Laurie Schoeman has spent over a decade working in, and influencing, the field of urban planning. With Intervention: Green, she is managing sustainable development projects that have measurable positive effect on the social and environmental milieu.
“I think the best preparation for me has been in learning the hard way — making mistakes and learning from best practices.”
Laurie Schoeman founded Intervention: Green, an interdisciplinary planning firm, to develop community-based initiatives that benefit the environment. Projects run the gamut from rooftops gardens and solar paneling to ones that improve water efficiency or land use. “I went to an all woman’s college which gave me the confidence to get in the ‘ring’ with men in construction and project management," Laurie Schoeman says without a hint of sarcasm. It’s the kind of down-to-business attitude people have come to expect from the prolific environmental leader, and it doesn’t betray her previous life working in policy.
After acquiring her first degree in political science, Laurie led the Environmental Justice Advisory committee at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. There she saw firsthand how few eco-minded issues were being addressed in the more impacted and marginalized communities of the urban core. This inspired a departure to a study in urban planning. With her newfound knowledge, she immediately launched into a wealth of strategic development projects working with nonprofits and public agencies in California’s Bay Area.
Cultivating an expertise in project development required Laurie to gain a deep understanding in both design and construction, but Laurie’s approach actually extends beyond the two. She utilizes holistic sustainable building practices that benefit both the social space and environment. She’s applied a regenerative building approach to numerous projects, including “The Living Classroom,” an award-winning off-grid Environmental Education Center in San Francisco. More recently, while serving as the Executive Director of NY SunWorks, Laurie was instrumental in the completion of New York City’s first Rooftop Greenhouse Classroom on top of PS333. The educational aspect of both projects is no coincidence — Laurie is engaged in the pedagogical sphere, particularly as a curriculum developer and teacher at the Bronx River Art Center.
Laurie’s wide range of skills has been instrumental in the formation of Intervention Green. Along with a similarly multi-talented team, she integrates her knowledge of urban farming, renewable energy, resource conservation, and education to plan and construct green infrastructure with innovative “place-based environmental intervention.” Intervention: Green is unique in its methods, allowing clients an affordable and easy to scale action-based solution, an outcome that Laurie has proved effective time and again across all her projects.