By their very nature, land development projects are complex and fluid. There are a lot of moving pieces to each project – from field conditions, to regulatory interpretations, to the political climate, to the broader economy in general. The only certainty is that things will change, and as consultants we need to help anticipate these changes and identify issues before they become problems. At RVi, this proactive approach is enhanced by the integrated nature of our planning and landscape architecture teams. Our planners and landscape architects work side-by-side, often drawing upon one another’s skillsets throughout the lifecycle of a project. With a wider knowledge base, we are able to think more broadly and be a more valuable partner in the land development process, including increased continuity between project phases, a more informed design perspective, and the ability to bring the vision for a project to life in very meaningful ways.
In the medical field, doctors and nurses often work extremely long shifts. To the ordinary person, it might seem misguided to have the same doctor on call for 24 straight hours. But in reality, those in the medical profession know that fewer transitions between medical staff translates to fewer mistakes in the field.
While a land development project may not have the same life or death consequences, a similar case can be made for the transition between the planning and design phases of a project. Our planners and landscape architects sit across the table from one another on a daily basis. This makes the transition between planning and design much more seamless, reducing the time it takes for the design team to get up to speed on the project. Additionally, our integrated teams also allow us to overlap planning and design phases when needed to achieve an accelerated schedule. A key tenet of this approach is to have a single Principal-in-Charge involved from start to finish who can facilitate the transition, work closely with other team members, and ensure consistent communication throughout the project.
Too often, land development projects can feel like an assembly line, where the planner, civil engineer, architect, and landscape architect operate in a vacuum to the detriment of the project. The most successful projects are the result of a coordinated team effort where communication is key. The integration of planning and landscape architecture represents a more holistic approach. More often than not, our planners are formally educated as landscape architects and then received additional training, and in many cases certification, as planners. This fundamental understanding of design, coupled with the collaboration that comes from an integrated firm, creates unique synergies between phases of a project. Rather than simply designing in two dimensions, our planners are capable of envisioning how a space will function, how users will experience it, how it will be maintained, and how much it will cost to build. Likewise, our landscape architects benefit from an understanding of the economics, demographics, opportunities, and constraints that go into developing a master plan.
Bringing the Vision to Life
At RVi, we pride ourselves on being trusted advisors to our clients. The more involved we are throughout the planning and design process, the better positioned we are to help bring the client’s vision to life and to add value to the project. Successful land development projects are more than the sum of their parts; when executed properly, they can provide a strong sense of place that brings people together, strengthens the community, and enhances the economic value of the surrounding area. Our integrated team understands this bigger picture and is committed to adding value at every step of the way.