Chattanooga, TN

Horsley Witten Group is collaborating as part of a team led by Dover, Kohl and Partners and others to develop a Master Land Use Plan for Chattanooga’s West End. Comparable in size to other well-loved urban places such as Boston’s Back Bay or downtown Savannah, Georgia, the West End consists of 95 acres of industrial-oriented land with over ¾ mile of frontage on the Tennessee River.

A truly interdisciplinary effort, the team analyzed the site’s existing conditions and context in great detail, and used this information to conceptualize a unique, new neighborhood. This project considered all levels of site design; from historical context, to environmental and stormwater integration, to human interaction and placemaking.  The result is a vision for a one of a kind place that reuses old steel structures, provides a car-optional mobility network, and utilizes stormwater as a public amenity in the form of a central canal. HW staff led infrastructure design and public realm elements of the plan.

 

More information:

Learn about  the project , view designs, and a brief project video (6min) here.

 

Project Team:

Dover, Kohl & Partners
VHB Engineering 
Hall Planning & Engineering
Partners for Economic Solutions

 

West End Concept plan

Dover, Kohl & Partners

 

Fabiola  Alikpokou

MCRP, Staff Planner

Fabiola Alikpokou has joined our planning team as a Staff Planner. Fabiola has a Master’s Degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of NE-Lincoln. She earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in political science and international studies, as well as a certificate in public management from the University of NE-Omaha. Fabiola has experience in both the public and private sectors gathering research and providing analysis for comprehensive plans, corridor studies, and bicycle and pedestrian master plans. Her plate is already full here at HW with assignments related to the Sudbury Master Plan Update, the Canton Master Plan Update, and housing diversity work in Exeter, NH. Fabiola can be reached in our Providence office.

 

March 6-7, 2019

UMass Amherst, MA

Sustaining the Living Landscape

We look forward to presenting at the Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA) Conference  on March 6th. Several staff members will be presenting in the Form, Function, and Flow: Managing Stormwater Naturally category.

Brian Kuchar, RLA, P.E., Jennifer Relstab, P.E. and Michelle West, P.E. will present The Wet and Wild World of Constructed Wetlands March 6th at 2:00pm. Please join them to find out why these multi-faceted yet underutilized beauties (constructed wetlands) have become our favorite green infrastructure practice!

 

Workshop Description:

This presentation will focus on three main topics:  an overview of constructed stormwater wetlands including their many benefits and when to use them, New England case studies constructed over the past five years, and lessons learned during the various phases of those projects.  We will also have time for an open discussion with our panel to dig deeper into specific topics or projects. Learn more at the ELA site.

constructed wetland in milford with sign

 

March 2, 2019

College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

 

HW STAFF and WORKSHOP TOPICS

Common Woody Plants of Massachusetts Freshwater Wetlands

Amy Ball, PWS, CWS

This workshop will focus on the most frequently encountered trees, shrubs, and woody vines of swamps, bogs, marshes, and other freshwater wetlands in Massachusetts. This two-block session will include both hands-on identification and presentations that will cover characteristics used in field identification and photo descriptions of each plant.


GI Goes Mainstream: Benefits and Applications

Rich Claytor, P.E., and Geoff Glover

This two-part workshop will include a presentation to update participants on the benefits, costs, design requirements, and applications of the latest advancements in Green Infrastructure practices. The second part of the workshop will include a hands-on interactive exercise. Learn more at the MACC site.


As an exhibitor, sponsor, and presenter we look forward to meeting conservation professionals at the MACC Conference.

 

stormwater Master plan

 Sewanee – The University of the South

Sewanee: the University of the South owns more than 13,000 acres called the Domain located on the Cumberland Plateau, more than 90 percent of which consists of Southern Appalachian forest. This is among the most diverse forest types in the United States and one of the largest unbroken expanses of hardwood-forested plateaus in the world. As an academic institution devoted to learning and knowledge, the University has committed to act as a model of environmental sustainability – including stewardship of natural areas, promotion of environmentally sensitive landscaping practices, and use of Smart Growth land use planning techniques as described in detail in the University’s 2013 Sustainability Master Plan.

