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July 28, 2011

Rachaele Raynoff / Jovana Rizzo (City Planning) – (212) 720-3471


July 28, 2011 – City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden announced the appointment of Michael L. Marrella, AICP, as the Department of City Planning’s new Director of the Waterfront and Open Space Planning Division.

Most recently, Marrella was the Department’s Project Director for Vision 2020, the New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, released this spring, and oversaw all aspects of preparing the new plan that presents sustainable blueprint for New York City’s waterfront and waterways.

Commissioner Burden said, “Michael Marrella ably advanced the agenda for reclaiming the City’s waterfront and making it part of the everyday lives of New Yorkers. He will provide strong and capable leadership as we go forward to implement the innovative and sustainable policies outlined in Vision 2020.” 

As Director of the Waterfront and Open Space Planning, Marrella will be responsible for directing waterfront land use policy for the agency. He will also advise the Chair and members of the City Planning Commission on the planning and land use issues affecting waterfront and open space areas, manage the staff of the Waterfront and Open Space Division, 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 related to waterfront and open space. Marrella will be overseeing City Planning’s role in implementing Vision 2020, including revisions to the City’s Coastal Zone Management program that regulates public and private projects on the waterfront and in the City’s waterways. This work includes a study of open industrial uses to better control environmental impacts on the city’s waterways and adjacent neighborhoods. Marrella will also be working with the Department’s Urban Design and Sustainability staff on initiatives designed to increase the City’s resilience to climate change and ability to recover from severe storms.

Marrella succeeds Bill Woods who retired after nearly 40 years at City Planning, including over twenty as Director of the Waterfront and Open Space Planning Division.

Prior to his work on the Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, Michael served as Manager of Environmental Planning for the Freshkills Park project, working to turn the City’s former landfill into a 2,200 acre park. He also previously worked for AKRF, Inc., a private planning and environmental consulting firm, and the Town of Smithtown, NY.

Marrella holds a Master’s Degree in City Planning from MIT, and an undergraduate degree from Vassar College. From 2006 to 2010, he was a Vice President of the New York Chapter of the American Planning Association and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Department of City Planning
The Department of City Planning (DCP) promotes strategic growth, transit-oriented development, and sustainable communities in the City, in part by initiating comprehensive, consensus-based planning and zoning changes for individual neighborhoods and business districts, as well as establishing policies and zoning regulations applicable citywide. It supports the City Planning Commission and each year reviews more than 500 land use applications for actions such as zoning changes and disposition of City property. The Department assists both government agencies and the public by providing policy analysis and technical assistance relating to housing, transportation, community facilities, demography, waterfront and public space.

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