Public Health Director, AICP
Barry Keppard is the Director of the Public Health Department at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). Previously, he was a Senior Regional Planner with MAPC and leading work for the implementation of the MetroFuture Plan through a combination of public health, land use, environmental, and transportation planning projects.
As the department director, Barry supervises and provides technical assistance on MAPC’s Health in All Policies and healthy community design projects, including the recent Community Transformation Grant for Middlesex County. MAPC’s work focuses on increasing the accessibility and affordability of healthful foods, assisting cities and towns with adoption of comprehensive community design approaches to enhance walking, bicycling, and active transportation, and increasing tobacco- and smoke-free settings. He also manages the department’s health impact assessment practice which aims to strengthen the connection between physical and environmental factors and health, and to look at how policies and programs can reduce health inequities. MAPC has used health impact assessments to positively influence policies affecting public transit, speed limits, school building, and funding for community development as well as to shape a private equity fund.
Additionally, Barry is leading MAPC’s internal Health in All Policies initiative to integrate approaches, findings, and recommendations into the organization’s practice areas, including Clean Energy, Housing, Transit Oriented Development, and Climate Change Adaptation.
Barry’s background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Masters in Regional Planning, and he has over 12 years of planning experience in the public and private sectors.
Barry was a City Planner for Springfield, MA, where his focus was on environmental planning projects (including stormwater management), historic design review, development of neighborhood master plans, and coordinating redevelopment of city-owned parcels. In addition, his work involved the initiation of a city-wide active living program. Working with representatives from the state and city public health departments, the American Heart Association, Springfield College, and the Mason Square Health Center, he created internal and external relationships and developed projects to increase physical activity, improve nutrition, and reduce smoking.
Barry’s direct work on public health issues is complimented by a portfolio of projects and management record that spans other planning focus areas. He managed multiple components of MAPC’s 495/MetroWest Compact project that brought together local, regional, and state partners to create a regional strategic investment plan for the corridor. He was the coordinator for the South Shore Coalition subregion of MAPC and his work helped strengthen the capacity of the group to engage and act on local and regional planning and policy issues.
Prior to joining MAPC, Barry was a Transportation Planner with the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association (TMA) in New Jersey, where he worked closely with municipal, county, and state officials, as well as area businesses, to develop commuter alternatives. Following this, he was with the engineering firm Michael Baker Jr., Inc., working on projects for the office’s primary client, the New Jersey Department of Transportation. His projects included the development of municipal bicycle and pedestrian plans, long-range smart growth studies, and mobility assessments for context-sensitive design projects.