Brian Swett is a leader in climate change and sustainability strategy with leadership experience in municipal government and private sector real estate development. He serves as director of cities and sustainable real estate at Arup, a global design and consulting firm. At Arup, Swett is leveraging his experience in design, engineering, and planning to oversee the firm’s cities strategy in the Americas.
A key focus for Swett is getting cities, districts, and large-scale developments on the path to achieving carbon neutrality by mid-century. A related focus area is making sure that cities and major real estate developments are prepared for expected climate change, which means incorporating resiliency into both the built environment and operations.
“It is a tremendously exciting time because the issues that I am most passionate about are gaining increased, widespread attention and prioritization,” he says. “Ten to 15 years ago, the issues of carbon neutrality and climate change resiliency were not core to most real estate developers overall, and you are seeing that fundamental shift as it becomes a mainstream issue.”
Previously, Swett worked for the city of Boston and Boston Properties. He served as chief of environment, energy, and open space for the city of Boston, where he launched Greenovate Boston and Climate Ready Boston and led the update to the city’s Climate Action Plan. Under Swett’s leadership, Boston was recognized by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy as the top city in the United States for energy efficiency policies and programs.