Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso Appoints Juan Camilo Osorio To City Planning Commission
Osorio brings a long career focused on the decentralization of power, institutions and planning process, and its impacts on social, economic, and environmental transformation to build equity and justice in urban communities
BROOKLYN, NY (June 30, 2022) Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso today announced the appointment of Juan Camilo Osorio as the Brooklyn representative to the NYC City Planning Commission (CPC). In this appointment, Osorio will support the equitable development of the city – with an emphasis of the borough of Brooklyn. Osorio brings a wealth of academic experience and peer reviewed work in the planning profession, with his work being focused on the decentralization of power in the planning process, and its importance to further equity and justice in the many communities that make New York City the patchwork that it is.
“Appointing a highly qualified urban planner who understands how interrelated issues on the ground are and how politics and processes can either aid or hinder the growth and future of our borough and city was critical in making my decision for the City Planning Commission. Juan Camilo fulfilled every qualification I knew was necessary to accomplish this,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Gone are the days where we could plan for urban communities in silos between housing, parks, local businesses, healthcare centers, and so forth. We must approach planning in a holistic and comprehensive way to meet the immense changes facing our city. I look forward to seeing Juan Camilo support my vision for Brooklyn at the city-level.”
“I am honored to be nominated to serve at the City Planning Commission. I look forward to bringing my perspective as an architect and urban planner with 16 years of professional planning experience in New York City to this appointment,” said Osorio. “Based on my work providing technical assistance to community-based planners, environmental justice research and advocacy, and climate change mitigation and adaptation planning, I look forward to helping guarantee critical and objective planning and decision-making. As an academic researcher, I know first-hand how important the CPC is in guaranteeing a rigorous evaluation of projects and proposals. This is as critical space for debate to hear public concerns, respond to community needs and priorities raised throughout the planning process, and build on this dialogue to guide decisions toward achieving the public good.”
The New York City Planning Commission is a 13-member commission composed of appointees from the Mayor, each of the five Borough Presidents, and the Public Advocate. Commissioners have a unique opportunity to shape the city through the various projects put before the Commission. From affordable housing to economic development, the City Planning Commission plays a key role in advancing policy to tackle some of the City’s toughest problems. As a member of the City Planning Commission, Osorio will collaborate with the other members of CPC and vote to advance projects, subject to review by the City Planning Commission, that further a more sustainable, equitable, and just future for all New Yorkers.
Osorio has served as Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute School of Architecture, Graduate Center for Planning and Environment in Brooklyn since 2010, where he leverages his professional and research experience in New York City to help decolonize academic activity and engage students in applied research and planning collaborations with grassroots leaders to nurture mutual learning and explore the ethical and technical complexity of urban planning work.
Prior to his current role at Pratt, Osorio has taught as a doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he continues to serve as a research affiliate to the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative. He has also led and supported research at the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, Municipal Art Society Planning Center, Massachusetts Fair Housing Center, and local universities in Bogotá, Colombia, where he’s originally from.
Originally trained as an architect at the National University of Colombia, Osorio’s work places emphasis on the tension between cities and the political economy of climate action and disaster recovery, where social and environmental inequality exacerbate each other. While he has been working in the U.S. for the last two decades, he still collaborates with different partners in Colombia to study community-led low-carbon development strategies (LCDS) to support local communities in monitoring and adapting to climate change, as a new source of income, wealth, and security.
Osorio is a Ph.D. candidate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for Urban Studies and Planning, and holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Regional Planning.
The Brooklyn Borough President has the power and authority to appoint nearly 1,000 members to various boards of community organizations, city agencies, and non-profit organizations that impact that future of Brooklyn and the city at-large. Borough President Reynoso is keen on ensuring appointees to these various boards are reflective of Brooklyn’s diversity, valuing and elevating underrepresented voices that are typically not at the table.
“Juan Camilo Osorio is a stellar addition to the City Planning Commission at a time when our City needs to focus on providing affordable housing and reducing emissions from our built environment with an eye towards equity. His approach to community-based planning is just what our city needs to ensure resident participation, while uplifting low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. I look forward to working with Osorio and Brooklyn Borough President Reynoso on our City’s plans for equitable and sustainable development,” said New York City Comptroller Brad Lander.
“I’ve worked with Juan Camilo Osorio going back at least a decade when he was Policy Analyst at NYC Environmental Justice Alliance and he’s a great pick to serve on the City Planning Commission,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. “I know that he will work tirelessly to develop more equitable and just communities across Brooklyn.”
“Pratt Institute is delighted that Brooklyn Borough President Reynoso has nominated Assistant Professor Juan Camilo Osorio to the City Planning Commission,” said Pratt President Frances Bronet. “Professor Osorio’s career in advocacy, research, and teaching is at the nexus of environmental justice and public policy and how the two can meet to benefit communities. Decisions being made now about land use in New York City will determine our preparedness for the impacts of climate change and our commitments to keeping all New Yorkers safe and healthy into the future. Professor Osorio’s knowledge and practical experience to improve environmental conditions, as well as his work with grassroots organizations, will elevate the Commission’s awareness and attentiveness to climate change impacts on the city’s growth and development.”
“Brooklyn Borough President Reynoso’s nomination of Juan Camilo Osorio to the New York City Planning Commission is an inspired choice. Juan is a creative, intelligent, and talented planner who is committed to addressing the critical planning challenges of our time – climate change, housing affordability, and equitable and just community development. As we emerge from the pandemic and years of planning and development policies too often guided by greed and racial and economic animus, Juan will bring to the commission intelligence, knowledge of planning and development policies coupled with a commitment to people and community with the goal of a fostering a vibrant multiracial, multicultural city of opportunity,” said Ron Shiffman, FAICP, Hon. AIA, Professor Emeritus, Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment.
“Juan is the kind of leader we need right now,” said Marco A. Carrión, Executive Director of El Puente. “He brings not only his understanding of planning from an academic lens, but a holistic view of what is necessary to build a more equitable and just city. In order to create transformative change in our communities on a social, economic, and environmental level, new leadership under people like Juan as the Brooklyn representative to the NYC City Planning Commission are a welcomed change.”
“Juan Camilo Osorio has the highest level of expertise in urban planning, climate resilience, and disaster recovery. He is an innovative city planner and spirited New York community advocate. I have unwavering belief in Juan Camilo Osorio’s ability to perform the duties of an active member of the New York City Planning Commission,” said Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist at NASA GISS, Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at Columbia University, and past Co-Chair of the New York City Panel on Climate Change.
“Juan Camilo Osorio is an inspired appointment by Borough President Reynoso. Professor Osorio is the epitome of a progressive planner: a seasoned, effective expert who understands that development must be in service of the people,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. “Juan Camilo’s long, impressive track record of academic and public policy achievement, coupled with his unwavering commitment to environmental and social justice, makes him a standout and much-needed addition to the City Planning Commission. In this era of worsening climate change, Brooklynites – indeed, all New Yorkers – are lucky to have Juan Camilo Osorio’s talents, integrity and vision applied to the urgent development questions facing our great city. Pa’lante!”