The Sustainable Cities Initiative is excited to welcome our newest team member to our newest position! Becky Steckler joined SCI Portland as the Urbanism Next Program Manager in August. Becky is a land use planning professional and consultant, with experience in strategic planning, policy analysis, and program evaluation. She comes to us from the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association, where she was the Program and Policy Manager for over four years.
One thing we love about Becky is her enthusiasm for sustainability. She’s a dynamic go-getter, which is exactly what we need to grow Urbanism Next to its potential! Becky is looking forward bringing her networking skills to help Urbanism Next reach beyond our current network.
What are you looking forward to in this position/what's getting you out of bed in the morning?
Honestly, this is a really fascinating topic. Just about everyone I know has ordered something online, taken Uber or Lyft, or stayed in an Airbnb house. New cars have many technological features and they are starting to feel semi-autonomous. We are seeing the effects of these technologies now with more brick-and-mortar retail stores closing this year than during the height of the great recession. Planners, architects, developers, and so many other people are going to have to make decisions based on a rapidly changing landscape. I’m excited to bring my experience working with planners around the state to think about the policy and infrastructure investments that will need to change to ensure equitable outcomes, improve the economy, and help the environment.
How do you spend your free time?
I spend most of my time with my husband and two children. We love to hike, bike, and camp.
What is a random skill or interest you're pulling from previous experiences that you will really get to apply at SCI?
I feel like I bring a strong skill set to this job. But most important is the network that I have with planners around the state, as well as a broad understanding of the issues that they face and what these issues look like on the ground. From thinking about how we plan for housing and jobs to determine where UGBs should go to what goes in a comprehensive plan, and how these decisions impact property taxes and revenue for cities, counties, and the state, I’ll ensure that the research we do helps Oregon communities be prepared for the change that is coming.