Carlisle/Wortman grows community development work, staff

For most of its 25 years, Carlisle/Wortman Associates spent its time helping growing communities, often younger ones, create master plans that help make them develop more livable, healthy areas. When the recession hit, the downtown Ann Arbor-based urban planning firm began to take on more work with older communities to grow its business.

"We have been spending more time with local governments helping them with local government functions," says Dick Carlisle, president of Carlisle/Wortman Associates.

For instance, the company now runs community development for the city of Riverview. It has also taken on similar functions for other downriver communities, such as Woodhaven. That has allowed Carlisle/Wortman Associates to make inroads with established communities, allowing it to grow itsclient list to 70 municipalities. It has also hired three people and a number of independent contractors over the last year, expanding its staff to 20 employees and three interns.

"Over the last five years of the downturn we have picked up more communities with little development," Carlisle says. "Now we're seeing more development activity."

One of those communities is the city of Detroit, which Carlisle/Wortman Associates is now helping with the Detroit Works Project, the initiative to transform land use in the Motor City. Carlisle/Wortman Associates will advise Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates, the local lead on all technical planning for Detroit Works Project Long Term Planning, on zoning strategy.

"It's really trying to transform the vision of Detroit Works into a reality that will reinvigorate areas of Detroit," Carlisle says.

Source: Dick Carlisle, president of Carlisle/Wortman Associates
Writer: Jon Zemke

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