Dara is an urban planner who was born, raised, and educated in Michigan. She earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy from the University of Michigan in 2001. She then moved to Seattle where she earned a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Washington in 2006. For the past five years she worked for Makers Architecture and Urban Design as a planning consultant for public sector clients throughout Washington State. Dara worked with dense, urban neighborhoods and rural counties on a broad spectrum of issues affecting local quality of life, ranging from land use and zoning issues to urban design and environmental issues. Dara believes that pragmatic planning and a strong, cohesive vision for the future are the foundation of creating sustainable, thriving communities.
As a Detroit Revitalization Fellow with the City of Detroit’s Planning and Development Department, Dara has been working on a variety of planning projects ranging from planning for transit-oriented development to promoting complete streets. Lately, Dara has been working on updating the City’s Traditional Main Street design standards and has spent a lot of time brainstorming and re-thinking the City’s approach to urban design. She also helped launch the City’s Mortgage Assistance – Foreclosure Prevention program.
Link to employer website: City of Detroit’s Planning and Development Department
Dara enjoys spending time outdoors – hiking, skiing, sailing, running, and gardening. She is the mother of an energetic 19 month old and enjoys her family’s Saturday morning ritual of eating pancakes at Russell Street Deli, shopping at Eastern Market, and swimming at the Downtown YMCA.