Since February of 2020, Purnima Kapur is the Chief of University Planning and Design at Harvard University. She is the former Executive Director of the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP), where she oversaw the agency’s five Borough Offices as well as the Central Planning divisions. She led DCP’s work program, which includes promoting transit-oriented growth, housing production and affordability, economic development, resiliency and sustainability. Working closely with the Chair of the City Planning Commission, Ms. Kapur was a key advisor to the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development. She was one of the architects of the City’s groundbreaking Mandatory Inclusionary Housing regulation. Under her leadership, the City adopted four Integrated Neighborhood Plans as well as an innovative plan for the redevelopment of Greater East Midtown.
Ms. Kapur has been a key player in the redevelopment and transformation of Brooklyn over the past two decades. She served as Director of DCP’s Brooklyn Borough Office from 2006-2014, a period of unprecedented growth and redevelopment. While in that role, she led high-priority and transformative projects, including the development of Greenpoint-Williamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn and Coney Island among other neighborhoods. In her role as Director of DCP’s Bronx Office from 2001-2006, she led the largest rezoning agenda in the borough’s history touching almost every neighborhood in the borough, from Yankee Stadium and Port Morris to Riverdale, Throggs Neck and City Island.
Ms. Kapur is trained as an architect and a city planner, with dual Masters degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.