Economic Revitalization and Community Planning

HR&A’s work unlocks the potential for economic growth through site and district-wide master plans, and revitalization strategies for neighborhoods, cities and metropolitan regions.

Our goal is to strengthen and preserve the character of individual communities. We examine the market drivers of a location, and then identify first steps that will have a catalytic effect on inclusive growth and development, as well as long-term actions. We secure and structure funding for master plans and economic development projects, leveraging public and private funding opportunities and government incentive programs. We also understand that governance is a crucial component of implementation, and help clients create and enhance organizational capacity to be advocates for and managers of economic development and revitalization efforts.


HR&A is an industry leader in developing strategies to stimulate transformative growth across North America and around the world. Our economic revitalization and community planning services include:

  • Crafting master plans for sites, neighborhoods, and campuses in partnership with urban designers, planners, architects, landscape architects and engineers;
  • Developing community-based plans that engage residents and stakeholders to produce positive physical change and shared prosperity, and to contribute to a healthy environment and population;
  • Designing policies that support industry sector growth to attract and retain jobs, businesses and investment;
  • Creating economic revitalization strategies for cities and regions that balance growth, equity, and sustainability; and
  • Establishing the economic framework for a wide range of planning efforts including innovation and cultural districts, university and institutional campuses, brownfields and industrial waterfronts, and former military bases.

HR&A grounds all recommendations in analysis.

In-depth quantitative economic analyses inform all of our recommendations. We consider a client’s planning and economic development challenges by examining:


  • Demographics, including population size and composition, employment, income, and education or skill base;
  • Economic base, including industry clusters and trends, current economic development initiatives, development anchors, and major employers;
  • Real estate and land use, including residential, commercial, industrial, and retail market trends;
  • Existing infrastructure, such as transit hubs, public spaces, historic building stock, cultural attractions, parking, and highway infrastructure;
  • Regulatory conditions and incentives, including zoning, public leasing and acquisition/disposition ordinances, affordable housing policies, density bonuses, and other public benefit and development impact fee structures; and
  • Resilience vulnerabilities and sustainability goals, including energy needs, and climate adaptation commitments at the regional, city, district and individual building scales;
  • Management and governance capacity, including public, quasi-public, non-profit, and private entities.

HR&A has extensive experience leading the implementation of market-based revitalization and development plans, in collaboration with public officials, community leaders, residents, businesses, developers and other stakeholders.



Image Courtesy: Talking Transition