Born and raised in Liverpool, England, and in Phoenix, Arizona, Jonathan began his career in furniture design, developing skills and a close attention to detail that carry forth into his work today. Jonathan is an expert in physical planning, urban design, zoning, comprehensive planning, and planning negotiation and mediation. He is sought after by cities, municipalities, and regional authorities to serve as a facilitator for public outreach on large, complicated projects such as Manhattan’s Midtown Rezoning and the SoHo/NoHo Community Engagement Plan, and for crafting design guidelines for South Street Seaport. The key to helping government and community stakeholders reach consensus, he says, is “being earnest and honest, and really listening and being empathetic to the challenges people are facing. There’s always a lot of politics, but you try to see where each side is coming from.”
Jonathan leads the urban-design practice of BFJ Planning, where he’s worked since 2012. His clients consist mainly of municipalities, developers, and not-for-profit organizations. His projects include comprehensive planning, zoning and form-base codes, small area plans, corridor studies, subdivision designs, and transit-oriented development—all with a bent towards environmental sustainability, social equity, and economic security.
Our Perkins Eastman
Jonathan relishes his role recruiting talented emerging professionals and mentoring new planners. He is a tenured professor at Pratt Institute’s Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment (GCPE), and also has taught as an adjunct professor in the urban planning department at Columbia’s Graduate School for Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) since 2006. He’s proud to claim many of the dedicated professionals at BFJ as his former students.