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.


Jovann Anderson, Crew Member

Jovann Anderson has been with GCW since April of 2022. Jovann loves the connections he’s formed with his fellow crew members and having a job that lets him work with his hands. He previously worked at Bob’s Discount Furniture installing kitchen cabinets and his favorite site to work in the neighborhood is CHOP’s Garden at Karabots, located at the Karabots Pediatric Care Center at 48th and Market. When not working, Jovann enjoys basketball, music, and art, and lists his favorite food as “anything with rice.”


Houston Briggs, Crew Member

Bio coming soon!


Xia Frazier, Crew Member

Xia Frazier, a 2015 graduate of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, joined Green City Works in March of 2016. She considers an interior garden at the National Board of Medical Examiners at 37th and Market her favorite local site because she was part of the original planting team and loves to see a project from start to finish. Xia brings a “believe you can do it” attitude with her to work each day, is proud to be the only woman on the GCW team, and hopes to one day own her own landscaping company. In her spare time, she enjoys being a mother and relaxing. Get to know Xia more in this video from 2019.


Mark Gay, Production Supervisor 

Mark Gay was part of the original Green City Works crew that launched in 2015. He trained for a position through the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, and loves how GCW is a community-oriented organization that offers educational opportunities. Before joining GCW, Mark worked in waste management and as a tree trimmer. He enjoys reading, sports, spending time with family, and serving as a motivational speaker to the younger generation. His favorite work sites are the Lawn at uCity Square and The Porch at 30th Street Station because they offer places for people to enjoy themselves. Hear from Mark in this video from 2022.  


Kariem Houston, Crew Member 

Kareem Houston has been with GCW since March of 2021, following time as a cook in various chain restaurants. Kareem enjoys the variety of the work at GCW and new challenges, and brightens each day with his sense of humor. He takes pride in helping construct and landscape the courtyard at Penn’s Newman Center at 38th and Chestnut. When he’s not working, Kariem enjoys watching sports. 


Ezekial (Zeke) Howard, Crew Member


Zeke Howard has worked with GCW since graduating from a Skills Initiative cohort in 2018. Zeke enjoys the comradery of working with the rest of the GCW crew, especially how everyone supports one another as they manage their own challenges. His favorite project to date was working at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House on their redesigned courtyard. Zeke took special pride in having enough experience and training to complete such a large-scale project from start to finish. When not on the clock, Zeke loves nothing more than spending time with his 3 young children. He also enjoys gaming, and is excited that his children are getting old enough to share this passion with him.


Michael Jordan, Crew Member 

Michael Jordan (not that one) joined GCW in September 2020 after spending time as a custodial supervisor at a local elementary school. Michael enjoys the opportunities GCW affords him to grow as a landscaper and as a person, and loves to learn something new each day. His favorite project was helping to build and install a courtyard and permeable pavers at WADE Flats, a new apartment building at 5300 Whitby Avenue, because he was able to be a part of the entire process from start to finish. When not working, Michael enjoys traveling the world.   


Imeam Radcliffe, Crew Member 

Imeam R. has been with GCW since May of 2020 after spending time working in security and customer service roles. At GCW, he loves to spend time outside and to see projects through to completion, and enjoys the camaraderie of working as a member of the crew. Imeam’s favorite projects he’s worked on are the Karabots Garden for CHOP and a block cooling project in Hunting Park to bring trees and shade to combat heat challenges, in partnership with Esperanza, Drexel, and the City’s Office of Sustainability. When not out in the field, Imeam enjoys spending time with his young daughter and gaming.   


Kyree Reed, Crew Leader 

Kyree Reed joined GCW in May of 2017 after graduating from a cohort of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative. Kyree brings a positive attitude to his work with the crew, and enjoys the opportunity to learn, build skills, and exceed client expectations. He enjoys maintaining plants along Market Street because it allows him to interact with the community and hear positive feedback on the impact of his daily work. Kyree, has an eye for design and enjoys drawing, photography, and working as a tattoo artist in his spare time. Learn more about Kyree in this video from 2023.  


Taronn Wright, Crew Member 

Taronn Wright has been with GCW since April of 2018, following time spent in construction as part of a home restoration business. He enjoys creating green spaces in West Philadelphia and counts the courtyard at the National Board of Medical Examiners as his favorite local site. When not at work, Taronn enjoys skateboarding, videography, and reading, and lists his favorite book as The Alchemist. Taronn also lives by a motto that to stand out among the competition you must first stand together.