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Conventional land use planning has often emphasized the economic benefits of prospective development projects at the expense of the host communities’ social, environmental and fiscal interests.  While development projects may, ultimately, prove financially profitable to their sponsors, there is less certainty regarding the project’s impacts on local housing markets, air and water quality, employment markets, municipal operating and capital budgets and access to basic necessities (primary medical services, childcare and full-service grocery stores). 

4ward Planning, a land-use economics consultancy, was established to assist local governments and developers achieve sustainable development outcomes through responsible, future-based planning. Our approach, founded in socioeconomic analysis, seeks the optimum development or redevelopment program for a community, based on best case outcomes within the social, environmental, fiscal and economic systems (the “4” in 4ward Planning).

While we incorporate conventional economic and market analysis techniques within

our assignments, we go a step further to examine the variables often overlooked by traditional approaches to market evaluation. Our added value to our clients is in identifying critical factors and issues (e.g., ratio of median income to median home prices and rental rates; licensed childcare facilities per 1,000 workers, etc.) that, if left un-addressed or minimized, could cause longer term threats to the vibrancy of local and regional markets. 

4ward Planning looks ahead to improve today’s land-use investment decisions.