Robert Yaro

Professor of Practice
City & Regional Planning


B.A., Wesleyan University
M.A., Harvard University

Robert D. Yaro is the President of the Regional Plan Association. Headquartered in Manhattan, RPA is America's oldest and most distinguished independent metropolitan research and advocacy group.

At RPA, Bob Yaro led the five-year effort to prepare RPA's Third Regional Plan, A Region at Risk, which he co-authored in 1996.

He chairs The Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York, a broad-based coalition of civic groups formed to guide redevelopment in Lower Manhattan in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Mr. Yaro served on the faculties of Harvard and Columbia Universities. From 1985 to 1989, Mr. Yaro was Associate Professor of City & Regional Planning at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and founder and Director of the University's Center for Rural Massachusetts. In this role he initiated Growing Smart in Massachusetts, the nation's first smart growth initiative.

From 1976 to 1984 Mr. Yaro served as Chief Planner and then Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management. In this capacity he developed and led the state's largest urban revitalization and environmental protection programs, including the 14-city Urban Heritage State Park system. Prior to this he worked as an urban planner for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, where he worked on the City's waterfront redevelopment program.

He is an honorary member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. 


Mr. Yaro recently published the chapter "Greenspace and Natural Resource Protection" in Urban Sprawl: A Comprehensive Growth Guide. His work has been published in Land Lines, the New York Times and JAPA.

His 1988 book, Dealing with Change in the Connecticut River Valley, received awards from the American Planning Association, the Nation Trust for Historic Preservation and other groups.


Mr. Yaro has co-taught a regional infrastructure seminar for the past two years. He also oversees a second-year studio.

Centers & Progams

RPA is serving as a clearinghouse for research on the emergence of megaregions and a resource for megaregion planning efforts nationwide. Its aim is to advance research on the emergence of this new urban form while promoting planning solutions to address challenges that span state and regional boundaries, demanding cooperation and coordination at the megaregion scale. Please visit http://www.america2050.org for more information.