Celeste Frye: Planning | Practice: The Theory of Planning and What It Means for Your Career

Woman talking to a group of students on a roof top in a city.

Celeste Frye: Planning | Practice: The Theory of Planning and What It Means for Your Career image / Cornell AAP


Planning is a complex field, with multiple pathways to making a difference for people and cities. Practice may mean working in government, the nonprofit sector, or private practice, but all three are symbiotic in the ecosystem that is urban planning and design. Learn about how different types of planning practices impact cities, as well as your own potential career, and some of what it means to build or work in a private boutique practice from the CEO of Public Works Partners, Celeste Frye, AICP. Frye will explore the real-world application of planning theories through case studies drawn from her practice as a planner. She will also outline career paths, including her own career trajectory, and provide attendees with valuable insights into the myriad practices of planning across sectors.


Celeste Frye, AICP, is the Principal and CEO of Public Works Partners, a New York City-based planning and consulting firm. She cofounded Public Works Partners out of a passion to help mission-driven organizations increase their positive impact on local communities. In her role, she specializes in developing programs grounded in data analysis and management practices, engaging stakeholders to support the development of equitable spaces, and driving community development initiatives. She also regularly assists organizations in identifying ways to improve program performance and measure impact. She previously worked in New York City government, where she led budget and economic development teams and launched large-scale business-based hiring and training initiatives. 

Frye received her M.R.P. in Urban Planning from Cornell University and B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is an award-winning consultant and planner recognized by City & State's 2021 Community Engagement Power 50 and 2019 Above and Beyond Award, as well as Crain's New York's Notable Women in Accounting and Consulting award. She is a graduate of Goldman Sachs's 10,000 Small Businesses program, a member of the Coro Leadership Network, and a member of the Regional Plan Association's Connecticut Committee. 


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