Raleigh Planner Leaves For The Big Apple

Apr 21, 2014

Raleigh Planning Director Mitchell Silver is leaving to become the Parks Commissioner of New York City.
Credit City of Raleigh

Raleigh is bidding farewell to its planning director.

Mitchell Silver took the post in 2005, when Raleigh was a mid-sized city grappling with rapid population growth. Silver says the city was able to ride the wave by becoming an attractive place to live and work.  He cites changing density and zoning ordinances, building the Raleigh Convention Center, and revitalizing Hillsborough Street and Cameron Village as successes.

Silver, who once served as president of the American Planning Association, said the projects worked because multiple government offices pulled together on a plan, and constituents backed it up.

“That's rare across the country. Either the city is too large, where it's very difficult to be connected with the community, or it's too small, they don't have staff capacity to make it happen,” Silver said. “But this is a government that works for residents and for businesses. And so, we don't have silos of excellence. We had great collaboration across department lines.”

Silver is headed back to his home state, where he'll become the Parks Commissioner for New York City.