Director, Brooklyn Borough Office, NYC Department of City Planning

Winston Von Engel

Winston Von Engel is the Director of the Brooklyn Borough Office of the NYC Department of City Planning since September 2014. Previously, he was the Office’s Deputy Director since 2001, and had been a planner in the Office since 1989.

As part of the Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York, Winston oversaw the 2016 East New York Neighborhood Plan and rezoning that is projected to create of almost 6,000 units of housing in the next 15 years with deep affordability and over $ 250 million in capital project and service commitments. Other recent accomplishments include the publication of the North Brooklyn Industry and Innovation Plan, the most in-depth study of one of the largest industrially zoned areas since the 1961 Zoning Resolution, and the Gowanus Neighborhood Plan, which seeks to promote a thriving and inclusive neighborhood of housing with affordable housing, economic development, resiliency and sustainability, and infrastructure improvements.

As Deputy Director of the Brooklyn Office from 2001 to 2014, Winston oversaw numerous neighborhood rezonings which balanced modest increases in growth with reductions in density under the administration of Mayor Bloomberg. Winston also helped direct the Downtown Brooklyn Plan which has transformed that Central Business District into a vibrant, 24/7 center with new residents, stores, cultural facilities, offices and public amenities.

Prior to his role as Deputy Director, Winston was the planner for Downtown Brooklyn and managed the first comprehensive look at that business district and resulted in the first designation of the area as a special zoning district. He started his career with the Department at the Brooklyn Office as the planner for East New York and Ocean Hill/Brownsville. He coordinated the review of land use changes that resulted in the rebuilding of these important neighborhoods which were ravaged by private abandonment with new housing and retail through public urban renewal plans and other public investments. It was the prospect of being the planner for these neighborhoods that Winston chose to work at the Department of City Planning.

Winston received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Master of Science in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute in 1986 and 1988, respectively. From 1986 to 1988, Winston won a Fulbright Scholarship for the study of the public housing in Vienna, Austria.