Garvin has combined a career in urban planning and real estate with teaching, architecture, and public service. Garvin is currently President and CEO of AGA Public Realm Strategists, Inc., a planning and design firm in New York City that is responsible for initial master plans for the Atlanta BeltLine, Tessera (a 700-acre new community outside Austin), and Hinton Park in Collierville, Tennessee.
Between 1996 and 2005 he was managing director for planning at NYC2012, the committee established to bring the Summer Olympics to New York in 2012.
Over the last 48 years he has held prominent positions in five New York City administrations, including Deputy Commissioner of Housing and City Planning Commissioner.
Garvin has won numerous awards, including the Municipal Art Society ‘s New York City Masterwork Award for Best Planning and Urban Design, the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter Merit Award, and the American Planning Association New York City Chapter, Distinguished Service Award.
In addition to his professional work, for the past 51 years Garvin has taught at Yale University, where, as Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning and Management, he has taught a wide range of courses in architecture, city planning, and real estate development. Garvin has also taught workshops on basic real estate development for the Urban Land Institute.
Garvin is the author of “The American City: What Works and What Doesn’t” (1995), "Public Parks: The Key to Livable Communities” (2010), "The Planning Game: Lessons for Great Cities" (2013), “What Makes a Great City” (2016).