As the Executive Director of the Office of Strategic Planning & Community Development in Somerville, Massachusetts, one of New England's fastest-growing cities, George Proakis facilitates the implementation of the SomerVision city plan, with a focus on such varied topics as zoning, urban design, stormwater recharge, backyard chickens, family housing, dining decks, and dormers. Mr. Proakis and his team coordinate the development of the Somerville by Design neighborhood planning process, facilitate economic development and small business programs, manage substantial mobility and public space projects, coordinate an extensive inclusionary housing program, facilitate state and federal grants, manage a client-service based anti-displacement program, and work to implement Somerville’s newly adopted form-based zoning ordinance.
Prior to working in Somerville, George worked in a number of roles for the mill city of Lowell, Massachusetts, where he focused on downtown redevelopment, a city-wide Comprehensive Master Plan, a new zoning code for neighborhood infill projects, and the redevelopment and form-based code for the 15-acre transit-oriented “Hamilton Canal District” project.
George is a founding board member of the New England Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism, a member of the board of directors of the Boston Society of Architects, and a member of the Steering Committee for the Form Based Codes Institute at Smart Growth America. He teaches a course in Economic Development Planning at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.
Mr. Proakis holds a Master of City Planning from MIT, a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse, and a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University.