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Aurash Khawarzad

Aurash Khawarzad is an urban planner working and living in New York City. His practice is focused on the democratization of the urban planning and development process. He currently works as the Director of Policy & Strategy at the new Race Forward, where he conducts research and develops community-based plans that work to eradicate the causes and systems of race and class discrimination in America. Aurash believes that by working in a collaborative way across disciplines and social groups, communities can harness their capacity to change political, economic, and other systems that would allow them to effectively prepare for climate change while ending gross inequality.
Since 2009, Aurash has worked nationally and in New York City as an urban planner. Most recently, he worked as Policy Coordinator at WE ACT for Environmental Justice, where he led the development of the Upper Manhattan Climate Action Plan—a climate action project that included participation from hundreds of stakeholders and has led to the development of social enterprises that are helping to lead changes in infrastructure, social services, local education, emergency response, and more. He also teaches urban planning part time at The New School and City University of New York.