The Centre for Conscious Design

Reshaping Later Life | Workshop

October 17, 2019 – 9:00 am
Pratt Institute
Recordings (available to CCD Members)

For a society that has long ago projected an ageing population, little has changed in the way we plan and build for life’s later years. The culture of secluding older adults in specific points in the city has created an environment that excludes a sector of society most in need of support and integration. Our mature population is underrepresented in urban planning, exacerbating the social isolation that contributes to higher mortality rates.

Day 3 of the festival will deal with how we can change our approach to planning for the older adults, towards better physical and mental health and access to participating and benefitting fully from city life.


Designers, community planners and organizers, advocates and activists, decision- and policy-makers, and behavioral scientists will present forward-thinking approaches to share knowledge and problem-solve in this festival workshop.

Workshop goals

  • Create a dialogue between researchers, practitioners, community planners and decision-makers reaching practical applications for impact-driven design.
  • Establish a Community of Practice focused on each festival thematic which activates and sets up engagement into the future.
  • Create outputs from each session that can act as both a resource and a catalyst for action within city agencies.

We will be joined by representatives of New York’s City Hall and other city agencies interested in the latest innovation in planning and engagement with local communities.

This event is part of an event series

Host Chapter / Organisers

Organising Fellow/s

Angel Venegas, Assistant Director of Senior Services at Brooklyn-based Bridge Street Development Corporation, advocates for older adults by advancing the development of programs and services that are cost-effective, evidence-based, and designed to render positive measurable outcomes for those involved in the aging process. His inter- and transdisciplinary approaches in executing these initiatives are complemented by his prior private and public sector research appointments in the United States, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, and Israel. Venegas has also published in the areas of improving communication with older people, understanding ageism, and updating professional elder care provider trainings.

A Principal at Perkins Eastman who specializes in the design of senior living environments, Richard has more than 30 years of experience in a variety of institutional building types, including courthouses, hospitals, laboratory buildings, and multi-family housing. Richard is the current Co-chair of the NYAIA Design for Aging Committee, a member of the National AIA Design for Aging Advisory Group, and a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and previously he served as the Chairman for National Association of Home Builders Best of Senior Housing Awards for 2005-2006. His work has frequently appeared Healthcare Review, and his portfolio has been recognized by numerous awards including the NAHB Best of Senior Housing Platinum Award, Tamarisk Assisted Living, and a 2004 AIA Senior Housing award.

As Executive Director of the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Business Improvement District (BID), Chad leads the organization’s efforts in caring for Myrtle Avenue’s public space, supporting its business community, producing local events, and bringing resources to Myrtle Avenue and its community members. After joining the Myrtle Avenue team in 2011, Chad has managed various aspects of the organizations work, including its historic preservation programs and local economic development efforts, prior to stepping into the executive role in early 2019. Chad holds a M.S. in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute and a B.F.A. in Historic Preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

Vivian Nava-Schellinger, leads the National Council on Aging’s ecosystem of national and community partnerships, external engagement of NCOA’s policy priorities, and programs focused on vulnerable populations of older adults. For over a decade, Nava Schellinger has used equity as a baseline principle when working on large scale reimbursement programs in the private sector, securing funding for health literacy programs in vulnerable communities, and advocating for greater health and economic security across the lifespan for underrepresented populations.

A proud Tejana, born and raised along the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, Nava- Schellinger has utilized her cultural assets and legal training to efficiently and successfully merge business strategy, development, organizational management, and health policy to ensure that all communities have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about their healthcare and financial well-being. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

Tomoaki (Tomo) Imamichi is an Associate Professor of Psychology at LaGuardia Community College and an affiliate faculty at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. He received his PhD in Environmental Psychology from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. He was awarded a Futures Initiative Faculty Fellowship with Prof. David Chapin to develop and teach a course “The Environmental Psychology of Care” offered in the 2018/2019 academic year at the Graduate Center. His interests include environmental competence (how to deal with challenging tasks and environments), phenomenological approaches, which includes moving-through-the-environment from running-with-a-stroller (2014) to walking-with-an-elderly (2019), and modes of being-in-the-world. His is also interested in exploring how Environmental Psychology can be more environmental from a Critical Psychology and practical perspective.

Mark Brennan-Ing, PhD, is a Senior Research Scientist at the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College, the City University of New York. Dr. Brennan-Ing’s research focuses on psychosocial issues affecting persons living with HIV and older sexual minority and gender diverse adults. They are Past-President of the State Society on Aging of New York (SSANY), a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), a Fellow of Division 44 (Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity) of the American Psychological Association, and past Board Member of the New York Association on HIV over Fifty (NYAHOF).

Dr. Brennan-Ing has been recognized for their work by the Hunter-Brookdale Center on Aging, Pride Senior Network, and the New York State Office for the Aging. In 2017 they received the Walter M. Beattie Award from SSANY. Dr. Brennan-Ing was the lead editor of Older Adults with HIV: An In-depth Examination of an Emerging Population (2009), and the 2016 volume, HIV and Aging: Interdisciplinary Topics in Gerontology and Geriatrics (vol. 42), which received a “High Commendation” from the British Medical Association.

