NEW YORK CITY—The NYC Department of City Planning has hired anexecutive director and created a COO position, which it plans tofill in the near future.

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The agency's newest hire, Purnima Kapur, is the director of CityPlanning's Brooklyn office, where she has spearheaded several largescale planning efforts and overseen a period of unprecedentedgrowth and development in the borough. Kapur reportedly wasinstrumental in increasing the proportion of affordablehousing in the Domino project.

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“Purnima Kapur has a distinguished record of achievement andstrengths in planning, urban design, managing staff, engagingcommunities, negotiating with developers and forging consensus thatare essential for the successful management of our ambitiousagenda,” says CPC chairman Carl Weisbrod. “Fromworking with communities throughout the five boroughs toidentifying opportunities for growth and redevelopment to creatingstrategies for a more resilient and sustainable city, I amconfident that Purnima's wisdom, experience, intelligence andinterpersonal skills, will serve our Department and the City of NewYork very well indeed.”

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Kapur began her career at DCP in 1989 as a planner, risingthrough the ranks to lead the Bronx and Brooklyn offices. In thesepositions, she developed and oversaw some 40 department-initiatedarea-wide rezonings, working with diverse communities andneighborhoods to foster housing and economic development, access towaterfront and open space, preserving and protecting stableneighborhoods and directing growth to transit corridors.

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Among the major initiatives she led were the comprehensive planfor Coney Island, as well as the review of developments on theGreenpoint Williamsburg waterfront, Downtown Brooklyn and Gowanus.Watch for an UPDATE to this story with input fromKapur.

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"Purnima demonstrates an understanding of the complex andnuanced issues of growing neighborhoods and how zoning and policychanges work to achieve big picture goals for the city,” saysTucker Reed, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “Whenwe worked together to reform Downtown Brooklyn parking regulations,she addressed the needs of the development community, surroundingresidential communities, retailers and business owners by reducingand rationalizing parking requirements, ensuring a more lively andpedestrian friendly street environment and ultimately decreasingthe cost of development especially for affordable housing.”

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"Over the many years I have worked in Brooklyn I have come toknow Purnima as smart, creative and thoughtful, and open toexploring new ideas to address the evolving nature of ourindustrial and business areas,” says Andrew Kimball, CEO, IndustryCity. "It is a real asset for the city that she will now get toplay a broader role in all five boroughs."

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As director of the Bronx office, Kapur oversaw the largestrezoning effort in the borough's history. She led initiatives tofoster housing and economic development such as Port Morris andMorrisania, which have been transformed into thriving mixed-use,highly desirable neighborhoods. She also managedseveral highly complex applications through the land usereview process including Yankee Stadium and the Bronx TerminalMarket.

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Meanwhile, when hired, the COO will provide high-level supportto the agency's critical administrative and operational divisions,and our core planning activities. The changes will build on themomentum of BluePRint, an initiative that is streamlining the landuse application process.

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This builds on Weisbrod's commitment to begin public review onland use applications when they are ready, allowing changes to bemade as part of the 7-month ULURP process, rather than delayingapplications to refine them beforehand.

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Rayna Katz

Rayna Katz is a seasoned business journalist whose extensive experience includes coverage of the lodging sector, travel and the culinary space. She was most recently content director for a business-to-business publisher, overseeing four publications. While at Meeting News, a travel trade publication, she received a Best Reporting award for a story on meeting cancellations in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.