Title: Sustainability Practice Manager
Organization: R. G. Miller Engineers, Inc.
Location: Houston, TX
Michael directs the Sustainability Practice for R. G. Miller Engineers, Inc., based in Houston, Texas. He plans and designs natural drainage systems that increase operating income, reduce detention requirements, increase developable land, and provide an anchor for natural amenities, such as trail systems, that improve health outcomes and social connectedness. He recently served as an expert contributor to and reviewer of the recently released ULI report Harvesting the Value of Water: Stormwater, Green Infrastructure, and Real Estate (May 2017).
Michael provides cost-effective compliance assistance services to clients subject to Clean Water Act regulations addressing both wetland loss and pollution. Michael plans and designs rainwater harvesting system, water reuse systems, and conservation programs. He develops and implements stormwater pollution management programs which, by reducing water pollution, improves community health outcomes.
Michael currently serves on the Public Policy Committee of the ULI Houston District Council. He serves as an appointed member of the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Bacteria Implementation Group, a stakeholder group working to improve bayou health in the region. Michael is a member of the Steering Committee of the Houston Land and Water Sustainability Forum, which focuses on the use of natural drainage systems in land development. Michael is an Envision Sustainability Professional, a Certified Floodplain Manager, and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from Drexel University.
Why are you motivated to participate in the Health Leaders Network? How will your participation enhance your current and future work?
People living in the developed world don’t burn sufficient calories. We just are too sedentary. Especially given the number of calories we consume. We wake up, sit at home, sit while we drive to work, sit at work, drive home, and sit at home. If we exercise, we drive to the gym and exercise and then drive home again. We need to create places that invite us to walk, bike, jog, and generally be more physical and active. Real estate professionals can create places that do this. We can include creek-side trails in our residential neighborhoods. We can densify. We can create mobility options with high comfort bike lanes, showers at work, and a loaner vehicle at the office. We can create mixed use areas that don’t require a car at all. I want to help plan and design built environments that encourage lifestyle changes from less active to more active; encourage more daily engagement with nature; promote more biking and walking; create “irresistible walks” – corridors or trails that just say “you have to walk this way because it is so beautiful or inviting;” and make our waterways (creeks, bayous, rivers) cleaner to support more recreational activities.
Participation in the Health Leaders Network will help me communicate the benefits of building healthy places; enhance my planning and design of natural drainage systems – which can anchor trails; and further educate me on the overall topic of building healthy places.