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Home Biographies Richard Register

Richard Register

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Richard RegisterRichard Register
President, Ecocity Builders
339 15th Street, Suite 208
Oakland CA 94612
1-510-444-4508 (phone and fax)
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ECOCITIES — BUILDING CITIES IN BALANCE WITH NATURE, second edition, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, 2006;


VILLAGE WISDOM / FUTURE CITIES, Ecocity Builders, Berkeley, 1997;


ANOTHER BEGINNING, Treehouse Books, Berkeley, 1978

Founding president of Urban Ecology (1975) and founder and current president of Ecocity Builders (1992), both non-profit California educational corporations.

Oil Independent Oakland Task Force of the City Council of Oakland, California through 2007, on the Mayor’s Open Space Task Force, San Francisco, California, 2009.

Past projects include leadership participation in:


■Redesign of a Berkeley street as a reduced speed “Slow Street” 1982, built in 1990,
■The “Vegetable Car,” an art piece in the streets of Berkeley: a 1969 Pontiac GTO converted to a vegetable garden,
■Opening (“daylighting” of two buried creeks in Berkeley), 1982 and 1995
■Marking of all the curbs in the city under which creeks flow – 860 places – with stencils of the creek name and an image of a creek animal representative of each of the 12 creeks in 1988 and 1989,
■Building of three solar greenhouses and
■Passage of the “Solar Greenhouse Ordinance” encouraging these structures, 1982 through 1987,
■“De-paving” projects in which concrete and asphalt was removed at six locations in Berkeley to plant fruit trees and gardens, 1987-1995,
■Gathered, with Kirstin Miller, Ecocity Builders Program Director, 103 organizations in support of four policies for the Berkeley Revised General Plan 2001, which would have established preference for pedestrian/transit centers oriented development, and encouraged transfer of development rights for opening creeks and expanding community gardens throughout the city, and supported an “integrally designed” ecological demonstration project in downtown Berkeley on a large scale – City Council “progressives” however, voted down all but the ecological demonstration project, leaving the project mainly “educational,”
■Successful support for a redesign of particular development projects that brought more housing to Berkeley’s centers including the new Gaia Building, third tallest building in downtown Berkeley, with its rooftop gardens, terracing, trellises, vines and access for views, 2001,
■Marking of a major street in downtown Berkeley with a “Blue Line” weaving down the paving in broad curves, representing where the downtown creek could be opened and restored, 2002,
■Organized the “Strawberry Creek Plaza Alliance” comprised of more than a dozen Berkeley organizations to encourage the City and University of California to pursue the downtown ecological demonstration project, inclusive of opening Strawberry Creek and creation of a public plaza and pedestrian street where University property and Center Street from Oxford Street to Shattuck Avenue is now located.
■With Kirstin Miller, organized a two day field trip to San Luis Obispo for Berkeley leaders to see their successful downtown revitalization and creek restoration project,
■Convinced a Berkeley Planning Commission task force and City Council to adopt the main objective of the Strawberry Creek Plaza Alliance in their recommendations to the University of California as to development directions in downtown at the Center Street site.
■Launching a project for Oakland as a model for “ecocity mapping” and subsequent workshops to help direct shifting density away from sprawl and toward identified city centers of several scales called “Green City Revolution, Oakland”.

Register is heading up the volunteer work for a creek restoration Project in Berkeley and Albany, California, exploring transfer of development rights (TDRs) for reshaping cities and proposing an ecocity redesign of downtown Berkeley thorough an effort called the “the Heart of the City Project.” He is currently working with Ecocity Builders for a “Strawberry Creek Greenway Project” aspiring to link hills with bay through campus, downtown, central and west Berkeley with a pedestrian/bicycle path alongside a restored Strawberry Creek, a project that would likely take 20 to 50 years to complete. The study is partially funded by the State of California Coastal Conservancy and. At the Fifth International Ecocity Conference in Shenzhen, China, August, 2002, he proposed “Three Experimental Cities for China” – 1.) strictly pedestrian, 2.) pedestrian and bicycle, 3.) pedestrian, bicycle and streetcar.

