Mitchell J. Silver

"Parks and Public Space: What’s Next?"⁠ — New York Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver will discuss how planning and design can create equitable, inclusive and fun places for residents of New York, Houston and beyond.

As New York’s 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.


Ticketing notice: Guests who rsvp will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis. Unclaimed seats will be released to those on standby 10 minutes prior to the program. Please note that due to increased popularity of the Kinder Institute Forums, an rsvp does not guarantee seating. For free events, additional rsvp’s are generally accepted than there are available seats due to the percentage of no-shows.


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.