Delivering Better Plans

PAS Memo — January-February 2012

By John Houseal, FAICP, Devin Lavigne, FAICP


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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 with offices in Chicago and Pasadena, California. 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 planning profession, having received numerous awards at the regional, state, and national levels for innovation, comprehensive planning, outreach, strategic planning, special area planning, implementation, and overall planning and design excellence. John has been a featured speaker on issues relating to urban planning, innovation, economic development, zoning, transportation, context sensitive design, graphic communication, 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 served as a Faculty Associate at University of Illinois Chicago where he taught a graduate course in spatial planning methods. John has also served on the Board of Directors for the OPRF Community Foundation, Co-Chair of CommunityWorks Advisory Board, is Co-founder/creator of Entrepreneur Leaders in Philanthropy, and was the Course Mentor and Facilitator of Leadership Lab, a community issues-based leadership development program.

Devin Lavigne, FAICP
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 an adjunct lecturer at the 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.