Charles is a Senior Consultant based in the New York office. Charles McKinney is a practical visionary, he envisions ways to enhance the best of what exists, and to weave beautiful parks into the daily lives of everyone. One of his best tactics is to advance citizen initiatives to improve their own public space.
Charles served many roles during his 27-year career at New York City Parks. As the former Principal Urban Designer for NYC Parks, Charles led the preparation of major park master plans that corrected problems, highlighted natural attributes, and addressed emerging recreational needs. Under his direction, the department explored responses to the design imperatives of the 21st century, web-based planning tools and communication, and the role of planning in creating community. His projects included master plans for the northern Manhattan parks, Van Cortlandt Park, Crotona Park, and Riverside Park.
Previously, as Chief of Design at NYC Parks, he provided design direction for the largest investment in parks since the 1930’s, exceeding all records for project production and recognition. His projects broke new ground in the design of park architecture, landscape and ecological restoration. They improved the happiness, fitness and health of community members, and addressed climate change.
The American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Landscape Architects recognized his achievements by awarding him honorary membership. He earned a Bachelor’s of Architecture from the University of Arkansas and a Masters in Urban Design from City College. In 1994, he was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.