David Vega-Barachowitz
P/T Instructor NYC

B.A., Urban Studies with Architecture, Columbia College; M.C.P., City Design & Development, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

David Vega-Barachowitz is Senior Urban Planner with the New York City Department of City Planning. David has worked on projects in from transportation, street design, and placemaking, to local government innovation, master planning, open space development, and urban design. David led the development of innovative street design guidelines to promote walking and bicycling as the Director of the Designing Cities Initiative at the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) in New York, NY. He co-authored Start-up City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun (Island Press, 2015), which showcases how innovative ideas that start as simple pilot projects can grow from experiments into major improvements that support healthier, more active lifestyles.


  • “East Harlem Public Realm Vision” (unpublished) | NYC Planning (Project Manager, 2017)
  • NACTO Blueprint for Autonomous Urbanism (Project Advisor and Design Consultant, 2017)
  • “Integrated Strategies to Address Emerging Freight and Delivery Challenges in New York City” (Contributing Author, WXY, NYSERDA Report No. 16-33 2017)
  • “Festival Modernism: Downtown Plans & Pedestrian Malls: 1956-1974” (Graduate Thesis, MIT, 2016)
  • “Rising Tides: Relocation and Sea Level Rise in Metropolitan Boston” (Co-author, LCAU, 2016)
  • Start-Up City | Island Press (Co-author with Gabe Klein, 2015)
  • NACTO Urban Street Design Guide | Island Press (Author, Project Manager, 2013)
  • NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide | Island Press (Co-author, Project Manager, 2012)
  • “Changing the DNA of City Streets” (Co-author, Institute for Transportation Engineers Journal, 2013)
  • “Rights of Way: Shared Streets and the Evolving Municipal Traffic Code” | Urban Omnibus (2012)
  • “Cycle Tracks and the Evolving American Streetscape” | Urban Omnibus (2011)