September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 42

Charting
Mitchell
Silver's
Next Move
Longtime park and recreation leader
discusses racial equity, 21st century park
infrastructure and his new endeavor
By Vitisia Paynich
M
itchell Silver has just wrapped up a successful seven-year
tenure as parks commissioner for the New York City
Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks and
Recreation), where he oversaw the management, planning
and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of parkland. Surprisingly, he initially
was reluctant to take the job. In 2014, this seasoned urban planner first
interviewed for the city's planning commissioner position when newly swornin
Mayor Bill de Blasio offered him a different role: parks commissioner.
As Silver recalls the conversation with the mayor's staff, " I said, 'No, I
don't think that will work.' And they said, 'Why?' And I said, 'because parks
[are] 80 percent operations and 20 percent planning. I'm a planner.' " His
hesitancy gradually subsided when the mayor explained to him, " That's why
we want you. We want to really rethink our parks system for the 21st century. "
The mayor's plan included placing equity front and center. Of course,
Silver eventually accepted the job, and the rest is park and recreation history.
In early August 2021, Silver began a new chapter as principal and
vice president of urban planning for McAdams, a civil engineering, land
planning, landscape architecture and geomatics firm in Raleigh, North
Carolina. Silver will speak during the day two keynote session at the 2021
NRPA Annual Conference, being held both virtually and in Nashville,
Tennessee, September 21-23.
42 Parks & Recreation | SEP T EMBER 2 0 2 1
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September 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of September 2021 - Parks & Recreation

September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6a
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6b
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
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September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
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