Elizabeth van der Els

Planner

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Elizabeth joined Starr Whitehouse in 2021 as an urban planner with a background in community development, transportation, and resiliency. Prior to Starr Whitehouse, Elizabeth worked in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Her work included managing and collaborating on large-scale community engagement efforts, waterfront development projects, climate action plans, and city master plans in urban contexts like New Orleans, Boston, and Houston.

In her free time, Elizabeth has been active in green infrastructure community design builds, youth education programs about design, and urban gardening initiatives. Elizabeth is currently conducting research with the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) spearheaded by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and Transportation Research Board (TRB). The objective of the research panel, “Incorporating Resilience Concepts and Strategies in Transportation Planning” is to develop a guidebook on how state DOTs and other transportation agencies can integrate resilience concepts into transportation planning efforts at all scales of application.

Elizabeth holds a Master’s of Urban and Environmental Planning with a certificate in Urban Design from the University of Virginia and an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree in Social Thought and Political Economy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an International Relations Certificate.

Representative Projects

  • Union Square Partnership Streetscape and Lighting Plan, New York, NY
  • Nissequogue River State Park Master Plan, Kings Park, NY
  • Southwest “Resiliency” Park Expansion, Hoboken, NJ
  • Salem Municipal Harbor Plan, Salem, MA*
  • Beverly and Salem: Resilient Together Climate Action & Resilience Plan, Beverly
  • and Salem, MA*
  • Imagine Nashua Master Plan Nashua, NH*
  • Little Walnut Creek Greenbelt Community Master Plan, Austin, TX*
  • Stewart Beach Park Pavilion Galveston, TX*
  • Oak Park Stormwater Management New Orleans, LA*
  • Connecting Our City and Our Coast: Framework for City Action on Coastal Resilience New Orleans, LA*
  • Zilker Botanical Garden Master Plan Austin, TX*
  • Healthy Parks Plan Travis, Bastrop, Caldwell, TX*
  • Little Walnut Creek Greenbelt Community Master Plan, Austin, TX*
  • Complete Streets Workshop New Orleans, LA*
  • Westchase Livable Center Study Houston, TX*
  • Homewood Comprehensive Community Plan, Pittsburgh, PA*

* Completed prior to joining Starr Whitehouse