Tabitha Harkin named as City Planner

New Bedford, Massachusetts– Tabitha Harkin, an experienced municipal planner, has been named as New Bedford’s City Planner.

Ms. Harkin has served in planning and economic development roles at the municipal and state level, most recently as Director of Planning and Economic Development for the Town of Norton. Before that, she served as Programming Project Manager for the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) in the Office of Planning, Design and Construction, where she managed the Commonwealth’s Statewide climate Resilience Master Plan (SRMP), among other duties. She has also served as a landscape designer in the private sector and as a community design planner for the Cape Cod Commission.

With experience in state and local government and the private sector, Ms. Harkin has extensive knowledge of planning, construction project management, landscape design and community facilitation. She holds a BFA from the University of Hartford and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Ms. Harkin holds the Accredited Professional (AP) designation for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), with a specialty in neighborhood development.

“Tabitha Harkin is an accomplished municipal planner with experience in economic development, planning and design at the state and city level,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “She is fully capable of advancing our high standards of design and long term planning, and has the interpersonal skills to amplify the aspirations of residents about the future of their neighborhoods.

“Tabitha’s experience at the state and local level and her extensive knowledge of planning, project management and design will be an asset to New Bedford,” said Patrick Sullivan, Director of Planning, Housing and Community Development.”

The City Planner manages and supervises the operations of the planning division, which is responsible for providing sound and unbiased urban planning practices resulting in the implementation of short- and long-term plans and policies to achieve a more livable city. The division administers state and local regulations regarding land use planning and land reuse, transportation planning, and historic preservation. In addition, the planning division oversees the site plan review process for construction projects. The City Planner oversees the division’s staff support to the Planning Board, Historical Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), City Council, and other city departments, boards, and commissions as needed.