We had a Great Time in Phoenix!

Posted by on Apr 29, 2016 in Headlines | No Comments

Houseal Lavigne Associates had a great time at the 2016 APA National Conference in Phoenix this year! Seeing old friends and meeting many new people was a highlight of the event, especially mingling outside in the great weather at the Civic Space Park.

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Welcome Reception at Civic Space Park including food trucks, live music, beautiful weather, and more food trucks.

We hope you all enjoyed yourselves as well, and we hope you enjoyed some of our presentations throughout the event. Over four days we discussed all kinds of current topics related to planning, including urban agriculture, Geodesign, and community-authored plans. If you were unable to attend our session, meet us in person, or come to the exhibit hall to check out our sMap App in action, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

We look forward to seeing you in San Diego at the ESRI User Conference at the end of June as we unveil new ways that our partnership with ESRI is changing how professionals and communities are using local plans. We will also be at the Illinois APA Conference in Chicago in September, and the 2017 APA National Conference in New York next year!

Houseal Lavigne Associates in Phoenix

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in Headlines | No Comments

It’s time for the 2016 APA National Conference, and another opportunity for Houseal Lavigne Associates to share our experiences and knowledge with planning professionals from around the world! We’re excited to be heading to Phoenix for the 2016 APA National Conference on April 2-5. We look forward to catching up with old friends and meeting new faces at the Houseal Lavigne booth in the exhibit hall. Also, please visit our sMap booth and learn more about our new partnership with ESRI! You can use sMap to learn more about what to do in Phoenix by clicking here. sMap is being used across the globe by communities, agencies, and consultants for a variety of planning and outreach initiatives. All of the information on sMap will be available at the booth.

During the 2016 conference, members of the Houseal Lavigne Associates Team will be involved in various sessions and events. We hope you have the opportunity to hear some of the unique experiences and insights we have gained over this past year as we have worked throughout the country. Houseal Lavigne Associates staff will be involved in the following sessions and workshops:

 

Sessions

Achieving the Community-Authored Plan

John Houseal and Devin Lavigne | Monday, April 4, 7:30am-8:45am
The community-authored plan is an ideal toward which many communities strive. But how do you balance such public involvement with the technical and statutory requirements of local planning? This session introduces key considerations and strategies to maximize citizen resources.

City Manager versus City Planner Skillsets Discussion

Drew Awsumb | Monday, April 4, 7:30am-8:45am
Planners and city managers cross paths all the time. Some of them even find themselves doing a little bit of both. MPA vs. MUP. ICMA and APA. We will tackle what skills from both professions help do what’s effective.

How to Start a Planning Firm

Dan Gardner, John Houseal and Devin Lavigne | Monday, April 4, 10:30am-11:45am
Considering a career as a planning consultant? In 2014, Houseal Lavigne Associates received APA’s Planning Excellence Award for an Emerging Planning and Design Firm. Learn what worked and what didn’t in launching a firm during challenging economic times in the late 2000’s.

Envisioning and Engaging With Geodesign

Devin Lavigne | Monday April 4, 2:45pm-4:00pm
Discover how geodesign, a new design approach, is allowing planning and design professionals to anticipate future trends and propose planning solutions. Learn how it also is helping communities and decision makers make the wisest, most well-informed choices possible.

Regulating Urban Agriculture as a Controversial Land Use Discussion

John Houseal | Tuesday April 5, 7:45am-9:15am
Many believe urban agriculture can yield wide-ranging environmental, health, and economic benefits. However, some are wondering whether urban agriculture can realize these lofty goals. This session will discuss the tools available to promote, or regulate, sometimes controversial agricultural activities in an urban environment.

Using Financial Performance Indicators in Planning

Drew Awsumb | Tuesday April 5, 9:30am-10:45am
Can municipal finance metrics inform urban planning? Financial planning, budgeting, land use planning, and economic development programming are all closely interrelated. Learn how to calculate your own financial indicators and use them to inform local government planning efforts.

 

Fast & Funny Planning Presentations

Fast, Funny, or Passionate 1

Dan Gardner and Cecilia Hernandez | Saturday, April 2, 4:00pm-5:15pm
In this session of 7-minute fast and funny presentations, Dan will be presenting a humorous and personal perspective of balancing years of experience with a continually evolving work place. Cecilia will touch on how little people can do big things in their cities.

