David leads planning and urban design for Stantec’s Urban Places. This interdisciplinary initiative integrates planning, design, smart mobility, real estate development, smart cities, and related disciplines to help communities benefit from accelerating demographic, economic, and technological changes. The American Institute of Architects praised David for “a lifetime of … significant achievement in [creating]… livable neighborhoods, vibrant civic spaces, and vital downtowns” when it awarded him the Thomas Jefferson Medal, its highest honor for achievement in the public sphere. Naming him to its Hall of Fame, Residential Architecture called David “the person we call when we have questions about cities.”
David is particularly proud of initiating a national dialogue about the benefits of creating “walkable density,” a concept he views as essential to unlocking greater urban opportunity and fulfilling our shared responsibility to make communities more livable, equitable and resilient. He walks his talk by working closely with his Urban Places colleagues to plan for more than $10 billion of investment in dense, lively, walkable urban districts in cities and suburbs alike—including strategies to ensure that the advent of autonomous mobility promotes communities that embody these qualities.
Whether the project is developing New Orleans’ post-Katrina master plan; planning a new arts/entrepreneurship district in Columbus OH; leading downtown plans for Albany NY, Birmingham AL, and Wichita KS; or creating new urban centers for suburbs in Florida, Georgia, and Ohio, David’s work focuses on the power of walkability to unlock urban opportunity. He is the co-author of Urban Design for an Urban Century (Wiley, 2014, second edition) and co-editor of Suburban Remix: Creating the Next Generation of Urban Places (Island Press, 2018).