MURP Alumnus Rocky Piro Named Director of Colorado Center for Sustainable Urbanism

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September 7, 2015

Denver, CO – Rocky Piro, PhD, FAICP, has been named Research Associate Professor of Planning and Design and Director of the College of Architecture and Planning’s Colorado Center for Sustainable Urbanism, effective September 1. He was executive director of Community Planning and Development for the City of Denver from 2012-2014, and before that worked for 20 years in growth management at the Puget Sound Regional Council. Rocky has served as adjunct/affiliate faculty in Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington, Seattle University, and University of Washington-Tacoma. While a student in our Master of Urban and Regional Planning program in the 1980s, he taught German and Latin at Machebeuf Catholic High School in Denver. Rocky is a 1986 MURP alumnus.

Rocky was inducted into the American Institute of Certified Planners College of Fellows in 2010. Leadership roles have included planning commissioner and chair of the planning commission for Shoreline, Washington, and various ecumenical organizations, and he currently serves as national chair for the 2017 National Workshop for Christian Unity. Rocky is co-editor of Emerging Trends in Regional Planning (Planning Advisory Report, American Planning Association, Autumn 2015) and Spatial Planning: Parallel Patterns of Growth and Shrinkage (Ashgate Publishing Company, 2012), as well as author of numerous reports and monographs. Rocky holds a BA in Foreign Languages from Valparaiso University, Master in Urban and Regional Planning from CU Denver, Master of Divinity from Christ Seminary, and PhD in Urban Design and Planning from the University of Washington, in addition to a teaching certificate from the University of Denver. Outside of work, Rocky likes to hike, garden, read and travel. You can find Rocky in Room 320J in the CU Building, at 303-315-0013 and at

The Colorado Center for Sustainable Urbanism is a research center in the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver dedicated to making cities and towns vibrant, resilient, and healthy 21st century communities. Its underlying mission is to lift up people, the natural and built environment, and economic prosperity in a manner that creates great places in which to live, work and play. While the primary focus is on Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West, the Center’s innovative strategies and programs for sustainability are shared with the larger community of practitioners in cities and urban regions across the globe.