Mayor Ed Gainey Appoints Dr. Jamil Bey as Next Director of the Department of City Planning

Mayor Ed Gainey Appoints Dr. Jamil Bey as Next Director of the Department of City Planning

Outgoing director, Karen Abrams, steps into a new role at The Chisholm Legacy Project.

PITTSBURGH – Today, Mayor Ed Gainey announced that he has nominated Dr. Jamil Bey to serve as Director of the Department of City Planning (DCP).  Dr. Bey will step in as the Acting Director of the Department starting on Monday, April 8, and will serve as acting until receiving confirmation by City Council.

Outgoing Director Karen Abrams is stepping into a new role as the Deputy Director of Programming at The Chisholm Legacy Project. The Chisholm Legacy Project serves as a vehicle to connect Black communities on the frontlines of climate justice with resources to traverse the path from vision to strategy to action plan to implementation to transformation.

“Director Abrams was essential to creating the framework for Pittsburgh’s upcoming comprehensive city-wide planning process, and a vital advocate for ensuring that the planning process was funded and underway,” said Mayor Ed Gainey. “I am thankful for her service, her dedication, and her visionary approach to the future of our great city.”

Before joining the administration, Dr. Jamil Bey worked as the Founder and CEO of the UrbanKind Institute. Dr. Bey founded the UrbanKind Institute with a focus on building cities for people around the idea that cities will prosper when lived experiences are used to guide city planning and urban design.

“Dr. Jamil Bey brings a wealth of academic, professional, and lived experience to the Department of City Planning,” said Mayor Ed Gainey. “He has been a strong advocate for our communities and the need for a citywide Comprehensive Plan and I look forward to working with him as he steps into this new role.”

Dr. Bey lives in Overbrook and holds a Ph.D. and Master of Science from Penn State University in Geography.  He has served as an original member and organizer of the Pittsburgh Water Equity Task Force, a partnership between PWSA, the US Water Alliance, and community members with a commitment to advancing equitable investments and management practices of our water infrastructure.

"I'm thrilled to join the city's efforts in this official role,” said Dr. Jamil Bey. “Building on Director Abrams' strong foundation, I'm eager to collaborate closely with the administration, city council, planning department, and most importantly, Pittsburgh's residents. Together, we'll develop a clear and actionable plan to fulfill our commitment to creating a just and equitable city for everyone who lives, works, and visits here."


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Maria Montano
Communications Director
Mayor's Office