Barbara Knecht, RA, has worked in, on and for cities for more than thirty years connecting people with excellence in their environments. Her work has included development projects in the public and private sector as well as research, publications, education and advocacy, guided by the principle that human needs are best served through inclusive processes.
In the 1980s Knecht worked for the New York City mayor’s office and several city agencies, where she managed design and development of several thousand units of affordable housing. In addition she developed and implemented social service policy initiatives and coordinated planning projects. In the 1990s, she continued her development work in the nonprofit sector, adding research, evaluation and training projects.
During the past decade, Knecht was the consulting director of design at the Institute for Human Centered Design in Boston and the co-director of IHP Cities in the 21st Century, a multi-disciplinary, immersive program for university students who study people, planning and politics in 4 cities across the world. She is currently a collaborator in Strategies for Cities, where she works on policy and land use for urban farming in Boston. She has been a contributing writer for professional journals–including Architecture, Architectural Record, Design Book Review and the Enterprise Quarterly– book and policy organizations.
Knecht holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and a MArch from Columbia University. She was awarded a Kinne Fellowship from Columbia University, a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University, and a research grant from the Graham Foundation. She serves on the Board of Directors of Care for the Homeless, the governance committee of the LivableStreets Alliance and as a reader for the Berkeley Prize, and formerly was on the Streetscape committee of the Municipal Art Society and the Enterprise Met Life Awards for Excellence in Affordable Housing. Knecht is based in Boston and New York where she is a licensed architect.