FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2007
Rachaele Raynoff, Press Secretary -- (212) 720-3471
CITY PLANNING DIRECTOR AMANDA BURDEN NAMES
ALEXANDROS WASHBURN AS CHIEF URBAN DESIGNER;
THOMAS WARGO APPOINTED DIRCTOR OF ZONING
January 29, 2007 – City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden today announced the appointment of Alexandros Washburn as Director of Urban Design for the Department. Washburn will lead a team of urban designers in working on large-scale planning and development initiatives, as well as advising on key urban design and public open space issues citywide. Thomas Wargo was also named as the Department's Director of Zoning.
Director Burden said, "Since the beginning of my tenure at City Planning, I have made it a priority to strengthen our urban design expertise in recognition of the important role that urban design excellence and the pedestrian experience play in physical planning and shaping the city. To this end, we have added over 10 urban designers to the Department since 2001, and they have played a critical role in shaping projects large and small. Building on this solid foundation, we are establishing the position of Director of Urban Design, to serve as a resource that can strengthen all our work here at City Planning. I am delighted that Alex Washburn is bringing his wide-ranging experience in the public and private sectors to work for us as we embark on new and ambitious projects. Responding to Mayor Bloomberg's keen interest in design excellence, Alex's oversight will be of critical importance as we examine major initiatives citywide, including Coney Island, Moynihan Station, Queens West South and the Eastern and Western Rail Yards on Manhattan's West Side."
Washburn, formerly Public Works Advisor to the late Sen. Patrick Moynihan, has headed a private practice specializing in public space design and urban revitalization. Using his expertise in architecture, landscape architecture and planning, he has participated in the design of the new West Harlem waterfront park and overseen the planning, financing and approvals of Pennsylvania (now Moynihan) Station redevelopment in New York. Since 2000, his firm, W Architecture, has engaged in planning in the US and abroad.
Regarding Wargo's appointment, Ms. Burden said, "Tom Wargo's knowledge of the intricacies of the zoning resolution and his ability to translate the code into text and graphics is unparalleled. City Planning is grateful for Tom Wargo's invaluable assistance in creating the Zoning Handbook, managing citywide zoning studies like the parking lot standards study, spearheading Lower Density Growth Management controls, and turning urban design master plans and area-wide proposals into zoning text. We have, with Tom's help, proposed an unprecedented number of rezonings which have been adopted. She added, "Together, we look forward to making even more progress over the coming years."
Department of 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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