Who Are We

 

R+W is not your average urban planning and development consulting firm. It is not bound by convention or structure. The R+W philosophy is that, regardless of your project, we need to deliver the best approach and team to get you the outcome you want. So what does this mean?

It means that for every project, we will tell you what is required to get from idea to reality, provide you with the steps involved, and help you understand how to get through them successfully. We will be with you every step of the way with either Michelle Richard or John Wintrup as your project coordinator.

We will present you with the full scope roadmap – how it will get done and who needs to be involved. We will draw on the strength of our network to find the best practitioners with the most desirable experience and bring them on board. We know them well, have worked with them extensively, and can get them involved.

We will scour what is happening in other places and apply best practice. Both John and Michelle have 20+ experience but they know that they must keep learning. Our communities are changing at an unprecedented speed and their stewardship is becoming more and more complicated. For this reason, we believe that you must invest in understanding the state of the art.

We will start with the concept of economic development and not land use regulation. Too often, planning practitioners start with the zoning bylaw. We commit to starting with the inquiry – how does your project support an economic development objective? Is your vision aligned with the economic development vision of others? Does the regulation line up? If not, is it feasible to change it?

We will understand the numbers. Often overlooked by urban planning practitioners, we will make it our business to understand your business. Whether it’s wanting to be successful at a small development, understanding how to grow your municipality sustainability (including fiscal sustainability), or understanding how massive city building projects such as introducing rapid transit can be most effectively leveraged to create profitable communities.

We understand that people matter. We strongly believe that people need to be a part of the process and need to be engaged. We also believe that plans should be easily understood by all; rich with ideas and pictures of what can or will happen.

It is this unconventional approach that makes us different.

Our Principles

  • Projects must contribute by providing jobs, a sustainable tax base, or quality of life; be it housing, amenities, and businesses
  • Communities need to be connected. We support all means to get people out of their cars and will practically work towards this vision
  • We believe in placemaking and form, designing based on how places will look and fit within communities. The most desirable communities are those that are dense, well designed and full of life.
  • An iterative processes means that there is never one answer but multiple perspectives that help lead to the desired outcome. We are committed to exemplary research, analysis, and inquiry to arrive at what we think is the best solution.

Richard Wintrup