Walter Meyer

Walter Meyer is an urban designer, policy advisor, professor at The New School’s Parsons School of Design, and founding Principal of Local Office Landscape & Urban Design, a WBE in Brooklyn, NY. He founded Local Office in 2006 with Harvard GSD classmate Jennifer Bolstad.

Operating between infrastructure, urbanism, and territory, the firm has won awards from across the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, public policy, science, and art. Walter has been engaged as a lecturer and visiting critic at Harvard University, Yale, Columbia, Penn, MIT, Parsons School of Design, and Pratt Institute.

The firm’s recent built work includes the Parque del Litoral, in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. This 2-mile-long urban beach park is the largest in the country. The park restructured the post-industrial shore into a dune forest that protects the city from sea surges, while phytoremediation wetlands protect the sea from the city’s pollution. In 2017, Parque Litoral protected 30 adjacent businesses from the surge and rain of Category 4 Hurricane Maria, permitting the shops to open the next day. The design was endorsed by the Caribbean Tsunami Institute for coastal resiliency, and the project won an honor award from the AIA Puerto Rico, as well as a Cimex award for sustainable infrastructure.

A research grant was awarded to Local Office in 2009 by the New York State Council of the Arts, for a project titled “CSO to GO” – a temporary, partial, and immediate solution to New York City’s stormwater pollution via barge-mounted floating wetland parks.

After Hurricane Sandy, Walter won the White House’s ‘Champions of Change’ Presidential award for climate adaption work in communities of color.

Currently, Local Office is designing NYC’s first net-zero-carbon neighborhood in Queens. The firm is also consulting for city, state, and national governments to redesign cities and territories for resiliency.

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