Promoting a more livable New York

MAS promotes diverse neighborhoods, efficient and reliable infrastructure, affordable housing, and inviting open space through comprehensive, community-based urban planning. We testify before and make recommendations to the Governor of New York, Mayor of New York, as well as our State Senate, State Assembly, City Council, City Planning Commission, Board of Standards and Appeals, and Community Boards.

Current Planning Initiatives

Help us continue our planning advocacy on behalf of New York City.


Past Planning Initiatives

Planning Committee

The Planning Committee advises MAS staff and Board of Directors. Its members come from the fields of planning, architecture, law, and real estate.

Upcoming Meetings

(All meetings 9AM – 10:30AM)

  • Jan 16, 2024, Tuesday *
  • Feb 13, 2024, Tuesday
  • Mar 12, 2024, Thursday *
  • Apr 16, 2024, Tuesday
  • May 14, 2024, Tuesday *
  • Jun 18, 2024, Tuesday
  • Sep 17, 2024, Thursday *
  • Oct 15, 2024, Tuesday
  • Nov 12, 2024, Tuesday *
  • Dec 17, 2024, Tuesday

* joint meeting with Preservation. Dates and meeting format are subject to change.

Committee Members

Olga Abinader

Ms. Abinader is a trained urban planner and a New York City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) specialist with 15+ years of experience in city planning, management, leadership, regulatory processes, and environmental review. She currently is the Environmental, Social & Governance Lead and Director of Environmental Review and Land Use Planning at Matrix New World Engineering. In her previous position, Ms. Abinader worked at the NYC Department of City Planning’s Environmental Assessment & Review Division (EARD) for almost 13 years, the last three serving as the Director.

Richard Bass, AICP

A licensed professional planner and certified planner (AICP), Mr. Bass is a Senior Planning & Development Consultant at Akerman LLP. Previously, he served as the Planning Director of the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, the City of Jersey City, and the City of Coral Gables. He started his career in Jerusalem designing new neighborhoods for the Israel Lands Authority. From 1991 to 2018, Mr. Bass was an Urban Planning Graduate School adjunct professor at Hunter College and Columbia University.

Michael Babik

Mr. Babik manages the pre-construction and pre-development efforts for the New York region as part of Tishman Speyer’s Design and Construction group. During his tenure with Tishman Speyer, he has also served as project executive overseeing the Wheeler Project in Downtown Brooklyn, and as a project manager for various projects including the redevelopment of Lincoln Center, Yankee Stadium, and Citigroup Two Court Square. Prior to joining Tishman Speyer, Mr. Babik worked for Waterman Interests, Rockrose Development, and Turner Construction. He received a BS in civil engineering from Northwestern University in 2001 and an MBA from New York University in 2010.

Bennett Fradkin

Mr. Fradkin is Principal Architect and Partner at Fradkin & McAlpin Architects. He is past Chair of the Architectural Review Board in the village of Hastings-on-Hudson in Westchester County, past President of the Board of Directors of the Greenburg Nature Center, a board member of the New York League of Conservation Voters, and a trustee at Landmark College. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and is a registered architect in New York, New Jersey, Colorado, District of Columbia, and Vermont.

Moses Gates

Mr. Gates is RPA’s Vice President for Housing and Neighborhood Planning. Prior to joining RPA, Mr. Gates was director of planning and community development for the Association for Neighborhood Housing Development, where he originated New York City’s first community development fellowship program. He is also a visiting assistant professor at the Pratt Institute and serves as Vice-Chair of Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City. Mr. Gates holds a Master of Urban Planning from Hunter College, a Bachelor of History from the University of Wisconsin, and is the author of the memoir “Hidden Cities” (Tarcher/Perigee 2013).

Dana Getman

Ms. Getman is a Principal at SHoP Architects, where she has led many definitive SHoP projects including Essex Crossing in the Lower East Side of New York, the Steinway Tower in New York and the Syracuse University National Veteran’s Resource Center. She has a particular expertise in and passion for community-centered architecture, collaborating with clients, institutional groups, and local stakeholders as part of the design process. Her current projects include a mass timber office & residential complex in Los Angeles, the New Consulate in Milan for the U.S. Department of State and a gateway office tower in the Hudson Square neighborhood of New York. Ms. Getman holds a Master of Architecture from Yale University where she received the school’s most prestigious design awards the Winchester Fellowship and the Feldman design award and holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University. In addition to teaching design studios at Cornell, Yale, and Columbia, she is the chair of the Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Urban Land Institute, a member of the ULI University Development & Innovation Council, and a member of the Urban Planning Committee at the Municipal Art Society.

Bonnie Harken, AIA, AICP

Ms. Harken leads Nautilus International Development Consulting, a team of professional consultants with multi-disciplinary expertise in urban design, public policy and real estate development. Her work focuses on sustainable waterfront revitalization and downtown development. She also teaches at the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate. Ms. Harken is a registered architect in New York State, studied environmental design at the Parsons School of Design, real estate finance at New York University, and holds a Master of Architecture from Columbia University.