CONSULTING with Ecocity Builders
Gaia Building redesign, Berkeley, California

Mills College campus Green Plan, Oakland, California

Deja Vu Building Vision Plan, Berkeley, California Dean Group, Yu Jian De, CEO, development visioning, Ningbo, China

City of Willits, California, General Plan and Zoning Ordinance workshop on future visioning, Willits, California

Convened of the First International Ecocity Conference (1990); advisor to the second in Adelaide, Australia (1992); the third in Yoff, Senegal (1996); the fourth in Curitiba, 2000 and co-convener of the fifth in Shenzhen, China (August 2002) where he was also the Keynote Speaker. Advised on International Ecocity Conference, November 2006 in Bangalore, India. These events have involved approximately 1,900 people and 340 speakers to date. He has convened many smaller local, national and international conference on ecocity themes and projects in the San Francisco Bay Area.

With Kirstin Miller, organized the Green City Vision conference for 500 attendees at Oakland’s Scottish Rite Center as part of UN World Environment Day, 2005.

The Seventh International Ecocity Conference with Kirstin Miller for Ecocity Builders, San Francisco, April 21-26, 3008 – the Ecocity World Summit.

Register has taught classes for San Francisco Institute of Architecture and for independent classes sponsored by Ecocity Builders. He has been a guest speaker at many college classes (University of California, Stanford, San Francisco State, New College, Vista College, California College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco Academy of the Arts, and more). He has given high school and even grade school classes in the San Francisco Bay area and has lead tours of ecological project sites

Register is a frequent speaker both locally and internationally having presented, since founding Ecocity Builders in 1992, slide shows, talks and workshops throughout California, in 21 states and 24 countries on six continents including the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development conferences in Johannesburg, South Africa where he made three presentations featuring his future-oriented designs and plans illustrated in many drawings, maps, models and slides, some of actual hands-on Ecocity Builder projects in Berkeley, California. Spoke at NGO conferences at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 1992 and United Nations Conference on the Human Habitat, Istanbul, 1996. Countries where hosts have had Register speak, many of them several times, include Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Israel, Korea, Italy, Malaysia, Nepal, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Senegal, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, USA

There were hundreds of talks from 1973 onward. The following indicate the range throughout Register’s career. They were presented to a wide range of audiences from local to international conferences including an around the world trip to Ecocity 5 in Senzhen, China and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, South Africa (People’s World Forum and NGO Forum); Toronto, Canada (Ryerson University); Vienna, Austria (Victor Gruen’s 100th birthday conference/celebration); Langkawi, Malaysia (Asia Pacific Eco-Tourism Conference); Beijing, Xiamen, Chungqing and Ningbo, China (architecture classes, Chinese Academy of Science, talks for developers and mayors); Charlottesville and Blacksburg, Virginia (Universities); Louisville, Kentucky (local environmental groups conference); Washington, DC (Denis Kucinich’s office); New York, New York (three times including New York University, ecological design groups and New York New Visions regarding the World Trade Center replacement project); St. Augustine, Florida (Making Cities Livable Conference); Atlanta, Georgia (Sierra Club); Olympia, Washington (Evergreen College, SEED – a student environmental group); Eugene, Oregon (University of Oregon HOPES Conference); Portland, Oregon (three times including for city Office of Sustainable Development, CH2M Hill executives, Village Building Convergence and the Natural Step); Santa Fe, New Mexico (privately gathered audience of environmentalists); San Francisco (four times including GreenFestival (organized by Bioneers and Global Exchange) World Futures Society Conference, lectures for the San Francisco Institute of Architecture), Santa Rosa, California (New College); Berkeley, California (Rotary Club luncheon slide show, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Chamber of Commerce leadership training lecture and workshop); Oakland, California (The Unstoppable Wave environmental design and architecture conference); Sustainable Communities 2004, Burlington, Vermont; Towards Car-Free Cities 4, Berlin, Germany; Engaged Cosmology, Los Gatos, California (evolutionary context of cities); International Ecopolis Development Forum, Ningbo, China; Vision and Strategy of Ecocity Forum, Seoguipo City, South Korea; First US Conference on “Peak Oil” and Community Solutions, Yellow Springs, Ohio; Green City Visions UN World Environment Day Conference, Oakland, California; International Symposium for DMZ Conservation,Yangg-gu, Gungwon Province, South Kor

