Our values

“Beliefs divide us. Values unite us.” ― Jeff Rasley

Our values drive our design process and guide our decision making. They help us find and connect with people like you who are ready to create and move into a better future. Together.

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Cultivate Curiosity

Our curiosity drives us to ask big questions…Where are the healthiest, happiest, people and places in the world and what can we learn from them? How can we build and live better everywhere? How can we move quickly to address climate, social equity, and resilience?

Catalyze Creativity

Creativity is imagination in action. Imagination is literally how we learn and grow and solve problems. We need our imaginations working at full steam to create solutions to our big (and small) challenges. 

Be Courageous

We need courage to walk a mile in the shoes of someone who is suffering and choose to help, to face difficult internal and external challenges and act for the good of all, to think and live in new ways that are better for people and planet.

Develop Diversity

Because it’s the right thing to do but also because it has huge returns on investment for all of us! Diverse communities of people (and other lifeforms) are healthier, more resilient, and more alive!

Build Trust

Because trust is essential to living and working together. Transparency creates trust, even though it can make us feel vulnerable or uncomfortable.

Begin Regeneration

Because regenerative is better than sustainable. Because sustaining wasteful processes and behaviors isn’t going to work. Because we need to make things and do things that make our communities and the natural world we depend on better, not worse. 

Who We Are

We are designers, developers, and solutionists who care deeply about people and ecosystems. We see a bright future where humanity has figured out how to live well without destroying our home world.

We want you to help us build that future for all of us.

Our HQ is in Santa Cruz, California but our growing team is wherever they need to be.

We are raising capital and looking for people who want to tackle big exciting problems and make a difference.  

Join our team! We need advisors, teammates, and interns with experience and/or passion in AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) real estate development, urban design, software development, IOT, fintech, health tech, proptech, community design, urban agriculture, and more. Drop us a line!

“Things are only impossible until they are not.”

Jean-Luc Picard



Erik Gillberg

 Co-founder & CEO. Erik is truly passionate about reshaping the way we build and live, connecting the dots between sustainability, technology, and community-building. His mission is to accelerate the transition to resilient, regenerative, and equitable communities that transform the way we think about urban living. Erik brings over 30 years of property management and 20 years of technology development, business development, marketing, strategic consulting, and founded several startups.  


Ritchie Ju

Co-founder & COO. Ritchie holds a B.Architecture from Carnegie Mellon and an MS in Architecture & Urban Design from Columbia University. Currently an MBA candidate at Johns Hopkins, he was made to create beautiful, walkable, green urban neighborhoods. Previously a mobility planner at Lyft in NYC, Ritchie was a key member for the expansion of their bike-share programs. His real estate development work is focused on enhancing urban living with sustainability & resilience. Additionally, he is the owner of an e-commerce company that saw 7-figure revenues within two years.


Brianna Gonzalez

Head of Business Development. Bri brings deep knowledge in private businesses, entrepreneurship, investment, and philanthropy business lifecycles. She is an expert in equity and debt securities offerings, including private placements, and innovative financing strategies for various business stages. Brianna is experienced in handling a broad array of legal agreements related to venture capital, corporate governance, executive compensation, and corporate real estate. Her expertise extends to entity formation, intercompany, commercial, and technology agreements. She’s founder of Keiretsu Law, Brains & Gains. She has a JD & MBA from Chapman University.


Kyle Zaylor

Head of Real Estate Acquisitions & Development. Kyle brings 15 years of experience in real estate investment and development. He has led high-level projects across Southern California, Silicon Valley, and the Pacific Northwest. He was a Project Executive at Killian Pacific and Core Companies, managing projects totaling 1,400 residential units and $650 million in capital. Kyle spent 5 years at Irvine Company where he managed project development of Santa Clara Square, an 80-acre master planned community consisting of 1,840 residential units, 175k SF of class-A retail, and 1.7mm SF of class-A office in Silicon Valley. He holds an MBA with a concentration in finance (Olin Business School), a M. Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis, and a BS from The Ohio State University.


Brian Esposito

Chief Strategy Officer. Brian is CEO of Diamond Lake Minerals ($DLMI).  He has been ranked among the world’s top 10 CEOs. Holdings of over 200 companies in over 25 different industries, from beauty to Security Tokenization of Real-World Assets.. Founder & President of Esposito Intellectual Enterprises, LLC (EIE), a holding company for over 20 years of work, business startups, and investments. Focuses stem from manufacturing, distribution, retail, hospitality and hotel development, restaurants, commercial real estate, liquor, technology, media, energy, TELCOM, aviation, space, maritime, music, TV & Film, education, beauty, medical technology, security, hemp, and fashion. Brian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to any team with his drive, ethics, and passion of connecting executives around the globe.


