At its best, planning brings a community together, articulates how it wants to evolve, and projects to the world a clear vision and sense of direction. Good planning stimulates our imagination and ignites our motivation to work together to create a better future, while keeping an eye on what is practical and achievable. Zoning need not be merely a dry, legalistic document. It can be the primary tool for fulfilling the community’s vision, turning the hopes of planning for a more sustainable future into the reality of daily life. It is the crucible in which community hopes and market realities are forged into workable solutions. I help communities move from planning to zoning and other practical measures that implement their vision.
Both visionary and practical, I break through stalemates between developers and conservationists, drawing upon my knowledge of both conservation and traditional urbanism. I help citizens and public officials to see issues in new ways, transcending perceptions that perpetuate community conflict and building public-private partnerships. Wherever possible, I engage clients in active public participation processes that enable as many people as possible to be part of envisioning and achieving the shared future they want. Sustainability has been at the core of my practice from the beginning, and it has emerged as all-important as we face the challenges of climate change.
I help communities devise solutions to issues of affordable housing, protection of open space, ecosystems, and farmland, traffic congestion, and business growth that meet the needs of many different constituencies. The premise of my work is that all of these issues are interrelated, and that the solution to problems of community growth and preservation lies in bringing people together to plan their future. That future includes invigorated urban and village centers, a stronger sense of community, and protection of the natural environment. I educate a community about its options, while the community educates me about its goals and human and natural resources. Working together, we achieve practical results by implementing the community’s choices.