Mauricio Garcia is the Deputy Director of Cities of Service, a nonprofit organization that helps mayors and other city leaders build stronger cities by engaging their best resource, their citizens. He leads Cities of Service’s support to its network of cities, including strategy and design, training, and technical assistance. He also oversees internal operations and day-to-day management of the organization, including business development, partnership management, and special initiatives. Before joining Cities of Service, Mauricio served as Director of New York Programs at Seedco, a national nonprofit workforce development organization, where he oversaw a portfolio of programs that connected low-wage workers to benefits and services.

Melissa Gong Mitchell is Executive Director of the Global Coalition on Aging, the leading business voice on aging policy and strategy. She also serves as Managing Director at High Lantern Group, a strategic communications consulting firm. GCOA uniquely brings together global corporations across industry sectors to promote good public policy and market-based solutions centered on healthy and active aging. In her role, Melissa is responsible for the operations and management of the coalition, internal and external communication strategies, and member and stakeholder outreach and development, including fostering relationships and aligning partners across industry, academia, the NGO community, advocacy organizations, governments and global institutions.

Melissa has spoken around the world about the opportunities of the aging mega-trend and the role of business in leveraging aging for economic growth. She has served as a member of the Professions Working Group that advises the Age- friendly New York City Commission and as a member of the Benefit Committee of the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Lindsay Goldman directs The New York Academy of Medicine’s work in healthy aging. She draws on 16 years of experience in program development and administration, direct service, philanthropy, and social policy. Specializing in public-private partnerships to create age-inclusive environments, Lindsay oversees a portfolio that includes Age-friendly NYC; Health & Age Across All Policies NYS; and IMAGE: The Interactive Map of Aging. As the Academy’s aging expert and liaison to the World Health Organization, Lindsay has testified before Congress and has presented at The Atlantic’s forum, The New Old Age, the International Federation on Ageing’s Global Conference on Ageing, the World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, and the Global Conference of the Alliance for Healthy Cities.

Prior to her time at the Academy, Lindsay was responsible for strategic planning and allocations to support older adults in New York and Israel at UJA-Federation of New York and directed the Health Enhancement Partnership at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House. Recent publications include “A Demographic Success Story” in The Handbook of Geriatric Assessment (5th Ed.); “Age-friendly New York City: A Case Study,” in Age-friendly Cities and Communities in International Comparison. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MSW from NYU.

As State Director, Beth Finkel leads the day-to-day operations of AARP New York, the most visible and successful organization in the state advocating for the 50-plus population. During her tenure, AARP’s powerful lobbying efforts on behalf of its 2.5 million New York members have led to historic reforms including passage of the Secure Choice Savings Program, CARE Act, and Paid Family Leave. A native New Yorker, Beth holds a Masters of Social Work from Yeshiva University in Community Organizing and a Bachelor of Science from American University in Business Administration. She and her husband live in Manhattan.

Noelle Marcus is the Co-founder and CEO of Nesterly, an award-winning platform for intergenerational homesharing. Her career has focused on building equitable cities through civic technology, entrepreneurship, public policy, and economic development. Over the past decade she has worked within and for cities around the world including Athens, Bogota, Boston, Detroit, Kampala, Kansas City, Oakland, Mexico City and New York. She is graduate of MIT’s Masters in Urban Planning program and received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Barnard College.

Mia Oberlink is a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Home Care Policy & Research (CHCPR) of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY). She manages the AdvantAge Initiative, a project that has collaborated with over 60 communities nationwide to measure their aging-friendliness and develop strategies to help older residents age in place. She was the director of the technical assistance office for the U.S. Administration on Community Living program, Community Innovations for Aging in Place (CIAIP). Before joining CHCPR, Ms. Oberlink spent 13 years at the Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development at the Mount Sinai Medical Center and at the International Longevity Center, where she was Director of Communications.

Meredith Oppenheim is a senior housing thought leader with national and international expertise encompassing all property types and spanning the full lifecycle of a deal from pre-development to disposition. Oppenheim serves as an advisor to technology companies, residential developers, investment firms, and government entities. During her nearly 20 years in the senior housing industry, Oppenheim worked for leading owners and operators such as Sunrise Senior Living and Marriott. At Ventas, one of the largest healthcare REITs, she managed the Northeast operating portfolio of over 50 Atria Senior Living and Sunrise Senior Living communities, consistently exceeding budgeted expectations.

In 2009, she was appointed to Mayor Bloomberg’s Age-Friendly NYC Commission and served a 5-year term as a board member of the not-for-profit arm of the NYC Department for the Aging. During high school, Oppenheim received a US Congressional Award for her commitment to improving the lives of seniors and authoring a healthy cookbook for seniors. She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and Cornell University.