Fast, Funny, or Passionate 2

Devin Lavigne | Sunday, April 3, 4:00pm-5:15pm
In this session of 7-minute fast and funny presentations, Devin will critically evaluate a severely-flawed cityscape play mat from IKEA.

Fast, Funny, or Passionate 3

Nikolas Davis | Monday April 4, 4:15pm-5:30pm
In this session of 7-minute fast and funny presentations, Nik will be providing a planner’s perspective on some common misconceptions we hear when first kicking off a project that either divert attention away from the real planning issues, or are just plain wrong.

 

Workshops

AICP Exam Prep Workshop

John Houseal and Devin Lavigne | Saturday, April 2, 9:00am-Noon
Prepare for the AICP exam with this three-hour workshop. It starts with a 30-minute tutorial on the application process, followed by an overview of the six sections of the exam. Fifteen minutes at the end of the workshop are set aside for Q & A.

Imagine Flint Master Plan honored with prestigious awards

Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 in Headlines | No Comments

Imagine Flint – A Master Plan for a Sustainable Flint has received 2 prestigious planning awards: the Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan by the Michigan Chapter of the American Planning Association; and, the Macinac Prize by the Michigan Chapter of the Congress for New Urbanism. Comments from Juror Leslie Creane, AICP are below. Additional information about Imagine Flint, including additional images can be found on our portfolio page.

Juror Comments

The Master Plan for Flint is a vision – in more ways than one. The document is a graphic work of art that gives enough “air” around each subtopic to keep the reader engaged. Each chapter keeps the same 7 items up front: Imagine, Social Equity + Sustainability, Quality of Life, Youth, Reshaping the Economy, Adapting to Change, and Civic Life. The use of colored circles to code each Objective, showing which principles have been considered is brilliant. It is the equivalent to a restaurant rating and, at first blush, gives the reader an idea of which Objective serves the widest need.

Much of the focus of the Flint Master Plan is on shrinking the geography of infrastructure investment. The concentration of city amenities and services is a crucial first step. Although regulating plans are not a part of this document, the Flint Plan does and exceptional job of laying out the principles that create great places. There is discussion of the residential, commercial and public realm aspects of neighborhoods. The traffic calming section shows an understanding of the street/sidewalk areas as a dedicated public realm. The section on ‘commercial corridors’ as linear connections is followed by the section on the ‘downtown’, which is clearly shown as a neighborhood. The character descriptions of each type of area are clear and articulate New Urbanist principles without the jargon.

The innovative use of a “Land Use Wheel” takes the linear New Urbanist transect and creates a circular continuum. There are nuances to this wheel that deserve further study. Each chapter has an aesthetically pleasing matrix that lists strategies, time frames for achievement, public cost estimate, lead agency and “progress indicators”. This is the most innovative and well executed Master Plan I have seen. The level of public input, the consistency of message, the graphics, the commitment to each aspect covered is truly inspiring. The team(s) that created this Plan should be incredibly proud. They have created a cutting edge document that others are sure to emulate.

Leslie Creane, AICP
Juror, New England CNU
Planning Director, Hamden CT
Creane + Company, LLC

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Webinar: How Geodesign is Busy Envisioning and Engaging with Your Neighborhood

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 in Headlines | No Comments

Never before has there been such a need for planning and design professionals to anticipate future trends, propose solutions and help communities and decision makers make the wisest, most well-informed choices possible. A new design approach — one rooted in the history of design practice and enabled by rapid advances in technology — has emerged to meet that need. This approach, called geodesign, provides the framework and tools needed to explore issues from a transdisciplinary perspective and to resolve conflicts between differing points of view.

Join Houseal Lavigne Associates, PlaceWorks and Esri as they explore how geodesign and GIS technologies can increase your project success, highlighting the issues through several exciting case studies. Devin Lavigne, principal at Houseal Lavigne Associates, will provide insight into their approach to integrating procedural modeling into their design workflow, adding efficiency to their 3D production pipeline. Robert Kain, GIS manager at PlaceWorks, will share how their adoption of Web GIS and GeoPlanner has enabled them to make location-driven decisions on many of the firm’s land use planning projects. Brooks Patrick, geodesign account executive at Esri, will provide an overview of geodesign and discuss how Esri’s ArcGIS platform supports geodesign implementation.

