Mitchell Silver: Planning and Designing Equitable Places For All

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Mitchell is principal and vice president of urban planning for McAdams; responsible for providing advisory services in urban planning, land use, parks, and public space planning with an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. He is an award-winning planner with more than 35 years of experience and is internationally recognized for his leadership and contributions to contemporary planning issues. He specializes in comprehensive planning, place making, and implementation strategies. For McAdams, Mitchell acts as a visionary, thought leader, and advisor on current and future projects, and serves as an ambassador and leader for the company in regional and national organizations and events. Prior to joining McAdams, Mitchell served as the commissioner for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation; overseeing the management, planning, and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of parkland, which includes, parks, playgrounds, beaches, marinas, recreation centers, wilderness areas, and other assets.

Prior to returning to his native New York City as Parks Commissioner, he served as the Chief Planning and Development Officer and Planning Director for the City of Raleigh. 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 a deputy planning director in Washington, D.C.

As planning director in Raleigh, he led the comprehensive plan update process and a rewriting of the development code to create a vibrant 21st century city. Mitchell served in Raleigh from 2005 until taking his job at Parks. He was an outspoken advocate for Raleigh and helped transform it into a world-class city with great streets, great places, and great neighborhoods.


The convergence of the COVID-19 global pandemic, social and racial unrest, and generational inequities have altered how we plan, design, and build places. The use of diversity, equity, and inclusion has grown over the past two years, but what do those words really mean? How do we truly plan, design, and build equitable and inclusive places for all? What does the AICP Code of Ethics tell us about our values and principles? Join me as I share my reflections on planning for places and spaces in Raleigh, NC, and New York City and my thoughts about how planners need to think and act differently going forward.

Please register in advance for this lecture here.


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