Boston – Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) have announced the appointment of Diana Fernandez-Bibo as the new Vice President of Urban Design, to formulate and implement a comprehensive, human-level vision for the design of the built environment. via Boston.
“Diana is a dynamic problem solver and holistic designer with years of experience working to reimagine how our built environment can reflect and empower our communities. I am thrilled to bring her vision to the work we do every day in city government,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. To join Diana with President Jameson and the Boston Agency for Planning and Development to raise the bar for design in our city and to partner in this very important work.”
Under the leadership of Chief Planning Arthur Jameson, Fernandez will raise the importance of urban design, championing the transformative power of sustainable and walkable communities of all ages and abilities. In partnership with President Jameson and BPDA’s Department of Urban Design, Fernandez will strategically transform BPDA’s existing urban design processes to enhance predictability and quality for both community members and the development industry.
“I want to welcome Diana into this new role, and the new journey we are beginning together in our city,” said Chief Planner Arthur Jameson. “I look forward to working with her on building a vision of how to design the city and our public world that improves resilience and promotes equality moving forward.”
As part of her work, Fernandez will share the Mayor’s Green New Deal agenda with city departments, including the Boston Department of Transportation, the Department of Environment, Parks, the Office of Housing, Public Works, Utilities, Boston Public Schools, and the Boston Public. Libraries, to align urban design efforts into a holistic vision of Boston.
“It is a great honor to join Mayor Wu and President Arthur Jameson in charting a heterogeneous design vision for Boston,” Vice President Fernandez said. “I am excited to leverage the great diversity of experience, perspective, and creativity within this city to shape urban design strategies that will comprehensively serve all Boston residents. I look forward to working collaboratively to define and realize this vision.”
Fernandez has worked across multiple company domains in Philadelphia and Boston to build a design practice that re-evaluates the policies that have perpetuated racial, gender, and environmental, social and economic inequalities, and implements design methodologies that can respond to and correct them. Her experience spans a wide range of projects from planning to construction. It also provides critical thought and design leadership for urban and landscape design practices nationally through the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and the American Planning Association (APA).
Born in the Dominican Republic in a village with no running water or electricity, Fernandez immigrated to New York City with her parents and younger sister when she was five years old. As a teen mom, she completed high school and went on to attend college at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she majored in landscape architecture.
Fernandez is a proven thinker, collaborator, and leader, collaborating easily with architects, planners, urban designers, environmental scientists, and civil engineers in the design of equitable and sustainable spaces. She writes and lectures on landscape architecture, urban design, and equity debates. Her work has been published and recognized nationally by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), ASLA, Colleges and University Planning Association (SCUP), American Institute of Architects (AIA), and APA. She is also a recipient of the 2019-2020 LAF Fellowship in Leadership and Innovation, honored with the Emerging Professional Medal in 2020 and a 30 Under 30 Leader Award for Temple University. Diana is a proud mother of four and is an avid gardener with husband Devin Bebeau.