An accomplished city planner, urban designer, architect, author and MIT Lecturer, Susan Silberberg is the Founder of CivicMoxie, LLC. Susan is sought after for her ability to identify savvy solutions for cities, businesses, and communities facing complex challenges. She has a keen sense of the leadership and collaboration necessary to align the sometimes disparate needs and goals of many interests. Susan understands that gaining trust and buy-in from all players is as integral to success as the ideas and energy brought to the project. This distinctive quality allows her to craft win-win solutions and create exciting new possibilities for translating plans into actions.
All of Susan’s work melds theory and practice and encompasses placemaking, an inclusive process that capitalizes on community assets—space, resources, people, expertise, vision—to promote vibrant public places, development, and activities. Her MIT publication, “Places in the Making: How placemaking builds places and communities” (2013) presents a state-of-the-art portrait of placemaking and she speaks around the world on her practice and placemaking research.
Susan has spearheaded projects ranging from short term stints with one professional to multi-disciplinary planning teams of real estate development experts, transportation planners, economic development professionals, landscape architects, urban designers, and zoning/permitting specialists focused on multi-year city-wide endeavors. Infused with the spirit of collaboration, her planning practice serves clients seeking innovative, impactful results—actionable plans and strategies that translate into meaningful and measurable contributions to community, space, and place, and the bottom line.
Susan has led waterfront planning efforts, created plans for new arts districts and prepared city-wide master plans. As Associate Director of the MetLife Innovative Space Awards, she worked with over 150 arts and cultural organizations nationwide to identify best practices for creating and maintaining affordable artist space and engaging with community.
At MIT, Susan developed the curriculum for and has taught the “Revitalizing Urban Main Streets” practicum workshop for over ten years. This award-winning class has produced professional planning strategies for eight Boston “Main Streets” districts and two New Orleans commercial corridors. Susan’s planning research and academic endeavors at MIT have been supported by national foundations and competitive research grants. Her research and writings in security and public space have advanced understanding of how counterterrorism concerns post 9/11 have shaped our public realm in the context of private and public sector pressures and motivations. Her most recent publication is “Pretext securitization of Boston’s public realm after 9/11: Motives, actors and a role for planners” in Policing Cities: Securitization and Regulation in a 21st Century World (Routledge, 2013).
Prior to founding Civic Moxie, Susan was Senior Vice-President of Community Partners Consultants, Inc. and Senior Planner and Urban Designer at Goody, Clancy & Associates. She has a Master in City Planning degree from MIT and a Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute. She has also served as the Associate Director of the Northeast Mayors’ Institute on City Design. Susan is on the Board of Directors and Program Committee of Historic Boston, Inc., a non-profit developer of endangered historic properties. She also serves on the boards of The Joshua Bates Art Center in the South End of Boston and MIT Hillel.