Kinder Institute Forum: Mitchell J. Silver

Mar 4, 2020
7:00pm - 8:30pm
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonnet Street
MFAH is a 5-minute walk from the METRORail (Museum District station). Paid parking is available in the above-ground garage at 1144 Binz Street. Visit for parking and other transportation options.

Mitchell J. Silver

Mitchell J. Silver

New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver discusses how planning and design can create equitable, inclusive and fun places for residents of New York, Houston and beyond.

As New York City Parks Commissioner, Mitchell J. Silver oversees the management, planning and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of parkland. He is known for the innovative projects he has worked on, including the Community Parks Equity Initiative, Parks without Borders, Cool Pools and Creative Courts.

Prior to returning to his hometown of New York City, he served as the chief planning & development officer and planning director for Raleigh, North Carolina. He was also president of the American Planning Association from 2011 to 2013, the first African American to hold the title.

One of the nation’s most celebrated urban thinkers, Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver was elected to Planetizen’s list of 100 Most Influential Urbanists in 2017, and the Urban Times named him one of the top international thought leaders of the built environment in 2012.

During this Kinder Institute Forum, discussed the many benefits of parks and public spaces—from improving mental and physical health to making a city more resilient. In designing such spaces, Silver noted that equity and placemaking are important factors. It’s not simply about building green space, but rather asking, “how do we build an experience in this public space?”

About Mitchell J. Silver

Mitchell J. Silver became Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in May 2014. Commissioner Silver is also the past president of the American Planning Association (APA). He is an award-winning planner with more than 30 years of experience and is internationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and 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, which includes parks, playgrounds, beaches, marinas, recreation centers, wilderness areas and other assets.

Prior to returning to his native New York City, he served as the chief planning & development officer and planning director for Raleigh, North Carolina. 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 deputy planning director in Washington, DC.

About the Kinder Institute Forum

The Kinder Institute Forum lecture series brings thought leaders from around the world to Houston to share ideas about the most pressing urban issues facing us today. Previous KI Forum speakers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning author Matthew Desmond, global urbanist Richard Florida, Kresge Foundation senior fellow Carol Coletta, Detroit city planner Maurice Cox, and sociologist Eric Klinenberg.

CenterPoint Energy is the title sponsor of the Kinder Institute Forum series. This program is eligible for 1.5 CM credits from the American Planning Association.

Mitchell J Silver talks about parks and public space at the Kinder Institute Forum
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