Isabel Saffon is a civic strategist specializing in spatial justice and reparative planning.With a background in community planning, urban design, public policy, and architecture, her recent work focuses on demystifying complex issues to enhance government trust and open decision-making.
Prior to joining HR&A, Isabel played a key role at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), bridging trust gaps through user research, innovative culture change, and impact-focused metrics. At the Center for Justice Innovation, she led participatory design for the Mayor’s Action Plan (MAP), reimagining public safety through community well-being, art, and culture. Before focusing on public housing, as a consultant at Karp Strategies, she designed, managed, and implemented community engagement strategies for projects in coastal resiliency, flood protection, library innovation, and digital equity. Isabel also served as an architect at WXY and Taller Arquitectura de Bogotá, adding valuable architectural expertise to the way she approaches her work with the built environment.
Isabel holds an MS in Design and Urban Ecologies from Parsons The New School for Design and a Magna Cum Laude Professional Degree in Architecture from Universidad de Los Andes (Bogota, Col.). She is a Fellow at the Urban Design Forum and Design for Public Spaces.