Mayor Michelle Wu and the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) today announced the appointment of Diana Fernandez Bibeau as the new Deputy Chief of Urban Design, to craft and execute a human-scale and inclusive vision for the design of the built environment across Boston.
“Diana is a dynamic problem solver and inclusive designer with years of experience working to reimagine how our built environment can reflect and empower our communities. I’m thrilled to bring her vision to the work we do everyday in city government,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I look forward to Diana joining Chief Jemison and the Boston Planning and Development Agency to elevate design across our city and partner in this very important work.”
Under the leadership of Chief of Planning Arthur Jemison, Fernandez will elevate the importance of urban design, and champion the transformative power of sustainable and walkable communities for all ages and abilities. In partnership with Chief Jemison and the BPDA’s Urban Design Department, Fernandez will work to strategically transform existing BPDA urban design processes to promote predictability and quality for both the community members and the development industry.
“I want to welcome Diana to this new role, and new journey we are embarking on together in our city,” said Chief Planner Arthur Jemison. “I look forward to working with her on building a vision for how the city and our public realm are designed that will improve resiliency and promote equity moving forward.”
As part of her work, Fernandez will partner on the Mayor’s Green New Deal agenda with the City departments, including the Boston Transportation Department, the Environment Department, Parks, Office of Housing, Public Works, Public Facilities, Boston Public Schools, and Boston Public Libraries, to align urban design efforts into a comprehensive vision for Boston.
“It’s an honor to be joining Mayor Wu and Chief Arthur Jemison in charting a heterogeneous design vision for the city of Boston,” said Deputy Chief Fernandez. “I’m excited to tap into the great diversity of experience, perspective, and creativity within this city to shape urban design strategies that will inclusively serve all Bostonians. I look forward to working collaboratively to define and realize this vision.”
Fernandez has worked across multiple firm scales in Philadelphia and Boston to build a design practice that reassess the policies that have perpetuated race, gender, environmental and socioeconomic inequality, and implement design methodologies that can respond to and correct them. Her experience spans a broad range of projects from planning to built work. She also provides critical thought and design leadership for landscape and urban design practices at the national level through the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and the American Planning Association (APA).
Fernandez was born in the Dominican Republic in a village with no running water or electricity and immigrated to New York City with her parents and younger sister when she was five years old. As a teenage mother, 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, who teams effortlessly with architects, planners, urban designers, ecologists and civil engineers on the design of equitable and sustainable places. She writes and lectures in the discourses of landscape architecture, urban design, and equity. Her work has been published and nationally recognized through the Urban Land Institute (ULI), ASLA, Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the APA. She has also been awarded the 2019-2020 LAF Fellowship in leadership and innovation, honored with the Emerging Professional Medal in 2020 and named a 30 under 30 Leader for Temple University. Diana is a proud mother of four and an avid gardener with her husband Devin Bibeau.