The environmental challenges of changing ecologies, societies, economies and technologies inform and are formed by architecture and its design. The Department of Architecture invites the planning leaders of small and large cities in the Bay Area to pose questions that the next generation of architects should be addressing.
Director, Department of Planning & Development, City of Berkeley
Timothy Burroughs is the Director of the City of Berkeley Department of Planning & Development. The Planning and Development Department's mission is to enhance safety, livability and resilience in the built environment and to work together with the community to promote and protect Berkeley's distinctive neighborhoods, vibrant commercial areas, unique character and natural resources for current and future generations. In his role as Director, Timothy oversees zoning and land use planning, building construction permitting, rental housing safety, seismic safety, energy and sustainability policy, and regulation of toxics materials.
Timothy has over 10 years of experience working to advance urban resilience, sustainability, and livability. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in The Gambia, West Africa from 1999-2001. He has a Master’s degree in international environmental policy from American University in Washington, D.C. Timothy lives and bikes in Berkeley with his wife and two kids.
Planning Director, City and County of San Francisco
John Rahaim has been the San Francisco Planning Director since 2008. During his tenure, the city’s Planning Department has been a key player in managing the city’s dramatic changes. 21C San Francisco has become the country’s poster child for the possibilities -- and challenges -- of a new era of urban growth. The city exemplifies the primary urban issues of our time.
Mr. Rahaim was born raised in Detroit, Michigan and is a first generation Lebanese American. He received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Architecture (with an emphasis on urban design) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
With 35 years of work in three city planning agencies -- Pittsburgh, Seattle and San Francisco – Mr. Rahaim’s work is now guided by the belief that, with guidance and good planning, cities can grow sustainably, gracefully, and inclusively.
William A. Gilchrist
Director of Planning and Building, City of Oakland FAIA
William A. Gilchrist, FAIA, is the Director of Planning and Building for the City of Oakland, CA. Bill’s career has spanned both public and private sectors, developing land-use policy, urban design and historic preservation programs, capital project delivery systems, and strategies for community engagement and regeneration.
In his previous roles as director of Place-Based Planning in New Orleans, LA and director for the Department of Planning, Engineering & Permits in Birmingham, AL, he oversaw the coordination and merger of city-departments including engineering, public works, planning, urban design, and building and inspection services, as well as integrating permitting processes across all regulatory agencies to improve efficiency and customer service. His work has been recognized by the Urban Land Institute, the American Institute of Architects, the National League of Cities, the American Planning Association, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Bill has engaged academic centers of excellence in design and planning as effective resources for local and regional development and has served on advisory bodies to MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, and Auburn University. Bill was a founding member of the Birmingham, Al. Chapter of the National Association of Minority Architects. He has consulted in Romania and Ukraine as part of initiatives to assist cities in those countries establish local land-use, planning, and urban design programs.
He is a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute and past chair of its Public Private Partnership Council. Bill is an alumnus of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Among his most noted capital projects are the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and Birmingham’s Railroad Reservation Park, which received the 2012 ULI Open Space Award. In 2006, he was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects for his distinguished career as an architect in public service. As part of its 150 th Anniversary Celebration, MIT’s Department of Architecture bestowed Bill with its Alumni Award for Civic Design.
City Manager, City of Lafayette
Niroop has over thirty years of local government experience leading high-functioning professional staff in two vibrant and desirable cities, Naperville Illinois and Lafayette California. She is senior advisor to city councils and planning commissions, including the California Statewide Communities Development Authority, on issues such as land use policy, economic development, strategic growth initiatives, housing and urban design. She is an advocate for local control representing cities’ interests at the regional and state level. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and has completed graduate coursework in Architecture and Urban Design at Washington University St. Louis.