Clive Zickel

Chief Financial Officer. Clive has 40 years of financial and operational management experience. He spent 10 years in public accounting in Europe with BDO and KPMG, followed by 20 years in CFO and general management roles at JPMorgan Chase and as CFO at Dechert LLC. Clive founded and led two companies and co-founded two others, raising over $250M. He is an advisor to startups tackling social and economic challenges and served as an adjunct professor at Stony Brook University and a clinical professor at Loyola Marymount University. Clive has extensive experience advising clients in sustainable aquaculture, specialty foods, and emerging technologies like blockchain and electric vehicles. Clive is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, graduate of the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development and graduate of the Executive MBA Program at Stony Brook University Graduate School of Business.


Jerry Stephen Smith

Chief Investment Officer. Jerry is experienced in serving driven founders and CEOs as an innovation partner and problem solver. He strives to create an environment for learning and collaboration where leaders and their teams can make informed and strategic decisions to propel their ventures and organizations forward with insight and intention. Industries served include Software-AI/ML, Space Tech, Climate/Green Tech, Health & Wellness, and Real Estate. Jerry brings over 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, attorney and advisor to Now City, specifically focused on helping the venture raise private capital.




Neal Payton

Urban Planning & Design. With a focus on the public realm, Neal’s work transforms urban environments into socially and culturally diverse, walkable and economically vital communities. Driven by an insatiable curiosity and a commitment to challenging conventional wisdom, he has led multidisciplinary teams in the creation of visionary, yet implementable Master plans, and objective design standards and form-based codes for the redevelopment and revitalization of declining urban centers, brownfields, and vast areas of aging inner suburbs. As originator in 2005, and director of the west coast office of Torti Gallas, Neal leads the the firm’s urban and architectural design efforts in the western U.S. as well as Australia, including urban and neighborhood design projects, as well as the entitlement efforts associated with block and conceptual building design.


Juliette-Marie Somerset

Global Technology & Corporate Governance. Juliette-Marie Somerset is a transformational leadership executive and tech startup advisor dedicated to accelerating social impact with philanthropy, innovation, insight and compassion. She is a highly experienced and Ivy League educated consultant operating at a senior level with global game-changing tech founders, innovative startups, and angel investors. Juliette-Marie excels in strategic growth partnerships, leadership development, mentoring tech entrepreneurs, building and creating disruptive solutions. She has a wide knowledge of and professional experience in successful fundraising campaigns and social impact investing.


Michael H. Shuman

Local Economies. Michael H. Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and a leading visionary on community economics. He is an Adjunct Professor at Bard Business School in New York City. He is also a Senior Researcher for Council Fire, where he performs economic-development analyses for states, local governments, and businesses around North America. He is credited with being one of the architects of the 2012 JOBS Act and dozens of state laws overhauling securities regulation of crowdfunding. He has authored, coauthored, or edited ten books. His two most recent books are Put Your Money Where Your Life Is: How to Invest Locally Using Solo 401ks and Self-Directed IRAs and The Local Economy Solution: How Innovative, Self-Financing Pollinator Enterprises Can Grow Jobs and Prosperity. One of his previous books, The Small Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition (Berrett-Koehler, 2006), received as bronze prize from the Independent Publishers Association for best business book of 2006. A prolific speaker, Shuman has given an average of more than one invited talk per week, mostly to local governments and universities, for the past 30 years in nearly every U.S. state and more than a dozen countries.




Sherwood Design Engineers

Civil Engineering. Sherwood Design Engineers is a site civil engineering practice committed to the optimal integration of ecology, infrastructure, and design. Our headquarter is in San Francisco with Offices and Studios located in San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Petaluma, and Santa Cruz.


Sera Architects

Architecture & Planning. SERA is a firm of dynamic thinkers, collaborators and creators who want to shape the world through smart planning and enduring design. Our mission is sustainable placemaking. As an integrated team of architects, interior designers and urban designers and planners, we work holistically to create places that enrich lives and inspire positive change.


PAE Engineers

MEP Engineering Design. PAE provides mechanical and electrical engineering design, technology system design, energy modeling and analysis, and more. At our core, we value our people, our planet, and regenerative engineering. From achieving JUST and B-Corp certifications, annually recommitting to our respect for each other, inspiring young engineers and giving back to the community, everything we do is in service of our values and mission.



District Scale Green Infrastructure. Infracenters exists to shape tomorrow’s resilient communities. Our mission is to empower resilient communities through innovative and integrated district utility systems prioritizing sustainability, efficiency, and fairness.


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Now City

Now City Inc.
101 Cooper St Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 222-0504