Towards Comprehensive Planning

Preserving Historic and Cultural Resources

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Many New Yorkers are seeking a more coordinated and collaborative approach to land use planning in the city, while others are comfortable with the status quo or feel New York is too complex for a comprehensive plan. There is an important public debate now on how a city of 8.5 million people with varying needs, cultures, and underlying vulnerabilities, can create a shared plan for its future. In December 2020, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson released a proposal for a new comprehensive planning framework outlined in Intro 2186 and the accompanying report, Planning Together: A New Comprehensive Planning Framework for New York City. The proposal, still under consideration for a potential vote by the end of 2021, comes at the end of the de Blasio administration and beginning of the Adams administration and could potentially bring significant changes to every level of government.

Join MAS on Tuesday, December 7 at 5:00 PM EST for a third virtual session in the Towards Comprehensive Planning series, which will look to examples in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New York City to discuss how comprehensive planning intersects with historic preservation. How can a comprehensive plan outline policies and actions for identifying, protecting, enhancing, and promoting a city’s historic and cultural resources? How can preservation goals complement those of climate adaptation, economic growth, and addressing longstanding disparities between people and places? What is New York’s current planning approach for protecting its historic and cultural resources, and how does that compare to examples in other cities? This third session will examine these very questions.

There will be time for audience questions during the program as well. 1CM credit will be available for AICP members (event #9226117).

Read more about our panelists below.

Tuesday, December 7
5:00 PM — 6:00 PM

Virtual Event


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  • Speakers (clockwise from top left): Ken Bernstein, Principal City Planner, City of Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources; Christopher Cirillo, Executive Director/President, Ascendent Neighborhood Development Corporation; Elizabeth Goldstein, President, MAS (Moderator); Dominique Hawkins, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Managing Principal / Partner, Preservation Design Partnership, LLC.
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Ken Bernstein, Principal City Planner, City of Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources

Ken Bernstein is Principal City Planner for the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, for which he leads the City’s Office of Historic Resources. Since 2006, he has overseen the completion of SurveyLA, a multi-year citywide survey of historic resources, and has led the creation of a comprehensive historic preservation program for Los Angeles. He previously served for eight years as Director of Preservation Issues for the non-profit Los Angeles Conservancy. He has a Master’s in Public Affairs and Urban Planning from Princeton University and a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University. He is also the author of the recently released book, Preserving Los Angeles: How Historic Places Can Transform America’s Cities.

Christopher Cirillo, Executive Director/President, Ascendent Neighborhood Development Corporation

Christopher Cirillo became the Executive Director/President of East Harlem-based Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation in July 2012. Since arriving at Ascendant, Chris has expanded the organization’s work to include neighborhood planning, historic preservation, and asset management. Chris helped to establish the Northern Manhattan Collaborative, an alliance of local non-profit housing providers, and Landmark East Harlem, an alliance of local historic preservation advocates. Before joining Ascendant, he held positions at The Richman Group Development Corporation and several positions at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development. He also serves on MAS’s Planning Committee, and in June of 2021, he became a Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Historic Districts Council. Chris has a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Brown University and Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Pratt Institute, where he also now teaches.

Dominique Hawkins, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Managing Principal / Partner, Preservation Design Partnership, LLC

In 1995, Dominique established PDP as a planning and design practice focusing exclusively on offering high-quality professional services for clients with nationally significant historic sites and buildings. Her work is at the forefront of addressing change at historic buildings and settings whether through design, the regulatory process, or the impacts of climate change and flooding at historic properties. From small projects to multi-million-dollar undertakings, Dominique’s work has maintained the highest standards of planning, design, and preservation, resulting in long-lasting relationships, some of which span over a decade of continuous involvement and service. Her work has been recognized with several awards. In 2017, Dominique served as the Vice-Chair of the Philadelphia Historic Preservation Commission Task Force created by Mayor Jim Kenney as well as Co-Chair of its regulatory committee. This Task Force served to review the policies that support historic preservation in the city and to make recommendations to strengthen those policies and inform the Philadelphia2035 Comprehensive Plan.

Elizabeth Goldstein, President, MAS (Moderator)

Elizabeth Goldstein joined MAS as its President in 2017, with an extensive background in parks and historic preservation advocacy and management. Throughout her career, she has worked to insure transparent public engagement in civic decisions of consequence to public space and the heritage of key places nationwide and has worked in both governmental agencies and the non-profit sector.


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