Justin Garrett Moore: Regional Design for New York and the Hudson Valley
Justin Garrett Moore, AICP is an urban designer and the executive director of the New York City Public Design Commission. He has extensive experience in urban design and city planning — from large-scale urban systems, policies, and projects to grassroots and community-focused planning, design, and arts initiatives. At the Public Design Commission, his work is focused on prioritizing the quality and excellence of the public realm, and fostering accessibility, diversity, and inclusion in the city's public buildings, spaces, and art.
As the former senior urban designer for the NYC Department of City Planning for over a decade, Moore was responsible for conducting complex urban design plans and studies of the physical design and utilization of sites including infrastructure, public spaces, land use patterns, and neighborhood character. His projects included the Greenpoint and Williamsburg Waterfront, Hunter's Point South, and the Brooklyn Cultural District. He received degrees in both architecture and urban design from Columbia University where he is now an adjunct associate professor of architecture, planning, and preservation.
He is the cofounder of Urban Patch, a social enterprise focused on community improvement and development, and a member of the urbanist collective BlackSpace. His professional affiliations include the American Planning Association, the Urban Design Forum, the Van Alen Institute, and Next City's Vanguard. Moore also serves as a member of the American Planning Association's AICP Commission and on the boards of ioby.org and Made in Brownsville.
How can urban research, design, engagement, and practice help address regional-scale issues while still being grounded in the realities and concerns of local communities? For several years, urban design studios and research initiatives at Columbia University GSAPP have been working in and with communities in New York's Hudson Valley. With topics ranging from social justice and food access to energy and the Green New Deal, students, faculty, alumni, and various partners have worked in places like Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Hudson, and several suburban and rural contexts. The work explores how design can be a tool for addressing some problematic pasts and, hopefully, for generating ideas and projects to realize more promising futures in the region. At the same time, this work challenges how we teach and practice urban design and how we connect and ground our work in academic and professional environments to real people and places.