Topic: Landscape Architecture and the Public Realm
Date: February 8, 2019
Venue: Penn Stater
As Deputy Commissioner / Chief Operating Officer for NYC Parks, Mr. Focht leads a team committed to delivering high-quality, maintainable and sustainable public spaces in a consistent and timely manner. NYC Parks encompasses over 1,900 sites and 30,000 acres in all five boroughs, including many iconic and world-renowned parks.
Mr. Focht is a licensed landscape architect with over 30 years’ experience in the private, public, non-profit and academic areas of practice. Prior to joining NYC Parks, he worked for the City of Philadelphia for 18 years, serving last as First Deputy Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.
Mr. Focht holds Bachelor of Science and Masters’ degrees in landscape architecture from Pennsylvania State University and the University of Massachusetts, respectively.
Prior appointments include Executive Director of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park System; Director of the park’s Environment, Stewardship & Education Division and Director of Capital Projects for the Center City District (Philadelphia, PA), a private sector business improvements district. Additionally, Mr. Focht has over ten years’ experience with two multi-disciplinary design firms and was an adjunct professor in Temple University’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture from 1989-2010.
Mr. Focht was inducted as a Penn State University Fellow in 2015 and has received Alumni Achievement Awards from the University of Massachusetts (2013) and Penn State University (2007). He was inducted as a Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects in October 2008 and served as the Society’s Vice-President for Communications in 2010/11 and President-Elect, President and Immediate Past-President in 2013-2015.