Community Planning

Defining A Path For Your Community

Community planning is a process for determining how a specific community or geographic location will evolve over time; what it will look like, how it will foster economic growth, what types of amenities do residents and visitors want? What is its future path?

Establish the Needs of a Community

Our planners work with community stakeholders to help guide these conversations through an iterative process to help mold the consensus of the community into actionable items. Some of these conversation center around where people will reside, guide the growth of industry, create vibrant commercial areas, protect what cultural elements the community holds close, and how residents gather to recreate and celebrate.

Parks & Recreation Planning

Residents of cities, towns and communities need places to recreate, exercise and enjoy nature. From the design of new improvements, to performing complete inventories for master planning, Keck & Wood helps to identify existing and future amenities to enhance recreation offerings for residents and visitors. From this work, clients and our team can develop a series of project suggestions to determine how best to utilize their capital funds, or provide guidance for future facilities.

Community Engagement

Community engagement is the discovery process to learn about the needs of a community, then connecting the elected leadership to provide for those needs. Engagement is the process which highlights the need for jurisdictions to make connections with their community. There is no one-size-fits-all for local plans, programs and communities – each activity across the community engagement spectrum seeks to foster creative and sustained relationship building.

Livable Centers Initiative Studies

The Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) grant program through the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) incentivizes local jurisdictions to envision their communities as vibrant and walkable communities with increased mobility options that provide improved access to career opportunities, commerce, and services. Results of the studies can create general transportation policies, complete streets approaches, streetscape projects, inter-parcel connectivity requirements, vehicular transportation policies, shared parking arrangements, as well as identifying new regional transportation improvements.

Comprehensive Plans

Comprehensive Plans are roadmaps that show how a long-term vision for land use can be implemented over time. These plans help communities identify present issues and opportunities, define their vision, and serve as a guideline for future growth by informing development decisions for the next decade. From participating in stakeholder meetings, to public engagement activities, to development of transportation elements, the KW Team proactively collaborates with stakeholders across a broad spectrum to ensure communities celebrate how far they’ve come, identify where they want to go, and develop a plan to get there.

Unified Development Codes

If comprehensive plans help a jurisdiction cast its vision for the future, then codes and ordinances help implement the vision for the future through standards, rules, and regulations. Our planning team has collaborated with a number of partners and jurisdictions on ordinance creation and implementation. From minor modifications to ordinances based on changes in state and other laws to the creation of an entirely new Unified Development Code, the KW team is ready to assist with testing and refining code ideas to help each jurisdiction meet its future vision.

Trail Master Planning

Trail Master Plans establish a framework for future trail development within a jurisdiction or across a network of jurisdictions, ultimately creating connections between different trail networks, providing equitable trail access and filling in critical trail “gaps” within the trail network.  The need for Trail Master Plans are generally first envisioned in more general planning documents such as a comprehensive plan or Livable Centers Initiative Study. Keck & Wood has collaborated with a number of clients on trail master planning, development and implementation.  Through physical inventory and assessment of existing conditions, public surveying and mapping, trail analysis, and corridor identification, the KW Team provides trail prioritization and mapping, design recommendations and standards along with plans and trail policy recommendations.

Transportation Planning

Transportation planning increases access and creates opportunity for communities and businesses to connect with people, and to conduct business. From the initial concepts through construction completion, we engage with clients and jurisdictions to ensure efficient transportation design projects that are safe and compliant with applicable laws.

Development Plan Reviews

Keck & Wood collaborates with local jurisdictions to provide plan review services when it is more cost effective for them to outsource, or at times when there is a staff vacancy due to turnover.  KW staff also assist in filling the void by attending developer meetings and staff development plan review meetings.

 Staff Augmentation

There may be times when a city or jurisdiction is overwhelmed, and needs assistance in bridging the gap until permanent employee(s) are identified. Or there may be times when the short-term workload is such that additional boots on the ground are necessary. Keck & Wood can provide as-needed staff to fill the gaps.  Whether it’s routine time in the office, meeting with citizens or developers, or providing code and ordinance interpretation, KW is prepared to assist with engineering, planning and administrative staff to meet a variety of local government day-to-day operational needs.


Wayfinding is how people navigate through a physical environment and enhance their understanding and experience of the space.  Keck & Wood has collaborated with a number of jurisdictions on monument and wayfinding projects.  Engaging with stakeholders to document all existing signage, identify the layout of the area or areas that need wayfinding, providing direction on consistency with colors, branding, language and positioning all create an inviting and easy-to-navigate building, structure, or city/downtown area.

Funding Application Assistance

The funding team members at Keck & Wood have raised more than $130M to help clients build important infrastructure in their communities. Grant and government funding can be overwhelming when trying to find the right program for your project.  Keck & Wood has collaborated with a number of jurisdictions in identifying opportunities when they become available, providing application assistance for Livable Centers Initiative plan updates and implementation projects such as trail and streetscape projects to major federal awards for utility infrastructure rehabilitation.


Streetscape is a broad term to mean everything that makes up the scene on a street.  Typical elements include the road, buildings, sidewalks, street trees, street lights, benches, trash receptacles, and adjoining open spaces that combine to form the street’s character.  Additional elements can include public art, drinking/water fountains, and outdoor seating.  Taken together, these elements create an outdoor environment for people whether travelling from one destination to another or lingering at a place with an inviting feel.

Our Mission

Our mission at Keck & Wood is to build a planning process that the public understands; a process where everyone is heard, and where everyone has an equal right and access to contribute in the process. Our team of planners, engineers and landscape architects strive to develop vibrant plans that just doesn’t sit on a shelf. We craft plans that become well referenced, are able to receive funding, and can implemented for years to come.

See Our Community Planning Projects