Keep up with essential planning news and commentary, delivered to your inbox every Monday and Thursday.
A New York City Planner’s Long and Influential History
Joe Anuta reports on the legacy of Purnima Kapur, former executive director of New York’s Department of City Planning. Kapur recently exited the agency to teach and consult, and she leaves behind a substantial record of contributions over her 28 years there.
Prior to her time in the de Blasio administration, Kapur headed up the agency’s offices in Brooklyn and the Bronx, where the effects of her work on zoning and redevelopment continue. After some leadership reorganization, she became head of the city planning agency in 2014. “Some staffers bristled at what they saw as a more corporate structure, but they were glad to see someone with extensive experience overseeing the department's activities,” says Anuta.
As executive director, Kapur shepherded through various inclusionary housing, zoning code, and rezoning initiatives. These projects were not free of controversy, notes Anuta. But Kapur’s influence in shaping planning and policy in New York and developing the agency’s executive director role is indisputable and will go on long after her departure.