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January 13, 2005

CONTACT: Rachaele Raynoff, Press Secretary -- (212) 720-3471


January 13, 2005 - Raymond Gastil has been named Director of City Planning's Manhattan Office, City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden officially announced today.

Gastil was the founding director of the Van Alen Institute: Projects in Public Architecture, an internationally recognized New York not-for-profit committed to demonstrating the critical role of planning and design in urban regeneration. He participated on the Memorial Center Advisory Committee for the World Trade Center site, and has served as juror and adviser to a number of major urban projects. He is the author of Beyond the Edge: New York's New Waterfront (2003) and has conceived and directed a wide range of exhibits, forums, and competitions.

Gastil succeeds Vishaan Chakrabarti, who is returning to the private sector after heading the office for two years, during which he helped oversee the advancement of several key projects including the Hudson Yards redevelopment plan, the proposed rezoning of West Chelsea and preservation of the High Line and the agency’s involvement in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan.

Ms. Burden said, "Ray Gastil brings extensive policy experience and civic involvement to this important position at City Planning. His ability to bring people together to find solutions to critical urban issues and his broad range of knowledge in planning, architecture and management will be assets as we seek to implement the Bloomberg administration’s exciting plans for the future of the city."

Gastil will be responsible for fulfilling the agency's mission in Manhattan, directing planning, urban design and land use policy, guiding housing and economic development and fostering the orderly growth of the borough's neighborhoods, business districts, major institutions and the waterfront. He will also advise the Chair and members of the City Planning Commission on Manhattan issues, manage the staff of the Manhattan office and act as the primary liaison to a wide range of stakeholders including elected officials, community organizations, and private sector entities on matters of land use, zoning and economic development in the borough.

Previously Gastil directed the Regional and Transit-Oriented design programs for the Regional Plan Association. He has taught urban design seminars and studios at Pratt Institute and University of Pennsylvania, and received his master of architecture degree from Princeton University.

More information on some of the projects Gastil will oversee is available at

About City Planning
The Department of City Planning is responsible for the City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including land use and environmental review; preparation of plans and policies; and provision of technical assistance and planning information to government agencies, public officials, and community boards.

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