David Vega-Barachowitz is Master’s of City Planning Candidate in the City Design and Development Group at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. David’s academic and design research sits at the intersection between urban design and public policy, with a focus on municipal government codes and innovations in the public realm, transportation systems, and physical planning in shrinking cities.
From 2011-2014, David served as the Director of the Designing Cities Initiative at the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) in New York, NY. Working under the tutelage of former New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan at the NYC Department of Transportation, he led the production of NACTO’s Urban Street Design Guide and Bikeway Design Guide, which aimed to change entrenched street design codes for American cities. He has led numerous workshops on street design in the United States and lectured on the topic at the American Planning Association, several universities, and for many municipal governments. Prior to his work with NACTO, David worked at the New York City Transit Authority and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. He received his BA from Columbia University in Urban Studies with Architecture in 2010 and was the recipient of Columbia’s prestigious Henry Evans Traveling Fellowship. David is the co-author of the upcoming book Start-up City (Island Press, October 2015), with former Chicago and Washington DC Transportation Director Gabe Klein.