Laurie Zapalac founded Zapalac Advisors in 2015, following the completion of her doctorate in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Prior to MIT, Laurie worked as a Cultural Resource Planner for Overland Partners | Architects and then launched a cultural heritage & historic preservation consulting practice with a client base that included real estate developers, institutional clients and architecture firms. She also taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the School of Architecture and the School of Information.
Her research at MIT focused on economic change in the 21st century, including the impact of technology in nearly every aspect of life, the expansion of knowledge-based industries, and the role of entrepreneurship and innovation in the transformation of economies. She developed methodologies to integrate and analyze data about the built environment, to analyze parcel data on a large scale (in excess of 100,000 parcels), and to predict location choice based upon qualitative attributes of the built environment. She now uses these capabilities to advise on a wide variety of projects. She is frequently engaged in projects that focus on how technology is transforming maritime industries and shaping the blue economy, and what this means for the future of maritime cities and coastal environments.
Tying together past and present work, including her role as an educator, is a progressive view of the value of cultural heritage and an interest in the ways that adaptive use of historic buildings and infill development can catalyze community regeneration. Laurie is a LEED Accredited Professional.