George Proakis

City of Somerville, MA


As the Planning Director in one of New England's fastest-growing cities, George Proakis facilitates the implementation of the SomerVision city plan, with it’s 568 goals, policies, and actions on such varied topics as zoning, urban design, stormwater recharge, backyard chickens, family housing, dining decks, and dormers.  Following Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone’s direction for his staff to ‘be abnormal’, George has turned neighborhood planning and zoning on its head, creating new strategies to bring neighbors together, and build consensus for better development.  His team in Somerville is creating the most innovative zoning regulation in New England.  As described by his staff, George is one of the only people who can give a talk about zoning that leaves an audience captivated, educated, and entertained.  George is a big fan of well-written regulations, walkable neighborhoods, open government, the Boston Red Sox, and the oxford comma.   George holds a Master of City Planning degree from MIT, Master of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School at Syracuse, and a degree in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University.