Commissioner Silver Reflects on Planning & Designing for Equity

Sustainable Urban Planning 10 year Anniversary Symposium Series

Commissioner Silver
June 15, 2021

The global pandemic and the social unrest have exposed inequities in our communities that have existed for generations. As we plan, design, and manage for more diverse communities, how do we create more equitable, inclusive, and accessible places? We rarely consider what we mean by these terms. How do we know if we are making places equitable? How do we define inclusion and who does that welcome?

Mitchell Silver, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks shared his reflections on how as an urban planner and parks commissioner, he implemented planning and designing for equity and what lessons planners and designers can learn to do the same.

“It was a privilege to host Commissioner Mitchell Silver for our Equity Symposium. As a beginning planner, I heard Commissioner Silver speak for the first time in 1990,” said Dr. Sandra Whitehead, Sustainable Urban Planning program director.

“It was the first time I'd heard a planner talk about the HOW of equity, not just the why. He was just as inspirational today.”


Event Recording

Listen to the captivating recording of Silver, an award-winning planner and recognized visionary in the field of urban planning, speaking at the April 30 symposium on “Planning and Designing for Equity.”
Note: opens Webex recording in a new window, may load slowly. 


About Commissioner Silver:

Mitchell Silver is the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks. He is an award-winning planner with more than 30 years of experience and he is internationally recognized for his contributions to contemporary planning issues.

He specializes in comprehensive planning, place making and implementation strategies. As Parks Commissioner, Mitchell Silver oversees management, planning and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of parkland.

One of the nation’s most celebrated urban thinkers, Commissioner Silver has been elected to Planetizen’s list of the 100 Most Influential Urbanists, and named an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and an honorary fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia.

He has been honored as one of the top 100 City Innovators in the world by UBM Future Cities, and the Urban Times named him one of the top international thought leaders. Silver was the first African-American to be elected president of the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners.