Pittsburgh City Planning Director Ray Gastil has been appointed David Lewis Director of Urban Design and Regional Engagement in the School of Architecture. In this role he will direct the Remaking Cities Institute and teach architecture and urban design.
Gastil succeeds Donald Carter as RCI Director; Carter will remain a Senior Research Fellow with the RCI. Gastil’s new position begins September 1, 2019.
“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to Pittsburgh’s future as City Planning Director, working with remarkably talented and committed colleagues in partnership with Pittsburgh’s communities. I look forward to being able to continue to contribute in the new position,” Gastil said.
Gastil has served as Director of City Planning for the City of Pittsburgh since 2014. In that role his leadership and contributions have included:
Reestablishing the City’s partnership with communities in neighborhood planning, including a completed plan in the Uptown/West Oakland EcoInnovation District, and plans nearing completion in Homewood, Manchester-Chateau, and Hazelwood, and plans beginning in Oakland and the Hill District.
Key waterfront initiatives including the Riverfront Zoning ordinance, which established performance-based incentives for responsible growth along the 35 miles of Pittsburgh’s riverfronts.
Major open space initiatives including programs to facilitate urban farming, preserve open space, and planning for parks, including the task force for the future of Hays Woods.
Arts initiatives including the public art projects in parks, intersections, and on buildings in public-private partnerships. Gastil also contributed to the ongoing planning and design review of major projects and the public realm, from the Produce Terminal/Smallman Street to the Hazelwood Green Master Plan.
The Department of City Planning incorporating the city’s sustainability and resilience team, building the work of the City’s Resilience Strategy and P4 principles into guidelines, code, and ongoing work for neighborhood and citywide planning. Gastil also worked closely on Mayor Peduto’s OnePGH plan.
“Ray’s time here in Pittsburgh has coincided with a time of major redevelopment around Pittsburgh, as we changed from a city managing decline to one managing growth. That presented us with both opportunities and challenges, and Ray was the perfect person to help guide us through that transition,” Mayor William Peduto said. “I am happy he is staying in Pittsburgh and we will continue to work together closely in his new role.”
The City will perform a national search to seek a new Planning Director.
Before joining the Peduto Administration, Gastil held similar positions in Seattle and in the Manhattan Office of the New York City Department of City Planning. He was the founding Executive Director of the Van Alen Institute in New York City from 1995 to 2004.
Gastil has taught architecture and urban design at Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania State University, and at the University of California, Berkeley, and has lectured and published widely on urban design, urban development, and waterfronts.
Gastil is a graduate of Yale University with a Master of Architecture from Princeton University.
About the Remaking Cities Institute: The Remaking Cities Institute (RCI) was formed in 2006 in response to the demand for a greater link between academic work and ongoing community initiatives undertaken by firms, government agencies, and community groups. The RCI has three missions: international research in urbanism; education in urbanism; and Pittsburgh regional redevelopment impact through sponsored research projects. Of particular concern and focus are the urban issues confronting rapidly growing cities in the developing world and cities in transition or decline in the post-industrial developed world.
About Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities, and the arts. More than 13,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration, and innovation.