The myriad achievements of two former Texas A&M urban planning students have elevated them to the American Institute of Certified Planners’ College of Fellows, one of the profession’s highest honors.
The AICP recognized the former students, Laurie Johnson ‘88 and David Preziosi, ’93, and fellow 2018 honorees as examples ofexcellence in professional practice, teaching and mentoring, research, public and community service, and leadership. They will be inducted April 22 at the American Planning Association’s annual conference in New Orleans.
Laurie Johnson, one of the world’s leading disaster recovery experts with nearly 30 years’ experience in urban planning and disaster-related consulting, risk management and research, has advised policymakers and emergency management agencies responding to hurricanes, earthquakes and additional catastrophic events in New Orleans, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area, North Dakota, New Zealand and many other locales.
“Johnson is a top-tier authority because of her intellectual leadership over the years,” said William Anderson, a disaster risk reduction consultant. “Her research following the 1989 Loma Prieta and 1994 Northridge earthquakes in California helped advance our understanding of the role of urban planning in risk reduction.”
Johnson is president-elect of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and a technical adviser to national and local agencies involved in Christchurch, New Zealand’s recovery from a massive 2011 earthquake.
Her San Francisco-based firm, Laurie Johnson Consulting | Research, also helps governments mitigate hazards and regulate land use in geologically hazardous areas and pursues a research agenda that advances the firm’s mission to improve the urban environment and reduce and manage natural and man-made risks.
Johnson’s firm has been consulted by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other government agencies to help improve disaster recovery plans and programs and communicate disaster-related science.
She is an outstanding alumna of the Texas A&M College of Architecture who earned a Master of Urban Planning in 1988.
David Preziosi, who conserves the heritage of one of Texas’ major cities as the executive director of Preservation Dallas, secured the passage of a municipal ordinance designed to help prevent the “midnight” demolition of historic buildings.
“The new ordinance is an important step in reversing attitudes around preservation, and it gives preservationists more tools than they had before,” said Peter Simek in a D Magazine article.
Under Preziosi’s leadership, Preservation Dallas teamed with civic, corporate and historical groups to develop Pegasus Urban Trails, a mobile device app that provides walkers in downtown Dallas information on some of the city’s most iconic buildings and places including Dealey Plaza, City Hall, and Reunion Tower.
The effort also led to the demarcation of culturally and architecturally significant districts to enrich the experience of downtown visitors and to increase the city’s vitality and legacy.
Preziosi also led the creation of a temporary exhibit of Dallas’ architectural diversity that was displayed at the downtown Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture. The exhibit was subsequently developed into a booklet that was donated to public libraries and Dallas ISD middle and high schools.
He also oversaw Preservation Dallas’ role expanding the city’s National Preservation Month activities.
Before moving to Dallas, Preziosi headed Mississippi Heritage Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic resources throughout the state.
He earned a Master of Urban Planning in 1996 and a Bachelor of Environmental Design in 1993.