Gil Kelley Selected as Director of Citywide Planning

Former Director of Planning in Berkeley and Portland joins San Francisco Planning Department


SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Planning Department is pleased to announce that Gil Kelley will become the new Director of Citywide Planning, where he will manage the development of long-range plans, urban design and planning policies for the City and County of San Francisco.

Mr. Kelley has 35 years of extensive experience with both the public and private sector in city and regional planning, economic development, urban design and public administration. He comes to San Francisco from Portland-based Gil Kelley & Associates, where as Principal and Owner he advised both public and private clients on strategies for sustainable urban development, addressing climate change, partnership formation and organizational development. He had also been serving as Senior Vice President and Director of Development with Harsch Investment Properties, a real estate investment company with substantial holdings throughout the Western U.S., focusing on mixed-use urban infill projects and rehabilitation of historic sites.

Mr. Kelley spent more than 20 years leading planning departments in other cities on the West Coast, with a focus on strategy-making, partnership development and public engagement. As Director of Planning for the City of Portland, he oversaw planning efforts for the Pearl District, West End and South Waterfront/Marquam Hill, as well as neighborhoods throughout the City, and created the City’s River Renaissance Initiative, a multi-agency project to revitalize the city’s waterfront and watershed system. Mr Kelley’s concept of the 20-minute neighborhood continues to shape much of Portland’s planning and development. As Director of Planning and Development for the City of Berkeley, California he led efforts to revitalize downtown Berkeley and West Berkeley, implemented the City’s first California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance program and negotiated the Bayer Bio-Technology Development Agreement.

“Gil is widely recognized for his leadership in sustainable and urban development,” said John Rahaim, Planning Director. “His ability to unite public, private and institutional partners to work together more effectively is exceptional. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Department and we are thrilled to welcome him to our team.”

The Citywide Planning division has a current staff of 39 and is comprised of five functional teams: General Plan and Citywide Policy, Community Planning, Plan Implementation, Information and Analysis and City Design. In speaking of his new position, Mr. Kelley stated, “This is an exceptional time to be in San Francisco. I’m looking forward to getting engaged in the projects and policies that will help shape the future of this great City.”

Mr. Kelley has also held key positions at the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University, including Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Portland Metropolitan Studies, and Practitioner-in-Residence at the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning. Mr. Kelley did his graduate work in Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and a Lincoln Loeb Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.


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