In this webinar you will learn

  • How successful firms are adopting new GIS technologies
  • How to turn geographic data into evidence-based designs
  • Ideas for incorporating geodesign concepts for urban and landscape scenario planning

Speakers

Brooks Patrick, account executive, 3D Geodesign Markets at Esri
Devin Lavigne, principal at Houseal Lavigne Associates
Robert Kain, GIS manager at PlaceWorks
Who should attend

Landscape architects, planners, urban designers, comprehensive / regional plan managers, planning departments, directors of planning and city managers

Follow this link to Register

Register Here

Houseal Lavigne Associates in Seattle

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Headlines | No Comments

We look forward to seeing everyone in Seattle for the 2015 APA National Conference April 18-21. Be sure to stop by the exhibit hall to see the Houseal Lavigne Associates booth and chat with our Team. We are always excited to catch up with old friends and meet new faces. Also be sure to visit the sMap booth. sMap is now available for individual licensing and is being used across the country by communities, agencies, and consultants for a variety of planning, economic development, and outreach initiatives. Drop by the both to get all the info.

As part of the 2015 Seattle conference, members of the HLA Team will be involved in various sessions and events. We are excited to bring our passion for planning to the national conference and share some of the unique experiences and insights we have gained over this past year as we have worked throughout the country. Houseal Lavigne Associates staff members will be involved in the following:

 

Sessions

Effectively Translating Master Plans into Zoning

John Houseal, Doug Hammel, and Brandon Nolin | Saturday, April 18, 1:00-2:15pm
Zoning is where the rubber hits the road between planning and implementation, but the path isn’t always smooth. How can zoning be used to implement planning most effectively? Examples from five communities in four states demonstrate various levels of intervention, from minor tweaks to complete transformation.

 

Fast & Funny Planning Presentations

Session 1 includes Comprehensive Pan Mistakes

Devin Lavigne | Saturday, April 18, 4:00-5:30pm
When planners make mistakes in documents, it’s often under public scrutiny that can derail otherwise sound planning. This session includes a humorous review of common pitfalls from typical typos to layout mishaps and provides tips for avoiding those mistakes.

Session 3 includes A Pedestrian’s Ped-Peeves

Nikolas Davis | Monday, April 20, 4:15-5:45pm
Everyone is familiar with the frustrations of driving, however; this session is designed to shed light on some of the experiences Nikolas Davis has that ultimately contribute to what he refer to as “ped-peeves.”

 

Workshops

AICP Exam Pre Workshop

John Houseal and Devin Lavigne | Saturday, April 18, 8:00am-Noon

Prepare for the AICP exam with this four-hour workshop. It starts with a 30-minute tutorial on the application process, followed by an overview of the six sections of the exam. Fifteen minutes at the end of the workshop are set aside for Q & A.

Starting and Running a Successful Planning Firm

John Houseal and Devin Lavigne | Sunday, April 19, 1:00-2:15pm
Whether by choice or consequence, starting a firm or venturing out on your own can be frightening. Highlighting last year’s award-winning Emerging Planning and Design Firm, this session will show what worked and what didn’t and the strategies, tools, software, and techniques utilized to grow during one of the nation’s worst economic climates.

 

Celebrating Houseal Lavigne Associates’ 10 Year Anniversary

Posted by on Jan 19, 2015 in Headlines | No Comments

We want to thank everyone who was able to come out and celebrate the firm’s 10 year anniversary earlier this month. Having officially turned 10 on November 8th, 2014, it was great to catch up with old friends and new partners that have helped shape a decade of work for Houseal Lavigne Associates. The celebration was held at Randolph Tavern in Downtown Chicago and included clients, consulting firms and organizations, and friends of the Firm, all having a chance to eat, drink, and share good conversation. We are so thankful to be part of such a welcoming and diverse professional community!

10yr Anniversary Thank You

City of Flint receives $500,000 Choice Neighborhoods Grant

Posted by on Jan 16, 2015 in Headlines | No Comments

The story of Flint, as made infamous in Michael Moore’s Roger & Me, has been that of decline and hopelessness.  However, the Imagine Flint Master Plan is beginning to change all this by providing the community with a single, united vision and the guidance needed to help transform Flint into a vibrant sustainable community.  People and organizations are pledging their help. Institutions are investing. Businesses are expanding.

Though only adopted in October 2013, the Master Plan has yielded tangible results. The housing conditions data produced through the process has helped the City secure more $24 million in grants for demolition, neighborhood planning, and redevelopment efforts.

