Director of Urban Design and Planning

Ellen Lou directs SOM’s Urban Design and Planning Practice in San Francisco. In a time when cities represent the greatest hope for a sustainable future, she is leading the creation of groundbreaking development strategies for resilient and ecological metropolitan centers. Working across North America and Asia, Lou is recognized for coalescing diverse interests around actionable visions that prioritize people-scaled, transportation-rich development; create public benefit; rejuvenate the natural environment; root future growth in the culture and aspirations of place and healthy cities.

Her award-winning work has advanced historic preservation, through catalyzing redevelopment strategies that fuse old and new urban fabrics; shaped the most significant period growth of the San Francisco’s high-rise core in half a century; forged a new vision for the modern academic campus, and enabled Vietnam’s then nascent development industries to realize environmentally responsive growth that offers lessons for developing cities.

A sought-after speaker and advisor nationally and internationally, she consults regularly with planning officials, has lectured before more than 150 mayors and government leaders, and has served as a visiting instructor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and University of California, Berkeley, among others. As a board member of SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research), ITDP (Institute for Transportation and Development Policy) and through other advisory roles promoting policy solutions that make cities around the world more livable, equitable, and sustainable.

Speaking at the Following:

Jun 11

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Climate Change and Resiliency: Protecting Against Nature’s Risks

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Grand Ballroom II, Level 5, Jing An Shangri-La

What are the risks developers and landlords need to consider and how should they be addressed?