DVRPC Announces New Leadership
After more than a quarter of a century under the leadership of John J. Coscia, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission has appointed Barry Seymour to serve as its new Executive Director. The Board, at its April 27th meeting, confirmed Seymour who will become the fourth Executive Director in DVRPC's 41-year history.
Seymour previously acted as Assistant Executive Director for Regional Planning at DVRPC, where he was responsible for a wide variety of strategic land use, transportation, economic development, housing, growth management and environmental policy plans, programs, and technical studies, including DVRPC's long range planning efforts. He also oversaw the Commission's information services, including the Geographic Information System (GIS), regional database, and website (www.dvrpc.org).
Prior to joining DVRPC, he was Director of Waterfront and Open Space Planning for the New York City Planning Commission, where he was instrumental in establishing the Waterfront Revitalization Program for New York City, revising the City's Zoning Ordinance to reflect the unique conditions of waterfront development, establishing policies to increase public access to the waterfront, and leading the design review of waterfront projects. Prior to his experience in New York City, Seymour worked as an environmental planner at the Long Island (New York) Regional Planning Board.
Seymour has served as Chair of the Southeast Section of the Pennsylvania Planning Association and as a member of the State Board. He is currently co-chair of the Local Host Committee for the American Planning Association National Conference in Philadelphia in April 2007, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance and the Executive Committee of the Urban Land Institute Philadelphia Chapter. He is an adjunct faculty member at Widener University in the Master of Public Administration Program where he teaches Planning and the Public, and has also lectured at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, New York University and Hunter College.
Seymour's professional degrees include a Master of Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology from Tufts University. In 1989, he was certified AICP by the American Institute of Certified Planners. Seymour and his family reside in Narberth (Montgomery County), Pennsylvania, where he has served on the Downtown Revitalization Committee and is currently Chairman of the Borough Planning Commission.
Seymour will replace John J. Coscia, who served as DVRPC's Executive Director for 25 years. During his tenure, Coscia moved the Commission and the Delaware Valley much closer to achieving true regionalism, through the adoption of a number of long-range plans that linked land use and transportation decisions, through the implementation powers of the Transportation Improvement Program, and through extensive public outreach that provided better communication between the region's citizens and their leaders.
According to Thomas J. Gurick, DVRPC Board Chair and Camden County Freeholder, "These days have been nostalgic for DVRPC Board members. We cherish the stability and leadership that John Coscia has given us through the years, and we welcome the new ideas and potential that Barry Seymour brings to this job. We have no doubt that DVRPC will continue to lead the Delaware Valley in an innovative and timely manner."
Seymour notes, "I am both honored and humbled to assume the reins of leadership from John Coscia. The spirit and practice of regional cooperation has never been stronger at DVRPC, and I look forward to working with the Board members, our partners and our staff to address the challenges facing the Delaware Valley into the future."
DVRPC serves as the official planning and review agency for the nine-county metropolitan region, which comprises Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties in New Jersey. Through data collection, research, coordination, and planning efforts, DVRPC sets a framework for governmental decisions affecting development within the Delaware Valley.
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DVRPC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for a diverse nine-county region in two states: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer in New Jersey.
DVRPC's vision for the Greater Philadelphia Region is a prosperous, innovative, equitable, resilient, and sustainable region that increases mobility choices by investing in a safe and modern transportation system; that protects and preserves our natural resources while creating healthy communities; and that fosters greater opportunities for all.
DVRPC's mission is to achieve this vision by convening the widest array of partners to inform and facilitate data-driven decision-making. We are engaged across the region, and strive to be leaders and innovators, exploring new ideas and creating best practices.