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Andrew Altman joins the MIT School of Architecture and Planning

Andrew Altman has joined the MIT School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) as Senior Advisor and Director of Global Partnerships.

At MIT, Altman will work closely with Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism (LCAU) faculty directors, as well as other faculty across SA+P and other schools at MIT, to refine and implement strategy, and to help focus efforts to build interdisciplinary platforms that have the greatest potential to impact global urbanization. A key responsibility will be support the LCAUs external affiliations with cities, localities, and other partners around the world.

Altman is an internationally recognized leader in transforming cities, urban planning, and the development of large-scale urban projects. He is currently and will continue as the co-founder and principal of Fivesquares Development, a real estate development company based in Washington, DC, focused on innovative urban and transit-oriented projects with a portfolio of over 2 million square feet in planning and development. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Centennial Scholar Initiative.

“We are extraordinarily fortunate to have someone of Andy’s talent, accomplishment, and impact join our community,” said Hashim Sarkis, Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning. “Andy will be instrumental in our efforts to engage partners around the globe in the SA+P and Leventhal Center's mission to imagine new and better futures for the world’s cities."

Altman was the founding Chief Executive Officer of the London Olympic Park Legacy Company in London, England, from 2009 to 2012 where he led the master development of the largest regeneration project in the United Kingdom. 

Before being recruited to London for the 2012 Olympics, he was the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Planning, and Director of Commerce, for the City of Philadelphia under Mayor Michael Nutter where he chaired the Delaware River Waterfront Development Corporation and the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.

Altman first established himself as an internationally recognized urban planner in Washington, DC, as the city's Planning Director under Mayor Anthony Williams where he built the department into a national model for visionary urban planning. He was appointed the founding CEO of the Anacostia Waterfront Development Corporation, where he led the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative that catalyzed the transformation of Washington's waterfront.

He is invited to speak and consult nationally and internationally on urban development issues and was the senior editor of the World Bank publication, Regenerating Urban Land: A Practitioners Guide to Leveraging Private Investment.  

Altman has held numerous fellowships and teaching positions, including the Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design; a German Marshall Fund Transatlantic Fellowship in Europe; and a Lady Davis Fellow at the Technion-  University in Israel. 

Last year, MIT named the center in honor of Norman B. Leventhal '38, a visionary developer and philanthropist at the center of Boston’s postwar revival. A life member emeritus of the MIT Corporation who died in 2015, Leventhal was a vital member of the MIT community for three-quarters of a century.

Since its inception in 2013, the center has sought to redefine the field of urban design to meet contemporary challenges facing the world's cities. Drawing upon MIT’s deep history in urban design and planning, architecture, and transportation, the LCAU coordinates multidisciplinary, multifaceted approaches to advance the understanding of cities and propose new forms and systems for urban communities.

Altman received his Masters in City Planning from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. His appointment is effective Dec. 1.