As the Principal Urban Designer for New York City Parks, Charles McKinney is leading the preparation of master plans for flagship parks. Under his direction, NYC Parks is exploring responses to the design imperatives of the 21st-century, web-based planning tools and communication, as well as the role of planning in stimulating community based leadership. Charles recently completed a 20-year Master Plan for Van Cortlandt Park. He is the prior Chief of Design at NYC Parks. For four years, he provided design direction for landscape and architecture projects throughout New York City that strengthened the relationship between architecture, landscape, ecology, community, and park operations. The award winning Design Manual for 21st Century Parks was prepared under his direction, in collaboration with the Design Trust for Public Space. He has a Bachelor’s of Architecture from the University of Arkansas and a Master’s in Urban Design from City College; he was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1994.