As a social venture focused on providing employment opportunities for local residents, Green City Works is dedicated to serving as an exemplary employer. We are committed to good wages and benefits; full-time, year-round positions; and advancement opportunities.

As a result, we have built a dedicated team with nearly non-existent turnover. With a local workforce, Green City Works is able to provide dependable, timely and flexible service. Employees receive ongoing professional development and training in order to grow their expertise and provide the highest level of service. Given this dynamic team, Green City Works is uniquely positioned to harness University City’s accelerating economic growth for the benefit of the broader community.


Green City Works Leadership:
Green City Works is supported by an in-house landscape architect, a full-time landscape designer, a production supervisor, and is managed by a landscaping professional with over 20 years of experience working in the industry.



Brian English, Vice President, Green City Works

Brian English joined UCD in 2016 as the General Manager of Green City Works. Brian has worked in the landscaping industry for over 20 years. His experiences range from managing start-up and established design-build landscape firms to serving as Director of Property Management for a land trust. At the land trust, Brian was responsible for enacting environmentally focused initiatives on sites owned by the land trust, in addition to assisting regional land owners with productive and sustainable land management strategies. Brian has long been active in the promotion of native horticulture and urban greening and sees Philadelphia as the ideal place to express these interests. After spending time managing a company serving the New York City region, in 2016 Brian returned home to the Philadelphia area, where he lives with his wife and two children.


Nathan F. Hommel, Director, Planning and Design


Nate joined UCD in 2012, and has served as the Director of Planning and Design since Summer 2015. Nate uses his urban design expertise and dedicated enthusiasm to further enhance urban quality of life issues throughout University City. Nate was instrumental in launching Green City Works, UCD’s new landscaping social venture, and serves as a quality and design consultant for all landscaping projects that the venture executes. Before UCD, Nate worked as a landscape architect/urban designer for two firms in Philadelphia, and from 2010-2015, he served as an adjunct professor of landscape architecture at Philadelphia University, heading the urban design and community design studios. Nate is also one of the founding members of Open Streets PHL and has served as the External Communications Director for the organization. Nate holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY.


Alvin Rios, Landscape Designer/Project Manager


Alvin Rios is the Landscape Operations Manager at UCD/Green City Works. He joined UCD in 2022 with over twenty years of experience. Alvin considers himself a team player with a wide range of supervisorial experience, and he understands the importance of effective communication while exemplifying great leadership for his team. His experience ranges from landscape design to irrigation startups to building relationships with reputable brands including Urban Outfitters, and he has a vast knowledge in hardscaping and construction management. Alvin is responsible for continuing to develop and oversee the GCW field team in the landscape division. Alvin enjoys golf, swimming, salsa dancing, and discovering new restaurants. He lives in the Burholme section of the city with his family.


Hanchao Zhang, Landscape Designer and Sales Representative, Green City Works



Hanchao Zhang serves as the resident Landscape Designer and Sales Representative for Green City Works (GCW). In this role, he uses his experience in landscape and urban design to create design schemes and connect with clients and GCW crew to ensure high quality and satisfactory outcomes for projects. He joined UCD in the summer of 2023 after spending six years in urban planning in design, most recently with Groundswell Design Group in Philadelphia. Hanchao was born in Shanghai, China, earned a 3-year degree in landscape architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design, and now lives in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, where he enjoys ball games, movies, outdoor sports, and exploring local culture. He is passionate about landscape architecture and believes it bears the opportunity to solve many social and environmental issues.


Mark Gay, Supervisor, Green City Works


Mark Gay trained with the first Green City Works cohort in 2014.  He started as one of the first employees in 2015, and was quickly promoted to Supervisor, overseeing other employees and leading critical projects.  Mark lives in West Philadelphia, has always enjoyed landscaping work, and is happy to have a career that helps make the city a better, greener place.