building our city

Asheville's urban design speaker series


CITIes determine their futures by the policies and practices they adopt

Asheville is a community on the rise. The design of our community impacts how we interact with the space around us and with each other, and influences how we live.

Join us for this free four-part speaker series featuring national experts on urban design, planning, placemaking, transportation and other community development topics to explore the role of thoughtful design in building livable communities. These deep-dive community conversations are dedicated to creating a better understanding of the role design plays in the growth of Asheville and its surrounding regions. The goal is to help create conversations by hosting professionals from outside the region, who will bring innovative ideas as well as examples of other community’s successes and failures.

The series is free and open to the public, thanks to our generous sponsors. Interested in sponsoring? Email us!


Mitch Silver


A renowned planner and urbanist, Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver has lead the New York City Parks Department since 2014. He oversees management, planning and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of parkland, including parks, playgrounds, beaches, marinas, recreation centers, wilderness areas and other assets. Mitchell is continually developing tools for local governance and 21st century urban planning on an international scale; this zealous dedication is reflected throughout his career in his publications and leading role in shaping the built environment

Mr. Silver’s insight is invaluable to Asheville. This visit will focus on the impact of planning and placemaking on physical and mental wellbeing.  He will also share learnings from a variety of projects during his role in New York, such as the Community Parks Equity Initiative, Parks without Borders, and Cool Pools and Creative Courts.

November 13, 2018

The Capital cLUB

82 Patton Ave Suite 800, Asheville, NC 28801

TALK @ 6pm, doors open at 5:30 

Before returning to his hometown of New York City, he served as Chief Planning and Development Officer and Planning Director for the City of Raleigh, North Carolina. He also holds the prestige of being president of the American Planning Association (APA) between 2011 and 2013, and was the first African American to hold the title.

In the past decade, Silver has been recognized across a multitude of platforms as an international thought leader: Planetizen’s “100 Most Influential Urbanists” (2017); in the Urban Times as a top international thought leader of the built environment (2012); and in UBM Future Cities’ “Top 100 City Innovators in the World” (2013).

“[Silver] is a visionary - He has a passion for fairness and equality, and he brings it to the work of government, and understands that we have to ensure that parks and open spaces are available in every community, and are well-maintained in every community in this city.” ~ Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC 






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