Back to All Events

Urban Tech Meetup: The Future of Green Infrastructure

Join Dreamit Ventures and AgTech X for networking and discussion with the visionaries who are reimagining urban rooftops for a more sustainable future. We’re bringing together builders, urban farmers, and policy experts to explore the state of green roof technology. Advances in green roof technology has proven to lower energy costs and to reduce carbon emissions. Cities around the world are adopting measures that require large new developments to include green infrastructure. 

A panel of experts will discuss the state of green infrastructure, highlighting policy proposals currently being debated by lawmakers, green roofing startups leading innovation in the space, and the engineering challenges associated with this technology. 

Register to attend: 


Meet the Panelists: 

150 - Gwen.jpg

Gwen Shantz, Chief Operating Officer and Founding Partner of Brooklyn Grange 

Gwen is Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Brooklyn Grange, a renowned Urban Farming and Sustainable Design business founded in 2010 in New York City. She oversees the company’s Design, Installations and Consulting departments, and spearheads new projects and business development. She is a licensed General Contractor, and has unique expertise in the design and construction of green roofs, green walls and other vegetated installations.

Gwen spent much of her childhood in her parents’ western Massachusetts vegetable garden and went on to work on small organic farms in New York State while she was a student at Vassar College. Her professional background is in international sustainable development and environmental program development, having worked in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for Pact International, and the Grace Communications Foundation in New York City. She is a co-founder of the Bushwick Food Cooperative and CSA as well as City Growers, a New York-based food and farm education program for children and young adults.  She has taught as an Adjunct Professor for Environmental Studies undergraduates at New York University and the New School.


Marni Majorelle, Founder of AliveStructures

Marni Majorelle is a green roof specialist, gardener, conservation biologist, and founder of Alive Structures, a Brooklyn based green roof design and installation company. Alive Structures specializes in turning patches of concrete into habitats for native plants and animals, aiming to create natural habitats in unexpected spaces in order to make New York City a more ecologically diverse and healthy place. Since 2006, the company has installed numerous green roofs, terraces, interior landscapes, green walls, and ecological gardens throughout New York City. In the years before founding Alive Structures, Marni worked towards a sustainable built environment with organizations such as Green Living Technologies, The Gaia Institute, Center for the Urban Environment, and Inform, while continuing to work independently as a landscape designer. Marni holds a B.A. from Bennington College, a certificate in Biology Conservation from Columbia University, and a certificate in Horticulture from Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. 


Alan Burchell, Founder of UrbanStrong

As the founder and principal of Urbanstrong, Alan Burchell is a professionally licensed mechanical engineer, an accredited leader in energy and environmental design with a focus on Building Design and Construction (LEED AP BD+C), and a certified Green Roof Professional. Based in New York City, Urbanstrong's full-service, green building technology team works with developers, property managers, and building owners looking to boost property values, reduce energy expenditures, improve occupant health and wellness, reinvest in their building asset, reduce their environmental footprint, or green their brand.  

As a specialist on green infrastructure, Alan has spoken at the United Nations, appeared on MSNBC, consulted for corporations, non-profits and municipal governments, and provided expert testimony in court. With experience on all seven continents as an environmentalist, project manager, speaker and sales engineer, Alan has a unique perspective on how the global issues of energy and water management can be mitigated to reduce costs and boost property values for local building owners.   

About the Sponsors: 

Dreamit UrbanTech is a leading startup accelerator for startups that are improving city life. Founded in partnership with SPP, the joint venture by Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates' Cascade Investment Group, the program seeks to identify promising startups with a market-ready product to integrate into major real estate and smart city projects being undertaken by Dreamit's customer network. Accepted startups will pitch, partner, pilot, and sell to dozens of AEC firms, international real estate developers, and city governments. The Dreamit team looks for startups innovating in fields such as transportation, construction, renewable energy, IoT, real estate, big data, and more. These startups share the goal of creating products that improve city life. 

AgTech X is NYC's go-to resource for learning, collaboration, and inspiration in the Urban Farming and AgTech space. They host classes, workshops, & tours; help newcomers and visitors getconnected to the NYC scene; and serve as an early-stage testing ground for curious entrepreneurs.

Urban Tech Meetup 800px.jpg