Dara O’Byrne is the Chief Parks Planner for the City of Detroit. In her role, she guides the long-term vision for parks and greenways in the City. Her 20-year career spans public, private, and non-profit sector roles in Seattle, Detroit, and Oakland, CA. Dara’s areas of expertise include land use and community planning, open space planning, active transportation, and transit-oriented development.
Dara was part of the first cohort of Detroit Revitalization Fellows, where she worked at the City of Detroit’s Planning and Development Department. She was Director of Policy at Detroit Future City, where she led open space policy and advocacy work for the non-profit organization.
Dara’s west coast work focused on creating livable, walkable communities in the Seattle area and guiding transformative development projects in Oakland, including two transit-oriented mixed-use developments at BART stations, which will add more than 1300 (including nearly 500 affordable) residential units to the City. As an active transportation consultant at Alta Planning + Design, Dara led bicycle and pedestrian plans for communities throughout California.
She earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy from The University of Michigan and a Master of Urban Planning, with a Certificate in Urban Design, from the University of Washington.