Choice Neighborhoods Grant

In January 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro announced seven new Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant awards, including $500,000 to the City of Flint. One of 51 applicants, the City of Flint will use the grant, in partnership with the Flint Housing Commission, to create a plan to address the historic challenges of poverty and crime impacting the Atherton East public housing development and surrounding areas.

The Imagine Flint Master Plan prioritizes social equity and specifically calls for work to improve opportunity for residents of Atherton East. As Mayor Dayne Walling:

“This new grant will enable us to work with residents, partners and the Flint Housing Commission to develop a neighborhood transformation plan. This is another step forward in implementing the Imagine Flint Master Plan and demonstrating that we can create neighborhoods that are safe, vibrant, and inclusive in every part of the city.

“Decades ago Flint made the mistake of putting its public housing in some of the most isolated parts of the city, and now we’re seeing the results – high crime, concentrated poverty, and limited economic opportunity. This grant gives us the opportunity to work hand in hand with the Flint Housing Commission and residents to break the cycle and reconnect families to opportunity.”

− Flint Mayor Dayne Walling

Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2)

In January 2014, the City was also selected for participation in the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative largely because of the Master Plan. Touting Flint’s Master Plan as a key reason for the City’s selection, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said, “One of the things that really impressed us about Flint is that there is a brand new master plan and provides a clear road map strategy for the city and we really felt we could be helpful on.”

Coralville Community Plan wins Iowa APA Award

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Headlines | No Comments

The City of Coralville Community Plan wins the Iowa APA Daniel Burnham Award for Comprehensive Planning. The award recognizes comprehensive plans that advance the science and art of planning, with focus on originality, innovation, citizen engagement, effectiveness, implementation, and progressing the role of planners. The award was presented to the City of Coralville and Houseal Lavigne Associates on October 23, 2014.
Using innovative outreach strategies and highly illustrative design, the Coralville Community Plan provides guidance for a growing community driven by an expanding technical, medical, and research-based community. The plan sets forth long-range recommendations for the maintenance and enhancement of existing neighborhoods and commercial areas, and advances strategies for the sustainable development and economic growth of the community.
The planning and public engagement process fostered stewardship for the plan by underscoring that participants’ voices had been heard and that their ideas had influenced the final decisions and plan recommendations. The result is a plan that directs local policy and day-to-day decision-making in an easy-to-use and understandable format to ensure Coralville can achieve its long-term goals and realize its desired potential.

Coralville Community Plan FINAL HQ-43 copy

Imagine Flint Master Plan recognized for Outreach

Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Headlines | No Comments

The Imagine Flint Master Planning Process was awarded the 2014 Planning Excellence Award for Public Outreach by the Michigan Association of Planning!

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Outreach and community engagement served as the foundation for the Imagine Flint planning process. Over 5,000 Flint residents and roughly 6,000 community members attended one of over 300 master plan events. Some key highlights of Imagine Flint outreach are below:

  • 200+ meetings conducted – over 2,500 attended
  • 30 Do-it-Yourself workshops completed – 500 individuals participated
  • 1,700 visitors in the Imagine Flint project studio
  • 500+ attended Community Vision & Goals workshop
  • 350+ attended (2) Land Use Workshops
  • 210 individuals attended Sub-Area workshops
  • 9 Ward Input Sessions were held – 300 participants
  • Over 1,000 monthly “hits” on imagineflint.com
  • 150 surveys completed
  • Over 750 Facebook “likes”

 
You can view a map which details the outreach meetings completed during the planning process in the project website Map Gallery.

In addition to the award, the Imagine Flint planning process was added to The Michigan Municipal League’s Civic Engagement Best Practices guidebook! Using the success of our project, the booklet advises readers to learn from Imagine Flint by building “a diverse team of residents and community stakeholders to guide engagement.” See the guidebook here.

ILAPA 2014 Conference and the APA 2015 Conference in Seattle

Posted by on Oct 13, 2014 in Headlines | No Comments

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth and attended our Firm’s sessions at the Illinois APA 2014 Conference in Evanston, October 1-3. We are always happy to have the opportunity to chat with our colleagues about the exciting and important planning that is taking place throughout the state. We appreciate the opportunity to share what the HLA Team has been up to and highlight the important work our client communities have undertaken.