News Release: March 21, 2014

APA Board Member and Immediate Past President Appointed NYC Parks Commissioner

CHICAGO — Mitchell J. Silver, AICP, a member of the American Planning Association Board and the association's immediate past president, has been selected to serve in New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration as New York City Parks Commissioner. Mayor de Blasio announced the selection today. In this role, Silver will head the city's Department of Parks and Recreation, an agency that oversees approximately 29,000 acres of parkland and 1,900 parks.

Mitchell J. Silver, AICP"Mitch is a passionate advocate for public services that serve all people," said APA President William Anderson, FAICP. "An inspiring planner, he will provide his hometown of New York City with a critical link among parks, planning and prosperity."

In April, Silver completed a two-year term as president of APA. As president, he was responsible for leading the 13-member APA Board of Directors in governing the association and setting its strategic goals. APA is a nearly 40,000-member organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. He will continue to serve as a board member and as the immediate past president through April 2014.

"On behalf of APA's leadership and our members, we are excited for Mitch and for New York," said Paul Farmer, FAICP, APA's CEO. "His dedication to creating communities of lasting value so that generations can prosper will bolster the city as a global leader in providing opportunities for residents to come together to socialize, recreate and play."

"Mayor DeBlasio is to be commended for selecting such an accomplished planner to serve as the Parks Commissioner. This appointment reinforces the connection between good planning and the places that make cities and neighborhoods thrive," said Farmer.

Silver most recently served as the Planning and Development Department Director for Raleigh, North Carolina. During his nine years in Raleigh's leadership, the city emerged as one of the most livable and fastest-growing cities in the country. The planning work accomplished during Silver's tenure has enabled the city to develop efficiently through the use of growth centers and enhanced transit systems.

Silver will be returning to New York City with this appointment. He was raised in Brooklyn and earned degrees from the Pratt Institute and Hunter College. He has worked as the Northern Manhattan Planning and Policy Director for the Manhattan Borough President in New York, and as a city planner in the New York City Planning Department. He is a certified planner and is a 2014 Fellow-elect; he will be inducted as a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, the profession's highest honor, this April during APA's National Planning Conference.

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning — physical, economic, and social — so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, with almost 40,000 members worldwide in nearly 100 countries.


Roberta Rewers, APA Communications, 312-786-6395;