Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor Appoints Director of City Planning & Development Department

September 26, 2019 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner has appointed Margaret Wallace Brown as director of the City Planning & Development Department, where she has worked for 34 years, heads the city’s 2020 U. S. Census Complete Count effort and guides many other projects crucial to Houston’s future.

“To serve all Houstonians in the best way possible, we need a chief city planner with vision as well as a solid record to stand on. Margaret Wallace Brown, a certified planner and former architect, is the perfect fit,” the mayor said.

Wallace Brown’s appointment is subject to City Council approval. She has served as interim department director since the untimely death of Director Patrick Walsh in November 2018.

Wallace Brown oversees land development and parking regulations, transportation and community planning efforts, neighborhood protection and preservation programs, the City’s strategic transportation planning and its Geographical Information System. She also serves as a non-voting member of the City’s Planning Commission and the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission.

  • In the 1990s she oversaw the creation of Houston’s first “visioning” process, Imagine Houston.
  • In 2010, she managed the City’s U. S. Census Complete Count effort that brought additional federal funding and representation to the city. In 2011 she led the city’s landmark redistricting process that increased the number of City Council members from 9 to 11.
  • She also led the development of the City’s award-winning Houston Heights Historic District Design Guidelines approved by the City Council in 2018.

Also, the Planning & Development Department participates in the public engagement aspect of the mayor’s Complete Communities initiative in tandem with the Mayor’s Office of Complete Communities and the City Department of Neighborhoods.

Wallace Brown began her career as an interiors architect for Interfin Corporation after obtaining a bachelor of science degree in architecture from the University of Houston. She holds a certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners, accreditation from the Congress for New Urbanism, a Charrette System Certification from the National Charrette Institute and is a Certified Public Manager from Sam Houston State University Continuing Education. She is a fellow with American Leadership Forum and a Bike Houston board member.

She has held leadership positions with the American Institute of Architects, Houston; the American Planning Association; the Bellaire Nature Discovery Center; West University Elementary and St. Pius X High Schools; Chi Omega Fraternity; and the Junior League of Houston.

Margaret Wallace Brown