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Mitchell Silver | Commissioner of the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

This week on Leading Voices in Real Estate, Mitchell Silver, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and a global leader in urban planning, joins Matt to discuss his work for the city and his long career in city planning. With his appointed role as Parks Commissioner, Mitchell has been responsible for the management, planning, and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of public space in New York. Matt and Mitchell talk about bringing greater equity to the city’s investment in its parks, particularly in neighborhoods of color, and about the challenges brought by COVID to New York’s public places. Known as one of the thought leaders in planning and someone with great passion for the importance of a planning approach to the growth of our cities, Mitchell is the past president of the American Planning Association (APA) and is currently president of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) . Mitchell also shares many of his successes throughout his career and current role, including how to make parks and communities more equitable and his experience as a leader of color in urban planning.

Mitchell is an award-winning planner with over 35 years of experience. Prior to returning to his native New York City as Parks Commissioner, he served as the Chief Planning & Development Officer and Planning Director for Raleigh, NC. His career has included roles as a policy and planning director for New York City’s Department of Planning, a principal of a New York City-based planning firm, a town manager in New Jersey, and deputy planning director in Washington, DC.

One of the nation’s most celebrated urban thinkers, Commissioner Silver has been elected to Planetizen’s list of the 100 Most Influential Urbanists in the world (2017), and named an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (2017), a fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences (2016), an honorary fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia (2015), a fellow of the American Planning Association (2014), and an honorary lifetime member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (2014). In addition, he has been honored as one of the top 100 City Innovators in the world by UBM Future Cities, and in 2012 the Urban Times named him one of the top international thought leaders of the built environment.

Mitchell Silver was born in Brooklyn and grew up near Prospect Park. He attended Midwood High School and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Pratt Institute and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Hunter College. He is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a licensed Professional Planner in the State of New Jersey.



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