Karen Swirsky

Associate Planner (She/Her)

“It starts with land use.” Over 30 years of experience in land-use planning and transportation in both private and public sectors have led Karen to this understanding. Good land use, supported by good transportation systems, is the key to creating the places where people want to live. Karen’s public sector experience has included all levels of government, from small cities to federal jurisdictions. She has also worked extensively in the in the private sector. Her expertise includes managing large transportation and area planning efforts, public engagement, and policy development. Before joining Kittelson, Karen was a senior planner for the City of Bend in the Growth Management Department, where she led major land-use and transportation initiatives addressing growth impacts, congestion, safety, mobility, and parking. Most recently, Karen was the City Project Manager for the City’s 20-year Transportation System Plan (TSP), a 2.5-year-long process with extensive public involvement.

In the past, Karen has served as the project manager for When a Highway Runs Through It”¦ A Handbook for Oregon Communities, which won an Outstanding Planning Award for a Project/Program/Tool from the American Planning Association in 2002. Karen has a master’s degree in biology from California State University at Los Angeles and an undergraduate degree in art and writing from Scripps College in Claremont, California. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and has completed the National Charrette Institute Public Facilitator program. Karen is married to Nils Eddy and has lived in Bend since 1989. She and Nils have two exceptionally large cats and four chickens. Outside of work, Karen enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, canoeing, nature watching, reading, and gardening.

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Projects Karen has worked on

Ideas Karen has written about