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2017-01-27 / Top 100 People

Ryan Kieta


Real Design, Inc.

Ryan Kieta is the principal at Real Design, Inc. He has national and worldwide experience as a landscape architect, urban designer, real estate development consultant and community planner. He received a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Penn State with a license to practice landscape architecture in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Over the years, Kieta has worked with numerous public and private groups to develop revitalization strategies and community master plans for business districts, cultural areas, recreation facilities and residential neighborhoods. He attributes his success to overcoming the fear of taking risks.

“Early in my career as a designer, I was hesitant to take risks,” Kieta said. “I often supplied my clients with adequate but safe solutions for their projects. I’ve since learned that risky thinking, more often than not, leads to creative solutions which, in turn, provide value to my clients.”

Kieta has successfully guided numerous complex projects from initial programs and is currently leading Johnstown’s Vision 2025, a cross-sector program designed to spur economic, social and environmental investments into Johnstown.

“In terms of urban revitalization and planning, Johnstown is a big puzzle,” Kieta said. “It’s a highly walkable and attractive city with amazing assets … The biggest challenge that we face as a community is to simply reevaluate what we’ve already got, ‘connect the dots,’ and make sure that the appropriate people and organizations are working on driving forward.”

Kieta volunteers extensively in the Johnstown community and has lectured to students at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College and the John B. Gunter Leadership Initiative on urban planning.

In his spare time, Kieta enjoys canoeing and carpentry. He currently resides with his wife Kaitlyn, daughter Adelyn and expected-son Benjamin.

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