James S. Russell is the Director, Design Strategic Initiatives at the New York City Department of Design and Construction. There he has lead a team that produced Guiding Principles on Equity, Sustainability, Resiliency and Healthy Living.
James has been a long-time architecture critic, journalist, and consultant. For nine years he was the architecture critic at Bloomberg News, which reaches an influential business audience worldwide through its proprietary terminals and Bloomberg.com. He was a regular guest on Bloomberg radio and prepared interview segments with architects for Bloomberg TV.
He was an adjunct professor at the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York (learn more about his teaching here). He has commented on WNYC public radio Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
For 18 years Mr. Russell was an editor at Architectural Record magazine, the premier American journal for practicing architects, helping it to earn a National Magazine Award for General Excellence (2003) as well as numerous other industry awards.
His book, The Agile City: Building Well Being and Wealth in an Era of Climate Change was published by Island Press in 2011. It documents the low-tech and low-cost strategies for buildings and communities that promise dramatic reductions now in America’s global-warming effects. He edited The Mayors’ Institute: Excellence in City Design (Princeton Architectural Press) and has contributed to numerous books, magazines and newspapers.
His editorial and strategic consulting work includes “Co-evolution,” a project of American Forests that unites urban planning with ecological concerns to improve the environment in concert with economic growth. He helped GreenPlan Philadelphia, the city’s guide to environmentally sustainable parks and open space, realize its mission.
Mr. Russell earned a Masters of Architecture degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design degree from the University of Washington. He also attended the Evergreen State College. He was born in Seattle. He is a registered architect, elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2010, and resides in New York City.