Barry Hersh

Mr. Hersh is Clinical Associate Professor at the New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate and Chair of the Masters in Real Estate Development Program. He conducts research on environmentally responsible real estate development with the NYU Center for the Sustainable Built Environment and earlier served as Principal Planner for the Toledo Lucas County (Ohio) Plan Commission and Development Director for Poughkeepsie, New York. He holds a Master of Urban Planning from New York University’s Wagner School and a Bachelor of Urban Studies from CUNY.

George Janes, AICP

Mr. Janes is a certified planner in private practice who works with public, private, and non-profit clients in and around New York City, mostly on matters of zoning, visualization and quantitative modeling. Previously, he was executive director of New York City’s Environmental Simulation Center.

Christina (Tina) Ladd, AIA

Ms. Ladd has served as a Senior Vice President of Development at Aker Companies since 2022. Prior to her work at Aker she was a Senior Project Manager for the Related Companies, where she oversaw the design and planning of ground-up residential and mixed-use developments in large metropolitan cities, including New York City. Before working in commercial real estate development, she was a design architect with Morris Adjmi Architects and Kohn Pedersen Fox. Ms. Ladd is a licensed architect in the state of New York, a member of the AIA, and holds a Master of Real Estate Development from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University.

Jill Lerner, FAIA

Ms. Lerner serves as the MAS Planning Committee Chair. She is a Principal at international architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) and is a registered architect in several states. Ms. Lerner leads KPF in major academic, medical and research work worldwide, as well as major infrastructure projects in NYC. Ms. Lerner also serves on several boards, including the New York City LL97 Advisory Board, the Urban Green Council Board, the Regional Planning Association Board, and the external advisory board of Cornell’s Atkinson Center for Sustainability. She was the President of the AIA NY Chapter in 2013 and is the past the Chair of Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning Alumni Advisory Council.

Chris McCartin

Mr. McCartin manages the Design and Construction group for the New York region and is part of the U.S. Business Development Group at Tishman Speyer. During his tenure with Tishman Speyer, he has also served as project executive overseeing the development of a London headquarters project for a financial services institution, project manager for the redevelopment of Rockefeller Center, project executive for the development of 222 East 42nd Street, and project executive for the interiors of 200 West Street in New York. In addition to his involvement with MAS, he sits on the board of Directors for The Municipal Art Society of New York, New York Building Congress, and the ACE Mentor Program. Prior to joining Tishman Speyer in 1996, Mr. McCartin worked for Schimenti Construction and Turner Construction. He is a graduate of Villanova University, where he received a BS in civil engineering. Mr. McCartin was recently chosen to be a David Rockefeller Fellow.

Manohar Patole, LLM

Mr. Patole is the Co-City Fellow and Project Manager in the Co-City project with NYU’s Marron Institute and Georgetown’s LabGov Initiative. He earned is Master of Urban Planning from NYU Wagner and graduated as part of the inaugural class of the joint venture between UNESCO’s Institute for Water Education and University of Dundee’s Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy with a LLM/ME specializing in Water Governance and Conflict Resolution and Water Conflict Management.

Zevilla J. Preston R.A.

Ms. Jackson Preston, R.A., founded J-P Design (JPD), a full-service architectural firm in 1993. She was born and raised in Harlem, New York and began her architectural career in 1990 working for various New York based architectural firms. As an architect, she is most interested in challenging design problems, the adaptation of existing structures for new uses, urban streetscapes and the nuances innate to community-based design/development projects.

James Rausse, FAICP

Mr. Rausse is currently the Commissioner for Planning & Community Development in the City of Mount Vernon, NY. He is charged with creating the city’s first comprehensive plan since 1968, reorganizing its zoning code, establishing transit-oriented development zones, reclamation of its waterways and oversight of the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority. He previously served as both the Director of Planning & Development, and Director of Capital Programs at the Bronx Borough President’s Office, the President of APA New York Metro Chapter, and co-chaired the 2017 APA National Planning Conference’s Local Host Committee. Mr. Rausse holds a Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics focused on Sustainable Development from the University of Pennsylvania, Master of Urban Planning from Hunter College, Bachelor of Political Science & Sociology from Binghamton University, and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems from the Pennsylvania State University.

Kovid Saxena, AICP, LEED AP, ENV SP

Kovid Saxena is National Director of Environmental Planning at Sam Schwartz Consulting. As a leader in environmental planning and policy, he has over 20 years of experience in providing consulting and advisory services for environmental planning, real estate, community development, transportation and infrastructure projects. With a background in management of complex projects and leading multidisciplinary teams, Kovid has led a broad range of environmental impact assessments, feasibility studies, transportation and land use planning studies, and alternatives analyses. Specific New York City strategic initiatives include development of the Hudson Yards, Brooklyn-Queens Connector urban rail, New York City Solid Waste Management Plan, implementation of Select Bus Service, Water for the Future Program, Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance, and East Midtown Rezoning. He currently serves on the National Association of Environmental Professionals board of directors, Urban Land Institute New York Infrastructure Council, and American Council of Engineering Companies Public Policy Committee. Kovid holds a Master of Science in Urban Planning from Columbia University.