Tracking recent dates, since January 2006:

Presentations for Congressmen Earl Blumenauer and Dennis Kucinich staff, Washington, DC, February 28 and March 1, 2006, Ecological Rebuilding presentation for Tulane School of Architecture, New Orleans, March 8, 2006; Zoning and planning workshop, City of Willits, California, March 17 and 18, 2006; Cities Can Save the Earth – The Urban Solution to Climate Change, Species Extinctions and Peak Oil, Commonwealth Club, San Francisco; Prioritization for Scientific Approach in Ecocity Development, Chongqing, China, September 25, 2006; Creeks and the Hearty of the City Project for Berkeley’s Downtown, the Berkeley Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival, Berkeley; Ecocity introduction lecture and workshop, Intro to Ecocities, University of Idaho, Boise, Idaho; Work for Better Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 25-26, 2006; guest speaker at Ecocity – the Time is Now Conference, Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal, November 28, 2006; plenary speaker, Sixth International Ecocity Conference, Bangalore, India, December 3, 2006; Ecocities for Municipalities Planning, Joint City Offices Meeting, Pondicherry, India, December 6, 2006; introductory presentation on Ecocities to Auroville Community Meeting, Auroville, India, December 7, 2006; co-host and speaker, University of California/BP Biofuels Teach-In, April 19, Berkeley; single person presentation, Report Back from Trip to the Subcontinent, Ecology Center, Berkeley; presenter, Eco Summit 2007, Beijing, China, May 24, 2007; speech and consulting to officials of the Mentaugo District, China, May 25, 2007; plenary speaker, Permaculture Convergence, Oakland, July 8; concurrent speaker on eco-tourism community design, Asia Pacific Cities Summit, Brisbane, Australia, September 3, 2007; several public talks for Urban Ecology Australia, Adelaide, Australia, September 6, 7, 8, 2007; two person presentation with Scott Fossel, for Green Century Institute series, Redwood City, September 13, 2007; one hour session presenting with Allen Green, West Coast Green, San Francisco, September 20, 2007; two person presentation with Scott Fossel, San Francisco American Institute of Architects series, San Francisco, September 24, 2007; speech and workshop leader with Liz Walker, Bioneers, San Rafael, October, 20, 2007; the 7th China International Architecture Design and Scene Planning Exhibition and the Forum on Urban Planning of Senior Government Officials, Shanghai, China, October 26, 2007, Seventh International Ecocity Conference, four talks, two time moderator, co-MC, April 21-26, 2008; Ecocity – China Our Homeland conference, Langfang, China, June 19-21, 2008; consultancy presentations for Bicycle City, Charlotte, North Carolina, July 16, 2008; Keynote, Green Homes and Sustainable Communities 2008: the Annual National Symposium on Green Affordable Housing and Community Development, Chicago, Illinois, August 7, 2008; Futuropolis 2058, Singapore, October 22, 2008; consultancy presentation to Mayor and other officials, Huaibei, China, October 25, 2008; Mentougou Ecocity Forum, Mentougou, China, October 29, 2008; Eco 2008 – World Environment and Climate Outlook, Brasilia, Brazil, October 30, 2008; Second Climate All Stars Conference, San Francisco, California, November 6, 2008, 100th Anniversary Celebration, Tele Aviv, Israel, April, 2009; International Ecopolis Forum, Huaibei, China, May; Urban Ecology Conference, Montreal, Canada, June, 2009, Green Management Forum and Ecocity Workshop, Seoul, South Korea, August 2009; Ganing Ground Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada, October, 2009, United Nations Global Forum on Human Settlements, Shenzhen, China, November, 2009, Eighth International Ecocity Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, December, 2009



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