Student Researchers

Student Researchers

Blake Linehan, University of Denver, Master’s in Real Estate and the Built Environment

Blake Linehan grew up in New Hampshire, where he was inspirited with a love for nature and the outdoors. This passion made its way into his life in the way of outdoor sports, permaculture farming, and an interest in ecology and conservation. He moved to Colorado to attend the University of Denver where he received Bachelor’s degrees in Geography and International Studies, and a Master of Science in Real Estate and Construction Management. During his undergraduate studies he lived abroad in Spain, where he became fluent in the language. During this time, Blake also conducted dendroclimatology fieldwork and research on day laborer and immigrant rights issues, where he became familiar to the conditions they are subjected to. During his graduate program, Blake’s interests peaked in the direction of regenerative design and construction, for the better part of the year, he participated in the 2017 Solar Decathlon.

Blake’s graduate school experience exposed him to the development industry and the negative externalities that come with the common model. With his passion for conservation, he had difficulty reconciling profit-driven, short-term development and the waste it. When Blake was introduced to CityCraft Ventures through a course offered in winter of 2017, the mentality of the vision changed his negative outlook on the industry. Blake was introduced to a more holistic approach to development that addresses issues on the system scale, while getting to the root of many of the social and environmental problems we find inherent in our built environment. The CityCraft mentality is committed to regenerative development, which seeks to create communities where social and environmental health find equal footing with economic success. This philosophy led Blake to the conclusion that bettering our built environment can improve our impact on the natural environment and thus contribute its overall health.

Blake’s exposure to CityCraft inspired his interest in regenerative building practices that work with the natural world instead of against it. He has continued his involvement with CityCraft through research regarding the creation of a triple bottom line pro forma that will measure the economic, social, and environmental impacts of a development project. He is also participating in finding innovative solutions to improve urban food access and production for the West Denver regenerative development project. In November, Blake will begin attending the Earthship Academy in Taos, NM, where he will further his studies of regenerative design and construction.


Julie Gunderson, University of Denver, University of Denver, Candidate for a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology; minor in Intercultural Global Studies and Urban Studies

Julie Gunderson is currently an undergraduate senior at the University of Denver graduating in November with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology, as well as a double minor in Intercultural Global Studies and Urban Studies. This past summer she interned in Denver with CityCraft Ventures® organizing data for capital mapping relevant to food systems within the Sun Valley Eco District.

To Julie, regenerative development means to look back to the geographic, economic, historical, and social roots of a community to create a holistic redevelopment that will spark innovation; yet sustain the community long term. She believes this must be done with the community’s best interests, and that CityCraft embodies the bottom up, well rounded approach that developmental trends are leaning towards. Further, she admires that CityCraft is an organization looking at redevelopment from the lens of the community they’re serving and to address every angle that makes an impact.

In June 2018, Julie will be moving to Memphis, Tennessee to work for Teach for America. After this two-year placement, she hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in Urban Planning with an emphasis on food systems and the social impact. She wants to emulate the standard that CityCraft has for how appropriate urban planning should be carried out, and believes that they have set the bar high and are an excellent model for inclusive regenerative development.


Jeremy Martinez-Quinones, University of Denver, Candidate for Master’s in Real Estate and the Built Environment

Jeremy Martinez-Quiñones is a Graduate Student at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business pursuing is Master of Science in Real Estate and The Built Environment. As an aspiring Real Estate Developer, he plans on revitalizing the dormant potential of marginalized communities by educating residents on the importance of community real estate ownership. Through integrated master planning techniques, Jeremy plans to develop mixed-use developments that aim to restore: the economic, social, and cultural health of the community and contribute to a better work, live, play environment. He believes in approaching projects from a community building perspective to allow for spaces of enduring beauty to add both economic and social value to the community for longevity.

Jeremy’s passion to incorporate restorative social justice into the Real Estate and Construction industries stems from his Bachelor degree in Criminology and Law from the University of Florida. As a first-generation college graduate, he aims to inspire minority students to believe in their potential, regardless of their present socioeconomic conditions. He aspires to be the change that he did not see while growing up in a marginalized community.

