Skye Duncan is the Executive Director of the Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI), a leading global urban design initiative focused on transforming streets around the world and developing international best-practice street design principles for use in a wide variety of street typologies.
Skye and her team developed the award-winning Global Street Design Guide (GSDG), working with input from experts from 72 cities and 42 countries, now translated into 5 languages and endorsed by over 100 cities, regions, and organizations across the world. The GSDG, alongside its recent supplements, Designing Streets for Kids, and other technical resources share evidence-based global best practices and offer leaders, practitioners, and communities a new blueprint for reimagining and redesigning urban streets. Skye and her team build from these resources as they provide technical assistance and capacity building to cities on shaping safe, healthy, and inclusive street design and sustainable mobility options, in countries across the globe, including Colombia, Brazil, Rwanda, and Ecuador, to India, Italy, Albania, and Ethiopia.
Skye is an urban designer with 20 years of experience in architecture, urban design, and planning, and prior to GDCI, she spent seven years working as a Senior Urban Designer at the New York City Department of City Planning in their Office of the Chief Urban Designer. There, she offered her design expertise to help shape sites of all scales across the city and collaborated with multiple agencies and organizations to make New York City a more sustainable, resilient, livable and healthy city. Skye contributed to the NYC DOT Street Design Manual and helped develop much of the Planning Department’s innovative work relating to public health and the built environment. She was a contributing author to the Active Design Guidelines (2010) and led a team to produce the well-received 2013 publication Shaping the Sidewalk Experience. In 2019, Skye was recognized as one of TUMI’s Remarkable Women in Transportation.
Skye has worked professionally as an International Urban Design Consultant in Brazil, Colombia, Canada and New Zealand, and was an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation for seven years. She graduated as a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia in the Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design program and has a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.