Mitchell Silver

Mr. Mitchell Silver                                                          

Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

Mitchell J. Silver became Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in May 2014. Commissioner Silver is also the immediate past president of the American Planning Association (APA). He is an award-winning planner with almost 30 years of experience and he is internationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to contemporary planning issues. He specializes in comprehensive planning, place making and implementation strategies. As Parks Commissioner, Mitchell Silver oversees management, planning and operations of nearly  30,000 acres of parkland, which includes parks, playgrounds, beaches, marinas, recreation centers, wilderness areas and other assets.

Prior to returning to his native New York City as Parks Commissioner, he served as the Chief Planning & Development Officer and Planning Director for Raleigh, NC. His career has included roles as a policy and planning director for the Manhattan Borough President’s office, city planner for the New York City’s Department of Planning, a principal of a New York City-based planning firm, a town manager in New Jersey, and deputy planning director in Washington, DC.

Commissioner Silver lectures extensively throughout the United States and abroad on a variety of planning topics. He is a contributing author and editor of International City/County Management Association’s (ICMA)  latest edition of “Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice,” which is a resource for local governments engaged in planning. Known by his colleagues as a passionate communicator, creative thinker, problem-solver and visionary leader, Mitchell Silver has been at the center of many cutting edge trends, innovative solutions and visionary plans, including Harlem on the River and Vision for Jamaica Center in New York City and the revitalization of neighborhoods in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, and Raleigh.  As president of APA, he led an international effort to elevate the value and rebirth of planning in the 21st century. In 2012, the Urban Times named him one of the top international thought leaders of the built environment today. In 2013, UBM Future Cities named Mitchell Silver as one of the top 100 City Innovators in the world and the Royal Town Planning Institute made him an honorary lifetime member. In 2014, he was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Planning Association.


Ms. Evlyn Cheong                                                                                        

President, Singapore Institute of Planners (SIP)

Ms. Evlyn W.Y. Cheong graduated with a BSc (Estate Management) from the National University of Singapore and holds a Masters in Town & Country Planning from the University of Sydney. In nearly thirty years of service, she has worked for the Public Works Department, the Planning Department (Ministry of National Development) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.  Her experience covers development control, planning appeals hearing, strategic planning, the Government Land Sales programme, and developing planner training programme. As President of the Singapore Institute of Planners, she is dedicated to help nurture planners as the core professional for advancing urban and regional planning and development, and to help encourage good planning practices for achieving  better communities and the environment.


Dr. John Byrne                                                                                           

Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia

As founding member of the Urban Design Alliance and prominent participant in the 
evolving national Australian Urban Design Initiative. 
John Byrne, as a member of both the urban planning and architectural professions, is involved in contributing in a broad range of projects and policy areas which range across the urban design spectrum: from regional planning and infrastructure issues through urban mixed-use development and major campus or corridor projects to the design of individual neighbourhoods and affordable housing projects. 

He is interested in a broad approach to sustainability, in the interactions between social and physical dimensions and in the role that urban design and planning plays in the pursuit of more sustainable environments and communities. 
He is used to dealing at the interface between agencies of governments, major institutions, the professions, industry and the community. 
He is known for his active participation in and promotion of environmentally-sound, socially- aware, economically-vital and design-informed planning towards greater sustainability. 


Ar. Hj. Mohd. Nazam Md Kassim

Director, Focus Architects & Urban Planners Sdn Bhd, Malaysia 

Ar. Hj. Mohd. Nazam is an Architect Planner and has extensive experience in Urban Planning, Urban Design and Architecture, among them a high profile designs and build projects for the state government of MELAKA which involves the beautification and rehabilitation works Phase 1, 2 and 3 along the historical MELAKA RIVER which has received the Excellence Awards in Architecture and Planning Excellence from Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM) in 2009 and Pertubuhan Perancang Malaysia (MIP) in 2010 respectively. The project led by him also received the special award for National Contribution from Malaysian Property Award (FIABCI) in 2011.