Press Releases September 12, 2023

Perkins&Will and Nelson\Nygaard Announce New Transit Leads

The strategic hires will accelerate the firms’ transportation practices in the Northeast
Clayton Lane and Michal Mrowiec

NEW YORK—Perkins&Will and mobility consultancy partner Nelson\Nygaard have added two key hires to their teams in New York: Michal Mrowiec and Clayton Lane. Mrowiec joins Perkins&Will as the transportation practice leader for the firm’s New York studio, and Lane joins Nelson\Nygaard as senior principal for planning and strategies. Both work in the firms’ shared studio space in Manhattan, bolstering their combined transit practice in the Northeastern U.S.

“We are thrilled to welcome Michal and Clayton, and we look forward to working together to serve clients in the major Northeast metro areas and beyond,” says Robert Clemens, managing director of Perkins&Will’s New York studio. “There is a tremendous amount of growth and important work happening in transportation, especially as investments are made on federal, state and local levels to reinvigorate our transit infrastructure and architecture.”

Perkins&Will is further investing in this transportation growth: In addition to welcoming Mrowiec and Lane, the firm announced in May that Julie Wienberg had joined to lead its aviation practice.

The partnership between Perkins&Will and Nelson\Nygaard offers the firms’ clients a unique integration of transit planning, strategies, and design throughout all stages of complex mobility projects. Recent joint work includes: Austin and CapMetro’s Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD) Policy and Station Area Planning; a downtown master plan for the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Orlando; and the Sacramento Valley Station (SVS) high speed rail vision plan. Regionally, Nelson\Nygaard is also developing Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority’s (SEPTA) “Bus Revolution” network redesign. Perkins&Will’s recent work includes a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) station design in partnership with NADAAA.

“Transit design is not just about moving people; it's about bringing communities together,” says Mrowiec. “Public outreach is so important—businesses and residents need to be considered at every step.”

Background & Experience

Mrowiec previously served as the lead architect of the Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 in New York City. He also led conceptual design for AirTrain stations for the extension to LaGuardia Airport, among other major undertakings. With over two decades of transit architecture and design experience in the New York metro area, he leads teams to build consensus and finds solutions to complex problems. His previous work on the PATH extension to Newark Airport master plan integrated new rail link stations to reconnect areas underserved by mass transit. Other projects he has led have engaged small business communities at the street-level to mitigate the impacts that years of construction can have on their livelihoods.

Lane is a sustainable transportation and urban planning leader with 25 years of experience advancing inclusive, climate-friendly solutions internationally.  He previously led two environmental and mobility think tanks, serving as CEO of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and as COO/Deputy Director of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.  He has overseen the development of industry best practices, including the BRT Standard, BRT Planning Guide, Equitable Transit Oriented Development Standard, and Safer By Design.  He also founded PhillyCarShare, earning an EPA Environmental Achievement Award.

“Now is such an important moment—with unprecedented investment flowing into sustainable transportation infrastructure—to transform our public transit systems, our urban development, and our streets to secure a climate-friendly, equitable future,” says Lane.  “I’m excited to work with a firm that puts people at the center of its work.”

A Unique Opportunity

The density of transit infrastructure in the Northeast is unlike anywhere else in the U.S. The Northeast Corridor rail lines alone support 820,000 trips each day: 780,000 on eight commuter railroads, and over 40,000 on Amtrak’s various intercity services across 457 miles of main line railroad. The public transit systems in the Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. metro areas account for over 50% of U.S. public transit ridership.  On top of this, President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates an estimated $95.5 billion dollars to the region in support of new passenger and freight rail, airports, roads, and bridges.

“The importance of this moment in transportation investment and community development cannot be overstated,” says James McGrath, Perkins&Will firmwide Transportation Practice Chair. “We have a generational opportunity to expand, enhance and repair transit service and infrastructure while also better serving our communities, repairing our urban and civic fabric, and revitalizing high-capacity transit station areas, all while focusing outcomes on social equity and climate resiliency. Our firm is uniquely poised to move communities forward from multi-mobility planning through urban design, station architecture and deeply sustainable district developments.”