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” – Nido Qubein

Within CityCraft Ventures, Jeremy is currently in the process of assessing if a Cross Laminated Timber milling operation could be established in Sun Valley, West Denver to supply local sourcing. If possible, he will be exploring the logistics behind establishing the facility as a locally owned co-operative to best preserve economic progression for longevity. It is Jeremy’s vision that regenerative development become centered around the idea that the Earth can be healed and regenerated through human development. He understands that regenerative development presents a philosophy from which leaders of the Built Environment can assess the land’s indigenous and biological heritage, compare it to contemporary ecological and social conditions, in order to present a future where the spirit of the land’s roots is regenerated.

Jeremy’s island of Puerto Rico’s built environment was recently demolished by Hurricane Maria, and more than 80% of the island’s infrastructure was destroyed. Thousands of families lost their homes, including his own grandmother and aunt. Despite this, he refuses to believe that all hope is lost; in the chaos lies the answer. After graduation, it is Jeremy’s mission to return home to Arecibo, Puerto Rico to utilize his passion, knowledge, and network to re-construct the island’s infrastructure to reflect what it once was, The Island of Enchantment.


Meagan Knapp, University of Denver, Candidate for Master’s in Real Estate and the Built Environment

From a young age, Meagan knew that she wanted to make an impact in the world by empowering residents from under-privileged communities to thrive in their daily lives. Growing up in working-class and poverty-ridden neighborhoods outside of Dallas, Texas, she has an inside perspective of the way that American society secludes these neighborhoods and allows them to continue down the path of turmoil with little layout for a road to recovery. Meagan graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Texas with triple majors in Business, Economics, and Psychology. While at North Texas, she also obtained an Entrepreneurship Undergraduate Certificate, focusing mainly on social entrepreneurship and regenerative economics. Since arriving in Colorado, Meagan has fallen in love with the rich cultural history that remains in the West Denver neighborhoods.

Meagan is currently a Graduate Student in the Master’s program for Real Estate and Construction Management at the University of Denver, and is expected to graduate in June 2018. She entered the program with hopes of finding restoration practices that could save the buildings that were quickly being torn down; inevitably separating the future of many American cities from their history. After exposure to the Summer 2017 CityCraft course, Meagan shifted her focus to the Sun Valley redevelopment project and the Sun Valley EcoDistrict’s effort to generate positive and sustainable development in the real estate industry. Continuing to work with CityCraft Ventures, Meagan is currently working with business and economic development structures for West Denver, as well as facilitating meetings with the corporation’s consultancy group. Meagan plans to use her Master’s degree to create a career of sustainable development and redevelopment in impoverished communities around the country and overseas.


Paulo Homem de Mello, University of Denver, Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management, Graduate Assistant

Paulo graduated in 1996 from Universidade Paulista in Sao Paulo, Brazil with a degree in Architecture and Urban Planning. His graduation project, titled “A mixed-use skyscraper complex as the city’s landmark integrated to the expansion of the Art Museum of Sao Paulo”, was selected to compete on the Opera Prima, a national Brazilian competition. Paulo’s first vision was to create and transform the built environment through beauty and functionality. Between 1993 and 2000, he worked for award winning architects including Mauricio Kogan, Luis Fernando Rocco and Sergio Athie’, designing high-end residences, retail stores, corporate office buildings and interiors. Through these experiences, as an architect, he foresaw his abilities to manage and integrate different fields and multi-disciplinary professionals into his work. Read More




Hazelle Tomlin, Colorado State University, Master of Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting
Hazelle moved to Colorado from New Zealand’s South Island and is currently pursuing a Master of Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting at Colorado State University. During her undergraduate degree at Canterbury University, majoring in geology and geography, she was able to explore biogeochemical cycling in the climate system and became particularly interested in human emissions management in the built environment. She spent last summer as an intern with Landcare Research, a New Zealand Crown Research Institute where she researched the potential for carbon sequestration in her home country.

She is a First Year Fellow with the Institute for the Built Environment and is working with Citycraft to develop a carbon metrics framework for the redevelopment of Denver’s Sun Valley Eco District. She is interested in carbon sequestration as one of the solutions to the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In urban environments this means creating healthy spaces through native habitat restoration or urban agriculture which also provide us with many other co-benefits. A relevant and feasible framework for carbon metrics is critical in order to quantify, monitor and mitigate for atmospheric pollution in urban environments.

Hazelle hopes that her research in district level carbon accounting with the Institute for the Built Environment and Citycraft will be able to provide insight into emissions accounting frameworks that are applicable at wider scales, such as other urban environments and ecodistricts.

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