Robert D. Yaro is president emeritus of Regional Plan Association and a senior advisor to the organization.
For more than 40 years,Yaro has been a practitioner and thought leader in urban, transportation and environmental planning in the U.S. and around the world. Bob Yaro served as president of RPA from 2001-2014 and has been part of the organization’s leadership for more than a quarter century.
Yaro led development of and co-wrote RPA's third regional plan, “A Region at Risk,” and initiated the organization’s fourth regional plan in 2013. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he convened the Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York, a broad coalition of civic groups that helped plan the rebuilding of the World Trade Center and Lower Manhattan.
Yaro has written numerous papers on articles on planning and infrastructure for the five boroughs and the metropolitan region. He founded America 2050, RPA's national development and infrastructure initiative, and started the Global Lab on Metropolitan Planning in partnership with the World Bank to provide technical assistance on metropolitan strategic planning to the world’s emerging cities. He has worked for years to protect important landscapes and develop parks and public spaces in New York and New England.
Yaro holds a master's in city and regional planning from Harvard University and a bachelor's in urban studies from Wesleyan University. Yaro also is professor of practice at the University of Pennsylvania and currently serves as the Potter Rose Visiting Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He has consulted on city and regional planning issues across the U.S. and in Europe, Asia and Africa.