Danielle Russell

Jersey City – Commercial District Services (CDS) is pleased to announce that Danielle Russell has joined the firm in the newly created position of  creative Placemaking and Communications Manager within the Jersey City office.

Ms. Russell will anchor the company’s placemaking and place management activities focusing on the design and implementation of supplemental seating areas, activating public spaces, advocating for inclusivity in planning public spaces, and elevating the voices of those within the communities where CDS serves.

“Danielle’s ability to work at the intersection of economic and sustainable development and her experience in public space design, the arts, and stakeholder organizing will further strengthen and expand our firm’s ability to introduce new and innovative ways to revitalize the places where we live and work,” said Chris Bernardo, President and CEO of CDS.

In addition to implementing placemaking and public space improvements, Ms. Russell will also provide communications support for the firm and its clients, highlighting district programming and events, promoting stakeholder businesses, and supporting local, community based organizations.

In describing her approach to placemaking, Ms. Russell said, “I believe that public spaces should be equally functional, creative and equitable. I work with an earnest passion to plan and design public spaces and communities that are based upon innovation, spur the imagination, and promote equity for the various stakeholders who encounter them. My work relies heavily on my background in the arts where I developed sharp senses for spatial analysis and placemaking. This experience was further strengthened by my study at Pratt Institute where I honed the research, planning and design skills that shape my work in the urban realm.”

“Danielle’s ability to draw upon her artistic background when considering public space and user experience ensures her design choices are practical but also really inspiring. We are delighted to offer our communities the opportunity to work with Danielle so they can benefit from her expertise and creative flair,” noted Beth Anne Macdonald, Director of Community Planning & Development for CDS.   

Ms. Russell is joining the firm from the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation where she served as a project manager for the North Shore Revitalization Project. Ms. Russell is a graduate of Rider University with a B.A. in Arts Administration and earned an M.S. in Urban Placemaking and Management from Pratt Institute, where she graduated with honors.


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