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Thought Leadership
Inroads

Inroads
New advances in Planning + Urban Design

Making cities is oftentimes portrayed as a tightly controlled, top-down process with well-defined, solvable problems: what is the best density;  how many acres of green space do we need; what will it cost and who pays?  These well-intentioned questions presume that planning and urban design follows tried-and-tested recipes from a professional cookbook.  In practice, creating effective places, whether a big city or a small park, requires unique ingredients, using customized recipes, constrained by the resources on hand. 

Our Planning + Urban Design team engages these opportunities everyday though a process that integrates collective visions with technical pragmatism. With every project we also discover new “inroads” that can make communities economically stronger, resilient, healthier, and socially just.  This  page offers some recent “inroads” that we found the hard way, through a cycle of thinking, planning, making, and thinking again.

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Hacker Stephanie Cropped

Stephanie Hacker

Practice Area Leader - Planning + Urban Design, AICP, LEED AP
What challenge or opportunity would you like us to tackle? You can reach Stephanie Hacker at 414 / 259 1500 and via email at stephanie.hacker@graef-usa.com

Thought Leadership

Elevating Community Engagement

Elevating Community Engagement By Ben Block and Larry Witzling, Ph.D. What Is A “Virtual” Meeting? Virtual online meetings have already begun to revolutionize our ability to engage the public in discussing plans and visions for their communities.  Just as the telephone transformed communication with “virtual” voices, new digital software and hardware will continue to transform…

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Disrupt Comprehensive Planning

Disrupt Comprehensive Planning By Ben Block and Larry Witzling, Ph.D. Nine Silos Have Dismembered Comprehensive Planning Comprehensive planning has a robust history, with differing methodologies emerging from various ideologies and historical movements. For the past two decades, however, most planners in Wisconsin have employed a singular approach for developing comprehensive plans. This approach is based…

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Comprehensive Infrastructure Enables Dynamic Development

Comprehensive Infrastructure Enables Dynamic Development Solving the Dilemma Have you ever been frustrated that your new technology doesn’t fit nicely with your existing setup? It’s the same phenomenon as when a new development project needs a curb cut, parking lot, service entrance, lift station, stormwater pond, or any other piece of infrastructure that was left…

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Resurgent Streets – After the Pandemic

Resurgent Streets – After the Pandemic Can we make streets greater than before? When the pandemic ends, our streets will experience a social explosion. After months of social isolation and pent-up energy, we can expect a grand revival of all our public spaces. This revival will be obvious in dense metro downtowns that are designed…

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