McKenna

Mara S. Braciszewski

Associate Planner

First and foremost, Mara is a community and business advocate– and then a planner. She works closely with cities and townships to create better housing, business, and social infrastructure. Mara is a strong project management professional with experience working in multiple city administrations, from Los Angeles to Metro-Detroit.

Mara currently leads planning, zoning and community and economic development initiatives for municipalities in Michigan. During this work, Mara focuses on MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Certification program; how to retrofit suburbs to become more walkable, sustainable communities; and how to tailor planning, zoning and economic development policy to serve each community’s unique needs. Mara also has experience writing grant proposals and overseeing major grant programs.

Mara earned a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, along with a certification in Design and Development. Mara has a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a minor in Socio-Economics from Kalamazoo College.

Mara looks forward to her HIIT class every day. Her favorite snack is a bag of Ned’s Zesty Parmesan pretzels (made in Michigan) and she is always available for a Euchre game.

“The best part of my job is advocating for underserved, underheard communities and facilitating conversations around how we can merge planning and economic development policy to create more diverse, equitable, sustainable, and enjoyable communities.”

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