Ethel Sheffer, FAICP

Ms. Sheffer is Principal of Insight Associates, which for many years has provided advice and research services in planning and land use, community organization and development, the public review process and collaborations among government, nonprofits and the private sector. She has completed numerous studies for developers and nonprofits in communities as diverse as the West Bronx, East Harlem, Upper West Side, Downtown Brooklyn, Sunset Park, Flushing, Queens, Washington Heights, Times Square, SoHo and Lower Manhattan. She served as President of the NY Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association from 2002-2008 and was named a National Fellow in 2012. She is a member of Manhattan Community Board 7 and has served as Chairperson of the Board, Chairperson of the Tri-Board Task Force on Columbus Circle, Chairperson of the Riverside Center Working Group and Chairperson of the Task Force on Zoning, 96th Street-110th Street. Ms. Sheffer now serves as a Commissioner on the New York City Public Design Commission.

John Shapiro

Mr. Shapiro is a full-time professor in and the former Chair of Pratt’s Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment. Previously, he was a Principal of Phillips Price Shapiro Associates, Inc., and served as the President of the New York Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association. He and his work have received 20 awards, including the first Presidential Award of the national American Planning Association.

Mark Strauss, AIA, AICP

Mr. Strauss is currently a Senior Principal Emeritus at FXCollaborative Architects. He also serves an adjunct instructor at the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate and a Board Member at Citizens Housing & Planning Council. Mr. Strauss was previously the President of AIA New York and holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and Master of Urban Planning from the City College of New York.

Tyler Taba

Tyler Taba joined Waterfront Alliance in January 2022 as the senior manager for climate policy and was quickly promoted to director of resilience. He is charged with developing climate change policy and strategy, leading the coordination and convening of the Rise to Resilience coalition, and identifying changes and trends in climate change that affect and dictate new strategy. Prior to joining Waterfront Alliance, Tyler worked at the National Parks Conservation Association on resilience and adaptation for coastal national parks, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a reservist environmental floodplain specialist, and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation on stormwater management. Tyler holds a Master of Science in sustainability management, with a concentration in sustainable water management, from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Business Administration in non-profit business administration and environmental science from Baylor University.

Tyler brings four years of experience in public policy, specific to climate resilience and adaptation, across the northeast region of the United States. Working at the local, state, and federal level, he has advanced funding, legislation, planning, and infrastructure projects to protect the region from flood risks.

Tyler holds certificates in Organizing for Justice (Midwest Academy), WEDG® (Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines from Waterfront Alliance), LEED Green Associate (U.S. Green Building Council), and Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping (New York City Department of Environmental Protection).

John P. West III

Mr. West is an urban designer with a love for New York City. He has a special affinity for Midtown Manhattan, where he once worked in the Mayor’s Office of Midtown Planning and Development; for Lower Manhattan, where he began his career in the Mayor’s Office of Lower Manhattan Development; and Long Island City, where he served on the board of the Long Island City Business Development Corporation. His focus is on the commons, or public realm, and the buildings and uses that shape it, the transportation that nourishes it, and the cityscape that furnishes it. He has worked in architecture, in city planning, and in real estate development and believes that the best and most sustainable results arise from a collaboration of government, private, and community interests. In keeping with his enthusiasms and abilities Mr. West participates in several organizations — including IRUM, the City Club, the American Institute of Architects, and the Municipal Art Society — and consults on urban design, city planning, housing, transportation, and the related regulatory regimes. He studied architecture at Princeton University receiving a Bachelor degree and a Master of Fine Arts degree.

Annie White

Ms. White is the Director of Real Estate and Economic Development at Karp Strategies, a WBE-, SBE- and DBE- certified urban planning and strategy consulting firm. She is an urban planner and trained architect with expertise in local government operations, real estate strategy, and economic development. Prior to joining Karp Strategies, Annie worked at the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP), where she gained fluency in zoning and land use mechanisms while serving as a project manager for developments and initiatives in neighborhoods ranging from East Harlem to SoHo. Annie is a member of ULI and was a Forefront Fellow with the Urban Design Forum. Annie obtained a Master of Urban Planning from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis.

Barbara E. Wilks, FAIA, FASLA

Ms. Wilks, FAIA, FASLA founded W Architecture and Landscape Architecture in 1999 and practices as both an architect and landscape architect. Due to her excellence in design, she was honored with election to the College of Fellows, American Institute of Architects in 1999, and College of Fellows, American Society of Landscape Architects in 2010 and has received many awards for her work. Ms. Wilks is a shareholder at the Cincinnati Art Museum and sits on the Board of Trustees of Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park in Ohio and the Design Trust for Public Space in NY. She has lectured widely and taught design studio at the University of Pennsylvania and City College.

Luc Wilson, AIA

Mr. Wilson serves as a Director at KPF, leading KPF Urban Interface (KPFUI), an internal think tank focused on furthering urban planning and architectural design through computational research and analytical tools. A critical aspect of this work is research collaborations with Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, New York University, and the NYC DCP. Mr. Wilson was selected as one of the Commercial Observer’s “2016 Top Young Professionals: Top Architects, Engineers and Contractors” and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP. Previously, he served as an Adjunct Course Advisor in the Center for Data Science at NYU and a Guest Critic at Cornell University.