Affiliate Fellows Program


The Runstad Center Affiliate Fellows Program, sponsored by the University of Washington Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies, gathers thought leaders from industry, faculty from the College of Built Environment, and top students pursuing a Master of Science in Real Estate for an 8-month program to examine real estate issues in the built environment. The goals of the Affiliate Fellows program are to foster deeper interactions between the students, academic community and the business community, to provide mentorship to students, and to explore and advance new ideas relevant to the Northwest real estate community. Second year students are invited to participate in the Affiliate Fellows program.  The fellows work as a group to lead a “forum” organized around a specific topic.  The forum selects and invites other faculty and professionals to participate so that multiple perspectives and expertise are brought to bear on the investigation.

Meet the 2015-16 Runstad Affiliate Fellows! The 2015-16 Affiliate Fellows include Richard Mohler, Architect and Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Barbara Swift, Landscape Architect and Founder of Swift Company LLC, Giovanni Migliaccio, Associate Professor, Department of Construction Management, Joe David, Project Manager Point32, Ben Broesamle, MSRE 2016 Candidate, Genevieve Hale-Case, MSRE/MUP 2017 Candidate, and Amy Hartman, MSRE 2017 Candidate.

What is the right way of your dreams?

This year, the 2015-16 Runstad Fellows traveled to Auckland, New Zealand to explore the ways in which we can rapidly transform the function and capacity of the public right of way to support a rich urban life at a time of unprecedented population growth.

Typically over a quarter of the urban environment, the right of way currently acts as the venous system for our cities.  It is the largest segment of public space in the city and in theory is equally accessible by everyone for multiple uses and civil daily life, but is off limits to uses other than getting from point A to point B.

Specifically, they will explore the policy, regulations, and funding mechanisms that support:

  • Transportation and parking
  • Utilities and infrastructures
  • Ecological, cultural and social function, including fostering a cultural capacity to work together and build a diverse civil life
  • Land use policy

2015-16 Runstad Center Affiliate Fellows Presentation on Auckland’s Right of Way @ Impact HUB Seattle, September 27, 2016

2014-15 Runstad Center Affiliate Fellows Presentation on Risks & Collaborations: A Discusion on the Future of Seattle, @ Wing Luke Museum, Seattle, September 26, 2015

2013-14 Runstad Center Affiliate Fellows Presentation on Social Urbanism in Columbia @ Impact HUB Seattle, October 16, 2014


Past Fellows


The 2014-15 Runstad Fellows proposed to look at the challenges and responses to housing, open space, and livability in three cities in South America: Santiago Chile, Rio de Janiero and Curitiba, both in Brazil. These three cities are either in the midst of dramatic shifts or have been forced to respond to major changes in the recent past, thus providing excellent cities and spaces of study.

For cities such as Santiago, the threat of natural disasters in the context of transition to a new democratic political structure has been the focus of recent city planning efforts.  Curitiba was once the city with highest rate of poverty, until the 1970s when Mayor Jamie Lerner undertook a major re-visioning of urban planning and design to meet the needs of a diverse population. His vision focused on public space and amenities for the under privileged communities through ‘Urban Acupuncture’. Rio de Janeiro is currently undergoing significant growth due to a rollercoaster economy as well as being host to both the soccer World Cup in 2014 the Summer Olympics in 2016.

The 2015 Runstad Affiliate Fellows visited three cities in three different phases of change and responding to distinct challenges and opportunities. The intention was to learn and share approaches to rapid change, specifically as it relates to issues of livability in the housing and public space.

An Investigation of Rapid Urban Change in the Context of Housing, Affordability, Livability, and Social Cohesion in Santiago, Rio de Janeiro, and Curitiba

Cities and urban regions around the globe are undergoing significant transformations, including increased density, new economies, and changing demographics as well as addressing the challenges of climate change and globalization.

2014 The group studied Social Urbanism, a term of art in Medellín, Colombia, that refers to investments in physical infrastructure in support of broader communal, social goals, such as health, safety, and opportunity.  In absence of a strong national plan to combat violence in response to a tide of guerilla movements and narco-trafficking, local cities and neighborhoods have implemented bottom up, “crowdsourced” urban planning processes that have greatly improved health and welfare.  Due in large part to these efforts, Medellin was named the “most innovative city in the world” by the Wall Street Journal and Urban Land Insitute for 2013.   Meanwhile, in the nation’s capital, Bogotá, construction is underway on the largest crowd-funded real estate project in the world, the BD Bacata, which seeks to leverage funds raised from thousands of local investors to catalyze the redevelopment of Bogotá’s city center.  In a way, the BD Bacata is an example of a social process for urban development that is much different from traditional development. The Fellows explored the conditions that gave rise to these cutting edge, people-based urban development practices, and exploring how lessons learned in Colombia can be applied to the United States, and the Seattle region. Read more about their recent trip here.

2013 The 2013 Affiliate Fellows group explored the role of commerce as a catalyst to human connection in urban communities amidst economic, political, and natural destruction.  Through travel, observation, interviews, and local discussions around commerce as an experience fostering positive social experience, the Fellows sought to build an understanding of the conscious and unconscious patterns that foster urban vibrancy; specifically thriving communities, even amidst adversity.  With the addition to the Fellows Program of documentary filmmaker Eric Becker, the observed patterns were revealed in a unique form of visual storytelling around human connection and commerce. The Fellows group traveled to cities both in Eastern Europe and the U.S. that have re-defined and/or retained their culture while displaying inherent resilience amidst destruction. Travel destinations included cities within Germany and Poland, with a capstone visit to Detroit. 2013 Runstad Affiliate Fellow Gabriel Grant is featured in Eric Becker‘s recent short film, “Placemaking & Seattle”. 2013 Runstad Affiliate Fellows Bios

2012 2012 Runstad Affiliate Fellows Bios Read about the 2012 Fellows trip to Istanbul The Conflicted City: Hyper Growth, Urban Renewal, and Mass Urbanization in Istanbul

2011 2011 Runstad Affiliate Fellows Bios Former Fellow Julia Levitt interviews 2011 Fellow Liz Dunn in the Atlantic Learn more about the 2011 Runstad Affiliate Fellows research topic