Trained and seasoned in the politics of capitalism and land planning, in 1989 Landscape Architects, Inc. took off on a path to guide municipalities in negotiations with land owners who were beginning to trend with the environmentally conscious public. At that time, land use planning was becoming commonplace from the work of the SE Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC)
In 1990 the Village of Mukwonago contracted with Landscape Architects, Inc. to conduct a strategic planning process titled Vision 2000. The strategy focused on establishing resident and landowner controls to set aside the appropriate amount of acreage for expansion of the Village Industrial Park which included a referendum to build a By-Pass. New zoning was enacted to allow big box development at the Interstate 43 Highway Intersection. Planned neighborhoods and parks were added to the land use plan to absorb expanding residential growth with set growth boundaries that both limited and maximized utility expansion. This conservative approach was taken to responsibly use municipal debt without over leveraging increased property tax.
The Strategic Plan led to the adoption of a Community Land Use Master Plan that, 20 years later, has successfully allowed the Village to grow it’s economy while providing more than ample park and open space and preservation of the Historic Downtown and a community that maintained the vision of the People of Mukwonago.
The above hand-drawn plan can be compared with the aerial photograph taken 20 years later to showcase the successful implementation of the plan.
Future Cities Design Competition
In 1990 Landscape Architects, Inc. was recognized as a visionary strategic planning firm as it was awarded a Honorable Mention Award from the committee of the International Cities Design Competition.
This 3-pronged master plan focused on illustrating the concept of preserving transportation corridors and open space linkages as the backbone for future city growth. The plan proposed using privatized commuter rail corridors that linked a proposed high-density suburban neighborhood in Oak Creek to a multi-modal hub in downtown Milwaukee and with a high density infill neighborhood in the 30th Street rail corridor.
(click on the above images for complete map)
This concept called Circle City is a regional design land use strategy to preserve 90% of all Prime Agricultural land, placing a large percentage of future population growth along transportation corridors and preserving environmental corridors as open space. Landscape Architects, Inc. teamed with professor Philip H. Lewis from the University of Wisconsin – Madison Environmental Awareness Center to forward his regional design concepts outside of academia and into the public and private realm.
In 1992 Landscape Architects, Inc. worked in association with leaders and business owners in Westown preparing strategic plans and articulating a vision for the future development of downtown Milwaukee. The graphic below is a working 2-D model used to depict the concepts of an Urban Cultural Park linking all districts within downtown with a rubber tire trolley and sidewalks that take businesses out onto the street for the first time in Milwaukee.
The following key recommendations of this strategic planning process are now clear to see.
- multi-modal transportation hub (completed 2004)
- rubber tire trolley
- Marquette interchange design guidelines (completed 2008)
- proposed convention center (completed 2000)
- riverwalk developments and guidelines (completed 2002 )
- Wisconsin Ave streetscape (completed 2007)
- Pabst Brewery redevelopment (in progress)
30th Street Industrial Corridor
In 1997 Landscape Architects, Inc was commissioned to provide strategic planning to the 30th Street Industrial Corridor. The planning area encompassed a massive 6 mile stretch of underutilized properties left vacant from the economic downturn of the rust belt era.
Under the leadership of Mayor John O. Norquist, and many downtown community leaders, downtown Milwaukee has become a model of revitalization.
After 15 years the Corridor has experienced limited success with new retail, neighborhood housing projects, community based facilities, a train production plant, Fond du Lac Avenue reconstruction and Lincoln Creek restoration.
Downtown Schenectady, N.Y.
In 1996 with a grant sponsored by GE, Union College, and business owners commissioned Landscape Architects, Inc. to provide strategic planning as Phase One of a 20 year downtown development plan. This plan was used to meet the qualifications for the city to be included in a state-wide master plan to receive funding to build Urban Cultural Park Projects and initiatives.
After 15 years several downtown initiatives including a new marina and multi-modal transportation hub, massive streetscape improvements and historic preservation guidelines have been implemented.
In 1998, Sustainable Downtown Racine assembled a national team of strategic planners to formulate a 20 year growth plan to revitalize the slumping downtown business district. Landscape Architects, Inc. was commissioned to serve as the local consultant to the team. The following plan graphic was generated through strategic planning sessions with business and neighborhood groups who participated at all levels of economic and land use planning.
After 13 years the downtown has experienced significant redevelopment.
Privatized Commuter Rail
Private transportation systems are the wave of the future. As political and economic forces align against major public expenditures for capital and operating funds, municipalities must look toward private and public partnerships to build innovative privatized transportation systems.
Prospectus 2010 is an economic model in the making that promotes a privatized commuter rail project that cuts through the red tape of public policy requiring unnecessary and cost prohibitive regulations. For additional information see the page on privatized rail.
Franklin Business Park
In 1994 the City of Franklin hired Landscape Architects, Inc. to serve as landscape architectural consultant to a private development team headed by Mooney and LeSage real estate development company. The goal was to develop this 600 acre business park with a cost effective infrastructure system that could serve the flexible requirements of private industry.
Six Points District
The Strategic Plan for the 6 Points District is to build a diversity of housing projects and upgrade in retail establishments and the adaptive reuse of old rust belt factories into state of the art corporate office with manufacturing.
A look at its location shows 6 Points in position to attract each of these intended uses and over the last ten years many of these developments have been completed. Landscape Architects, Inc. served as a consultant to both the City of West Allis and private developers to implement the strategic plan.
The development of 6 Points East was a catalytic project built in 2008 during the economic recession. This project is an excellent example to evaluate the plan's performance since 2008.
Block 64 is planned with a mix of 44 residential units from medium to high income with a 20,000 sq ft. mixed use space on the ground floor. Underground parking is supplemented by a network of city parking lots linked to the 6 points outdoor lot. A vest pocket park was saved to provide a dynamic streetscape.
WE BELIEVE THAT THE ROAD MAP TO PROSPERITY DURING THIS MODERN TIME OF ECONOMIC DOWNTURN IN REAL ESTATE CAN BE ACHIEVED INCREMENTALLY. PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS ARE FORGED BASED ON PROVEN NICHES IN MARKET DEMAND WITH INFILL TAKING PRECEDENT OVER FARMLAND DEVELOPMENTS. REWARDING PRIVATE INVESTMENT WITH HIGHER PROFITS IN DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS WILL RESULT IN HIGHER PROPERTY VALUE (TAXES) AND HIGHER QUALITY OF LIFE THROUGH SMART DESIGN AS THE REWARD FOR COMMUNITIES.