Rob is a Principal at Houseal Lavigne and has more than 20 years of expertise in urban planning and technology related to urban development. Rob operates from the belief that urban planning has profound potential to positively shape the future of communities everywhere. As a technologist, he makes innovation more readily available to planners, helping them do their everyday work more effectively, ultimately leading to better community outcomes.

Prior to joining Houseal Lavigne, Rob worked at Esri, the world leader in geographic information systems (GIS) technology. For three years he led Esri’s Professional Services group for urban planning, helping major clients across the world apply advanced planning technology to their most challenging problems. Over the next two years, he helped define Esri’s global strategy for local government planning and worked as the principal subject matter expert and system designer for ArcGIS Urban, a cutting-edge 3D planning tool that was released in 2019.
From 2012-2014, building on previous work, Rob helped launch two startups in the urban planning software space. One of these had a successful exit to Autodesk, a major computer-aided design (CAD) software vendor to AEC and planning firms.

From 2010-2012, Rob directed the Decision Commons project at the University of Washington – a $650k effort to develop next-generation 3D planning technology. Funding came from a consortium of federal agencies (HUD, EPA, DOT) and included a broad coalition of partners: the local MPO (PSRC), transit agencies, local government planning departments, AEC firms, public interest / NGO groups, major employers, and real estate developers. This effort resulted in a technology blueprint to revolutionize the way stakeholders share ideas and make decisions about capital-intensive infrastructure and transformative policy. By providing decision-makers with scenario-based calculation of economic, environmental, and social indicators, the pros and cons of different possible decisions became more clear, promoting consensus among key stakeholders. During this time, Rob established himself as a thought leader on using technology to address complex urban development issues.

Throughout his career, Rob has worked with hundreds of planning organizations, providing a broad perspective on best practices and insight into the needs of planners, stakeholders, local governments, and private clients alike. His work ties together all key aspects of the built environment – land use, transportation, real estate development, and stakeholder management – with the overall mission of promoting equitable and sensible urban planning policy.

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