The Rockland County Department of Planning has announced that the American Planning Association’s (APA’s) NY Metro Chapter recently honored Michael D’Angelo, Director of Research, with the Robert Ponte Award. The Chapter grants the annual Robert Ponte Award to an individual who, through economic planning and development, has made significant contribution to the vitality of the New York Area. The Award was presented last month at the Chapter’s Annual Meeting at Scandinavia House in Manhattan.
The Ponte Committee chose Mr. D’Angelo, 35, to be a 2012 recipient of the Ponte Award for his distinguished professional and academic practice in the fields of urban planning, demography and economics. Mr. D’Angelo shares the 2012 Ponte Award honor with co-recipient Pearl Kamer of the Long Island Association. Former recipients of the Ponte Award include NYC Department of City Planning Population Division Director Joe Salvo and Mitchell Moss, a Henry Hart Rice Professor of Urban Policy and Planning, and former Chairman of the Urban Planning Program at NYU’s Robert Wagner School. Mr. D’Angelo is the youngest recipient of the Ponte Award in its 21-year history.
“I am proud to congratulate Mike on this well-deserved award,” said County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef. “His contributions to the Planning Department and the Rockland County community as a whole through his Census and demographic efforts are exemplary. Mike’s expertise is invaluable to the County, and his dedication to his work is unparalleled.”
Upon accepting the award, Mr. D’Angelo said, "I am honored to receive an award which acknowledges the important contribution that economic and demographic analysis makes to the planning work we all do in this region and to the field of planning in general. I feel that this award not only recognizes my professional accomplishments, but also serves to acknowledge the great planning work being done in Rockland County and in all of the suburban counties of the NY Metro Region. I want to thank the APA’s NY Metro Chapter and the trustees of the Robert Ponte Fund for this award and for recognizing my work."
Mr. D’Angelo is Director of Research at the Rockland County Department of Planning and serves as the County’s Demographer. He is the head of the Department’s Demographic Research Division, which is responsible for providing demographic, economic, housing and social data, analysis and expertise to County departments and agencies, local organizations, educational institutions, media outlets and members of the public. This Division, which is an Affiliate of the New York State Data Center Program, develops demographic and socioeconomic estimates and projections; aids in assessments of need; provides support for grant and funding applications; and conducts demographic research to assist in planning initiatives throughout the County. Additionally, this Division provides support for program planning and policy development, especially in the areas of economic development, health and human services, and public transportation planning and operations.
During his 13 years with the Rockland County Department of Planning, Mr. D’Angelo has served on local and regional committees focused on the integrated planning of services for children, youth and families; the development and review of demographic and economic forecasts for regional transportation planning initiatives; the coordination of economic development research and marketing; and the development of Rockland County’s Comprehensive Plan. He also has been designated as the liaison to the U.S. Census Bureau for Rockland County and its municipalities.
Through Mr. D’Angelo’s efforts, the County has undertaken a tremendous number of initiatives to improve the accuracy and completeness of Census Bureau data for Rockland County, including the successful challenges of the Census Bureau’s 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 population estimates, which added nearly 3,500 people to Rockland County’s official population count. Other efforts have included the review and successful challenging of the Census Bureau’s Housing Unit Estimates for Rockland County, as well as the review and updating of the Census Bureau’s Master Address File, which was used for 2010 Census data collection and was completed as part of the Census Bureau’s Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) Program. Other Planning Department staff, along with Rockland’s towns and villages, have played a key role in helping to accomplish all of these initiatives.
Mr. D’Angelo, who received a B.A. from Iona College and a M.A. from Fordham University, has also pursued varied scholarly research interests with a special focus on the Italian-American experience. In collaboration with research colleagues, Mr. D’Angelo has produced a number of journal articles, conference papers and conference presentations.
Mr. D’Angelo has also engaged in a variety of research projects with local academic institutions. He has served as a Research Associate with both The Edwin G. Michaelian Institute for Public Policy and Management at Pace University, and the Iona College Center for Social Research. This academic-oriented research work has included studies on affordable housing, the financial impact of the non-profit sector and local community issues.
The award’s namesake, Robert W. Ponte, Ph.D., was a Manhattan urban planner and an expert in zoning regulations and in the economic consequences of urban development projects. He was a lecturer in urban planning at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at Princeton University, and in the early 1970s, was a senior planner in the NYC Mayor’s Office of Midtown Planning and Development. Later in his career, Ponte directed the preparation of the Battery Park City Master Plan and participated in the planning of the 42nd Street Redevelopment Project. From 1984 until his death, Ponte directed real estate and market analysis at Buckhurst Fish Hutton Katz, Inc. Ponte died in 1991 at the age of 48, and left an endowment for an annual award which he hoped would recognize efforts in the fields of planning and economic analysis.