PennPraxis Board Member
Garlen Capita is a landscape and urban designer with WRT a multidisciplinary planning and design firm based in Philadelphia. Garlen is a passionate advocate for equitable development and an experienced facilitator with a commitment to ensuring that planning processes are inclusive, authentic and reflect the community’s history and lived experiences. Her project work includes neighborhood and district scale reinvestment strategies, parks, streetscapes, and commercial corridors. As a Senior Associate in WRT’s Planning and Urban Design practice, Garlen collaborates with public agencies and organizations around the country to address and integrate complex issues related to growth, quality of life, physical character, and economic health.
Her recent work at WRT has been in urban reinvestment in communities in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Hoboken, NJ where she is engaged with local stakeholders to build community resilience through integrated planning and place-based design that leads to catalytic investments in housing, mixed-use development, sustainable infrastructure and vibrant public spaces. Garlen is the project lead for the Gateway Area Master Plan, a collaborative, multi-agency effort to develop a vision and sustainable strategies toolkit for a critical 30-square mile area of Pinellas County, Florida addressing issues of land use, mobility, and placemaking to incentivize appropriate infill redevelopment that supports quality economic growth.
Garlen’s passion in creating vibrant and equitable communities extends beyond her work as an Urban Designer to her neighborhood of Germantown where she has served as the Board president for the non-profit Germantown United Community Development Corporation. Garlen currently serves as a Commissioner on the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, and previously led the Urban Parks program for the Trust for Public Land. Shas has taught urban design studios at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design and serves on design jurors for design programs in the Philadelphia area. Recently she served on the jury of the San Francisco - C40 Reinventing Cities Competition a global competition to identify the best ideas to transform underutilized sites into models of carbon-neutral development while addressing the cities’ most pressing issues.
Garlen earned a Master of Urban Design from the University of California Berkeley and Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture at Cornell University.