Wilbur Woods

We are saddened to announce that respected architect, urban planner and River Project board member Wilbur Woods has passed away as a result of a stroke. He died peacefully in his sleep on May 22, 2017, at the end of a blissful weekend in the country with his wife Deborah Freedman. Bill joined the board of directors of The River Project in 1999 and was a dedicated member for 18 years. He was integral in expanding and building the organization to where it is now.

Wilbur L. Woods was an architect and urban planner and worked with the New York City Department of City Planning from 1972 to 2011. In 1990, he became the Director of the Waterfront and Open Space Division which had the lead responsibility for the New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan/Vision 2020 and the New York City Waterfront Revitalization Program. 

Under his direction, the Division produced the first NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan followed by the five Borough Waterfront Plans and the New Waterfront Revitalization Program. In 1999, when New York City announced the closing of the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island, Mr. Woods initiated and led an inter-agency task force in developing plans for the transformation of the landfill into a 2200-acre regional park. In 2001, the City sponsored a major international design competition which resulted in the Master Plan for Freshkills Park by the selected team of consultants, led by Field Operations, with the Department of Parks and Recreation. 

From 1975 to 1989, Mr. Woods served as both the Director of the Staten Island Borough Office of the Department of City Planning and later as the Director of the Brooklyn Borough Office. He held a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University and served as an Adjunct Professor at the Hunter College Department of Urban Affairs and Planning.