at Touchstone, which is a small private Seattle-area developer that does some biggish projects -- mostly office, retail, and hotels. I'm a bit of a policy junkie: When our rules are not leading to the best in urban form, I'm pretty dogged about changing them. I have a book coming out in April from University of Washington Press, The Carbon Efficient City, that looks at how government can make better use of infrastructure resources and support cleaner cities. I also teach a course at the University of Washington: Sustainable Development and Regional Economics.