Delivering Better Plans

PAS Memo — January-February 2012

By John Houseal, FAICP, Devin Lavigne


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Are your planning documents as user-friendly and graphically engaging as they could — and should — be? The January/February 2012 issue of PAS Memo presents an overview of some of the trends and issues that are affecting plan making; provides considerations to draft better text; and reviews tips for improving the maps, charts, illustrations, plans, and documents they produce.


Page Count
Date Published
Jan. 1, 2012
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American Planning Association

About the Authors

John Houseal, FAICP
John is Principal and Co-founder of Houseal Lavigne, an innovation-based planning and design firm headquartered in Chicago. John has directed a wide variety of planning, design, development, zoning, and outreach related projects across the country for communities ranging from small farming towns to the nation's largest cities and metropolitan areas. John's work is widely recognized throughout the planing profession, having received numerous awards at the regional, state, and national levels for innovation, comprehensive planning, outreach, strategic planning, special area planning, implementaion, and overall planning and design excellence. John has been a featured speaker on issues related to urban planning, innovation, zoning, transportation, context sensitive design, graphic commuication, and the environment. John has served as an AICP certification instructor at the national and state level for more than 20 years. John is also a Faculty Associate at Univercity of Illinous Chicago where he teaches a graduate level course in spatial planning methods.

Devin Lavigne
Devin Lavigne is a nationally recognized innovative leader in the field of urban planning, with special expertise in urban design, physical planning, graphic communication, development visualization, and GIS. Co-founder of Houseal Lavigne Associates, a National Planning Excellence Award recipient, Devin has directed more than 150 plans, using groundbreaking techniques and approaches. With his Esri-based “” program, he was a pioneer in using maps for interactive public engagement. Devin is currently an adjunct lecturer at Penn State, Urbana-Champaign and Chicago campuses of the University of Illinois, and is co-creator of “Planning Prep”, a free resource that helps planners prepare for AICP certification.