Sewanee Village currently consists of a retail and office strip on University Avenue connecting the University campus to US Route 41A. The Village has been designated by the University as one of three future development focus areas in the Campus Master Plan, also including the Core Campus and the School of Theology. The University envisions redevelopment of Sewanee Village as a mixed-use, walkable, vibrant place, with better connections to the Core Campus. The Village Implementation Plan, completed by Town Planning and Urban Design Collaborative (TPUDC) in 2016, produced a design framework for the Village Core.

The 2016 Sewanee Village Implementation Plan builds upon the Sewanee Vision Plan and the Sewanee Action Plan and provides specific planning interventions and strategies to guide redevelopment of the Village and the greater Domain. The goal of this Plan is to enhance connections between the University of the South and the Sewanee Village, and to ensure the long-term viability of the Village by creating a mixed-use environment that integrates new businesses, civic spaces, and housing into the existing Village fabric. The Implementation Plan seeks to make the Sewanee Village a regional model for sustainable redevelopment.

The directive of this project is to evolve the 2016 Village Implementation Plan to the next level of detail, melding a more detailed assessment of on-the-ground existing conditions with the University’s sustainability principles as well as the vision for Sewanee Village as a vibrant, mixed-use center. The University convened a stakeholder group including TPUDC, University subject matter experts, and local business owners to provide input and guide the project throughout.

 

Guiding Principles

The University and stakeholder group collaborated to develop the following guiding principles as an overarching framework for evolution of the Village Implementation Plan:

 

Filter + Store

To mitigate the effects of additional runoff resulting from proposed development, demonstrate the application of Light Imprint site planning techniques and green infrastructure BMPs to naturally filter, infiltrate, and store runoff.

 

Balance

Provide a range of land planning and stormwater solutions calibrated to the Domain’s natural context, “softer edge” aesthetic to artfully compliment the urban design vision for Sewanee Village.

 

Beautify

Artfully incorporate environmental design into Sewanee Village respecting the area’s built and natural character. Utilize green stormwater infrastructure as placemaking elements and educational amenities.

 

Innovate

Encourage implementation of highly visible, forward-thinking approaches as a demonstration of the University’s commitment to sustainability and learning.

 

Be Realistic

Demonstrate realistic, cost-effective, and constructible nature-based solutions with a focus on long-term maintenance requirements.

 

RI State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan

In late 2018, HW Planner, Craig Pereira took on the role of managing public engagement for the RI Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (known as “the SCORP”). Our friends at Weston & Sampson invited us to design and deliver the public process. Time was short and Craig needed to cover the entire state. The logistics were daunting to say the least. Between October and January, Craig managed to convene 11 public focus group meetings, all in separate locations, featuring a dozen different recreation topics. He also deployed a map survey tool that has collected responses statewide. 

The 2019 SCORP will outline the existing status, current needs, and future vision for outdoor recreation. It will include public input from the growing and changing population and will set concrete goals and strategies for improvements and additions to the state’s infrastructure, programming, and resources. Check out our progress to date and, if you enjoy the outdoors in Rhode Island (regardless of where you’re from) feel free to fill out the survey!

 Another survey is on the way, and will mark the final push for public input before the plan is drafted.

 

 

Haddam Plan of Conservation & Development

Congratulations to the team!

At a recent awards dinner, the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association (CCAPA) prefaced the award  announcement by saying how rare it is to even consider a Plan of Conservation & Development (POCD) for the Chapter Planning Award. The committee felt this document achieved everything the Town asked for and more!

HW planners worked with the Town of Haddam, CT  to update and improve its POCD.  A POCD is what other states think of as a “Comprehensive Plan” or “Master Plan.” The document provides a long-term vision for the Town and guides decision making relating to growth, development, and conservation over the next ten years. The Town hired HW  because they wanted “fresh eyes” and something different than the typical POCD. They specifically asked for a plan that is: 1) easy to read and navigate, 2) meaningful and educational to the average Haddam resident, and 3) straight forward to implement.

Under the leadership of our Senior Planner Krista Moravec, the HW team listened closely to how residents talked about their community and what they hoped for in the future. Our community conversations resulted in a document focused on “the places of Haddam”  specifically the village centers and surrounding rural areas. The plan opens with a bold statement of what constitutes “the heart and soul” of Haddam, then goes on to tackle issues one place at a time. This format allows the reader to understand how traditional planning elements like infrastructure, housing, and economic development work together in a New England Village.

