NH Dec 2015

Nicholas Hamilton is an urbanist, designer and public policy leader who works to advance sustainability, equity and economic prosperity goals.

As an urban innovator and advocate Nick draws from experience launching and leading a diverse set of urban equity and sustainability initiatives from a national network focused on revitalizing America’s legacy cities to founding the 2,000 member NYC-Metro Urban Sustainability Meetup group.

Prior to establishing his consulting practice in 2018, he served as Director of Urban Policy at Columbia University’s nonpartisan policy institute, The American Assembly, architectural and urban designer at the firm Davis Brody Bond, and as an affordable housing provider in the Bay Area.  He holds a Master of International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and Bachelors from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied Architecture, Planning, and Environmental Design in Developing Countries.  He serves on the boards of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization (Secretary) and Berkeley Student Cooperative Alumni Association.

Select publications:

  • Legacy City Revitalization Best Practice Toolkit (website), Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2020, bit.ly/3bgEl2r
  • Preservation in Middle Neighborhoods: Promising Results in Ohio, Community Development Investment Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 2016, bit.ly/38ays4Y
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Delivers More Than Iconic Design, Next City, 2016, bit.ly/2OoxA5P
  • Revitalizing the Legacy Cities of Upstate New York, The American Assembly, 2012, bit.ly/2VnpJGH

Select speaking engagements:

  • Panelist: Local Innovation, American Planning Association Advocacy and Policy Conference, 2019
  • Plenary Panelist: Strengthening Middle Neighborhoods Through Historic Preservation, Legacy City Preservation, 2018
  • Lecture: Legacy City Futures, Hudson Valley Initiative, GSAPP, Columbia University, 2017
  • Lecture: Welcoming Strategies in America’s Legacy Cities, UN Habitat, 2016, bit.ly/3bh8fDS (at 1:06)


  • Next City Vanguard, 2013
  • Leous-Parry Award for Progressive Sustainability, 2011

I’m always happy to speak with others interested in urban policy.  You can reach me at: