Wednesday, May 8, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Organized by AIA Baltimore

Wednesday May 8, 2024

6:00 – 8:00 PM
Inner Harbor Renaissance Hotel
Ballroom TBD
202 E. Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
FREE Public Event


AIA Baltimore’s Urban Design Committee invites the public to a free moderated panel on May 8, 2024.

In a moderated discussion, panelists will represent the disciplines of Architecture/Urban Design, Economics, Environmental Resilience, Landscape Architecture, and Transportation Planning. The event is geared toward educating the public on the historical significance of Inner Harbor Park, precedents set with other waterfront developments, and how to navigate proposed policies and where we are in the legislative process. This will be followed by a guided discussion to build connections between perspectives presented and offer additional context. Audience Q&A to follow.


5:30 PM – Doors Open
6:00 PM – Moderated Panel Presentations + Discussion
7:30 PM – Audience Q&A

Meet the Speakers:

Moderator | Otis Rolley

Otis Rolley (he/him) served as the seventh Director of Planning for the City of Baltimore. He is the immediate past president of the Wells Fargo Foundation and Head of Philanthropy and Community Impact for Wells Fargo Bank.

Prior to his role at Wells Fargo, Otis served as Senior Vice President, U.S. Equity and Economic Opportunity Initiative (US EEO) at The Rockefeller Foundation. Otis led The Rockefeller Foundation’s 2030 sustainability development goal of decent work and economic growth, SDG Goal 8, within the United States.

Immediately prior to becoming an SVP in 2019, Otis served as a North America Managing Director for 100 Resilient Cities, a major project sponsored by The Rockefeller Foundation. There he provided urban resilience (economic, environmental sustainability & community development) technical assistance and portfolio management for 29 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

A true urbanist, Otis’s career has been dedicated to advancing equity, economic and community development in cities, and leading organizations in the for-profit, public, and non-profit sectors. His 25+ years of experience also includes serving in various leadership positions. He managed the strategic planning and urban development unit of a national management consulting firm. He has held cabinet roles with five different mayors in three large U.S. cities. He has been a chief of staff, managing a multi billion dollar budget; city planning director for America’s largest independent city; and he has served as the first deputy housing commissioner for the 5th largest public housing and community development agency in the United States. Ever committed to volunteerism, building capacity and pursuing justice, Otis has served on a number of local & national governing boards, including Baltimore ULI, the Stonewall Community Foundation, Asset Funders Network, Living Cities, and the Executive Committee of the Families & Workers Fund.



Architecture/Urban Design Panelist | Amber Wendland

Amber is a planner, designer, and project manager at Ayers Saint Gross. Trained as both an architect and community planner, she works on projects that bridge across disciplines and scopes from feasibility studies for the Smithsonian Institution to campus master plans for Purdue University to neighborhood vision plans for East Baltimore.

While she enjoys working on a wide variety of project types, Amber has a particular passion for creating thoughtful and sensitive planning and design solutions for communities in need. By sharing her knowledge, she works to elevate client and community voices in crafting the future of their neighborhoods. Amber is particularly proud of her work designing revitalization plans for East Baltimore and the Harlem Park neighborhood, some of the most historically disinvested neighborhoods in Baltimore. Her engagement and master planning efforts in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. have been awarded the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Mayors Business Recognition Award and the American Planning Association National Capital Area Chapter’s Award for Outstanding Regional or Comprehensive Plan.

Amber leads the firm’s People and Culture committee and is passionate about promoting gender and racial equity in the field of architecture. Outside the firm, she serves on the board of the Neighborhood Design Center, the board of the Baltimore Tree Trust, as a member of the Greater Baltimore Committee Economic Development Committee, and as a mentor with the Baltimore Design School. In 2021, Amber was included on the Daily Record’s list of “Maryland’s Top Women” for her professional achievements, community leadership, and service to others.



Landscape Architecture Panelist | Barbara Wilks

Barbara Wilks, founder of W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, is a leader in the field of design, specializing in places where the water meets community. Beginning her career as an architect, she soon realized that her interests in public space linked with the profession of landscape architecture. Now as an architect and landscape architect, Barbara uses her leadership skills to realign nature and communities.

She has won many awards for her work and has projects across North America in cities including New York, Calgary, Buffalo, St Paul, St Petersburg and Baltimore. She was a resident of Baltimore for 25 years from 1974 to 1999 and is still a fan of its unique culture.



Economics Expert Panelist | Dr. Stephen Walters

Dr. Stephen Walters is an applied microeconomist. His fields of expertise include urban economics, sports economics, government regulation of business, and the economic analysis of law. His many scholarly articles have appeared in such periodicals as The Journal of Law & Economics, Southern Economic Journal, the Cato Journal, the Journal of Sports Economics, and the Journal of Sport Management. He is also the author of Enterprise, Government, and the Public (McGraw-Hill, 1993) and editor of Econversations: Today’s Students Discuss Today’s Issues (Pearson, 2013).

Dr. Walters was named Loyola’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year in 2005. He frequently contributes commentary in such outlets as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Investor’s Business Daily, and National Review, delivers guest lectures on the economic problems of cities and sports economics, and has served as a consultant for clients as varied as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Chicago Cubs. He earned his B.A. in economics at the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles.



Ecological Engineer Panelist | Dr. Peter May

Dr. Peter May has more than 30 years of experience working in applied restoration projects for municipal, state and federal governments, NGO’s and the private and academic sectors. He has a comprehensive background in coastal urban ecosystems integrating the built environment using ecologically engineered and natural systems restoration approaches. He has applied his skills to numerous waterfront projects throughout Maryland in Baltimore and Washington, DC, New York City, Philadelphia, Houston/Galveston, Portland and the San Francisco/Bay areas. Currently he is working internationally with efforts in the cities of Niteroi and Rio de Janeiro and the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. These projects have involved applications of novel ecotechnologies as well as tidal wetland restoration planning, design, implementation and monitoring, watershed management and building to neighborhood and city scale low-impact development projects in urban areas. Peter has been invited to serve on expert panels for EPA as well as travel to advise on development projects in Africa, South America and the Caribbean. He has a strong academic and applied background in the emerging fields and philosophies of ecological engineering, embodied energy analysis and environmental accounting. He is currently an Assistant Research Professor at UMD’s Department of Environmental Science and Technology and Affiliated Faculty in the Landscape Architecture Program as well as Adjunct Faculty at the University of the District of Columbia’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences.

He sailed regularly with his family to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor starting in the late 70’s to the World Trade Center anchorage and kept his own sailboat there at the Living Classroom’s marina for over a decade. His work on Baltimore Harbor includes the Pratt Street redesign, World Trade Center and Aquarium Floating Wetlands, Aquarium Biohuts and Ecoslip assessment and Algal Turf Scrubbers at Living Classrooms and the Dundalk Marine Terminal. He loves Baltimore!



Transportation Planner Panelist | Erwin Andres

Mr. Andres’ diverse experience bridges the disciplines of civil engineering design, urban transportation planning, traffic engineering, land development, environmental analysis, and transportation systems design.

Erwin has directed transportation impact studies, traffic circulation and transit studies, parking studies, and multi-modal studies for master plans, business districts and new real estate development projects of all types and sizes. He has evaluated alternative public transportation modal options. He is familiar with
roadway classification and its application to transportation planning. He has performed traffic impact assessments for residential, office, shopping and convention centers, and institutional complexes. He has been responsible for the transportation and parking components for academic, government, and corporate campuses.