Project Team: Liz Glidden, Town Planner, Town’s Land Use Department, POCD Advisory Committee, Planning & Zoning Commission, Conservation Commission, Economic Development Commission, Senior Center, Public Schools, and the Haddam Historical Society, Haddam residents

HW Team: Krista Moravec, AICP
Jeff Davis, AICP & Nate Kelly, AICP

 

grant program

Update

The Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grant program provides support for cities and towns in Massachusetts to begin the process of planning for climate change resiliency and implementing priority projects. The state awards communities with funding to complete vulnerability assessments and develop action-oriented resiliency plans. Communities who complete the MVP program become certified as an MVP community and are eligible for MVP Action grant funding and other opportunities.

We are certified & ready to assist your community with:

  • Characterizing Hazards
  • Identifying Community Vulnerabilities and Strengths
  • Facilitating a Vibrant Stakeholder Workshop to Identify and Prioritize Community Actions

We have helped Brewster, Kingston, Newbury, Newburyport, Peabody, Tisbury, and Shrewsbury, MA to achieve their MVP designations and identify projects that qualify for future MVP action grants. To date, our work has helped our clients leverage over $900k in Action Grant funding.

Questions? Contact one of our MVP Certified Staff  for help with the grant process.

Ellie Baker

Will Keefer

Craig Pereira

View the Planning Grant .

Photo: Joe Teixeira

Carl Simons, USMC Ret.

Emergency Response Manager

Carl Simons has 30 years of experience in incident management and emergency response, gained through a successful career as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, an All-hazards Planner with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and an active member of a Type III All Hazards Incident Management Team.

When he is not teaching others about how to plan for natural disasters or emergency threats, Carl volunteers for the Barnstable County All Hazards Incident Management Team. During disasters and emergencies, the resources of local public safety agencies resources can be stretched to the limit as an incident expands in duration, size, scope, or complexity. That’s why the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee created the Barnstable County All-Hazards Incident Management Team — to provide essential behind-the-scenes support functions enabling agencies to focus resources and concentrate on achieving incident objectives. 

As an emergency response manager for Horsley Witten Group Carl spends a good deal of his time traveling and conducting training exercises for water and utility professionals on topics such as emergency response planning, source water protection, cybersecurity, incident management team training, and active shooter training. Free time is limited for most professionals. Why isn’t Carl on a golf course or fishing in a boat? Carl believes that volunteering for emergency related trainings keeps him up to speed and connected with a variety of responders. “Actually, participating in the exercise vs. explaining in a classroom setting is important as it allows me to share my recent experience with others” said Carl. Sometimes Carl runs into clients or former colleagues which strengthens his relationships and knowledge base. To give you an idea of the time commitment for this type of volunteering, Carl recently spent thirteen hours as a participant in the Vigilant Guard full scale civil military exercise on Cape Cod. At Horsley Witten Group we support volunteerism and training to help our employees be prepared for the next opportunity. We are glad Carl is taking the extra time to become better prepared and you should be too! Thank you, Carl. Learn more about the Barnstable County All Hazards Incident Management Team.

 

 

Plan West Ashley, SC

2018 Public Outreach Award Winner

Plan West Ashley is the vision and plan for the West Ashley area of Charleston, South Carolina – home to over half of Charleston’s population. The South Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association have recognized Plan West Ashley with their 2018 Public Outreach Award. As part of a team led by Dover, Kohl, and Partners, HW led the infrastructure, sustainability, climate resiliency, and open space elements of the plan. Plan West Ashley was unique in its commitment to public engagement, including multiple neighborhood scale community input workshops, 65 working group brainstorming sessions, and an extensive seven-day interdisciplinary planning and design charrette with over 1,000 participants.

The SCAPA Planning Awards recognize outstanding efforts and achievements that advance the art and science of planning in the Palmetto State. Each of the plans, projects and organizations recognized demonstrate a contribution to the improvement of the quality of life for South Carolinians. Awards are a valuable public awareness tool for local governments, agencies, and community organizations. SCAPA awards offer one of the few opportunities that South Carolina planners and communities have to highlight the virtues of planning and recognize those who contribute to the profession.