Tom Low

Speech Topics:
New Urbanism 101
Light Imprint New Urbanism
Town Planning
School Design
Learning Campuses: Building Places Where Children Can Live, Learn and Play
Green Building and Sustainable Communities
Creating Suburban Neighborhoods of Lasting Value
Benefits of Mixed Use
Placemaking and Main Street Development
Civic by Design
Integrating Sustainability with Urban Development
Building Trends: Designing for the 50+ Population

Tom Low is an expert on new urbanism, light imprint urbanism, school design, town planning and traditional neighborhood development. As a principal and director of town planning with Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, he has managed and completed more than 100 New Urbanism projects winning awards from the American Institute of Architects, the Sierra Club, and the Environmental Protection Agency for Smart Growth Achievement. He also serves as the director of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company's Charlotte, N.C. office, which he opened in 1995.

In response to the issues of overcrowding in schools and overuse of “mobile” classrooms, in 2007, Low launched the Katrina-Inspired Learning Cottage Initiative to create better designed, economically viable school campuses integrated with villages where children can live, learn, and play. He has also led the research initiative on Light Imprint New Urbanism, combining environmentally-sensitive storm-water management techniques with New Urban community design principles. The implementation of a natural drainage system on one 300-acre project reduced engineering expenses by 31 percent.

Low is actively involved with projects, research, and education throughout the Carolinas. He lectures on town planning, has taught at the University of Miami School of Architecture, and has been a visiting professor at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte School of Architecture, the College of Charleston, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Through grants he received from the John Nolen Foundation he has completed a symposium on John Nolen's work. He is the author of Civic By Design: John Nolen's Lessons for New Urbanism and Light Imprint Handbook: Integrating Sustainability and Community Design. He has served for more than five years as chair of the Charlotte Region Civic by Design Forum, and has led forums on School Design.

Low received his Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and gained 10 years of experience in architectural practice in Charlotte after completing his degree. In 1989, disenchanted with the making of architectural form detached from the principles of urbanism, he enrolled in the University of Miami for a Master's Degree in Architecture with a specialization in Suburb and Town Design. As a student, he completed research grants on early twentieth-century town centers, and the “Traditional Neighborhood Development Ordinance,” a trademark of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. and a crucial element in the firm's principles. He has spoken at the Congress of Residential Architecture, the Congress for the New Urbanism, the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, the National Active Retirement Association and the North Carolina AIA Design Conference. Travels from Charlotte, N.C.

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