The Walker Collaborative’s Phil Walker has over 35 years of experience preparing,and implementing planning strategies for downtowns across the country.
In addition to creating numerous master plans as a consultant, he has spearheaded revitalization efforts as the downtown organization director in Pensacola, Florida, as the City Planning Director in Natchez, Mississippi, and as a Board of Directors member of a local Main Street program. He served from 2011-2013 as the part-time Interim Director of the Two Rivers Company – the downtown and riverfront revitalization agency for Clarksville, Tennessee.
Similarly, he served as the part-time Interim Director of the newly-established Downtown Natchez Alliance (2019-2022) after leading the preparation of their downtown master plan a year earlier. Phil Walker has also consulted to the National Main Street Center and has been a speaker on the subject at several universities and downtown revitalization conferences. His book entitled Downtown Planning for Smaller and Mid-sized Communities was published in 2009 by the American Planning Association’s Planners Press.
Downtowns & Commerical Districts Project Portfolio
Downtown Fayetteville Master Plan
The seat of Lincoln County, Fayetteville is a community of 7,000 people located in South Central Tennessee and home to the famous “Lincoln County Process” of whiskey distilling, as utilized by Jack Daniels at nearby Lynchburg. The Walker Collaborative led a team to prepare a plan for the historic downtown. The process included a market conditions assessment and strong public engagement, including a four-day charrette.
Downtown Russellville Master Plan
Located 75 miles west of Little Rock, Russellville is a community of 28,000 people. TWC was hired by the City and Main Street Russellville to lead a team to prepare a plan to strengthen the downtown’s competitiveness. Strategies included a public events venue, a “road diet” for Main Street, improving intersections for pedestrian friendliness, a new downtown library, facade improvements, and on-street parking regulations.
Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Downtown Wilkesboro Master Plan
The Walker Collaborative was hired by the Town of Wilkesboro to create a physical improvement plan to help revitalize the historic downtown. Key recommendations included: traffic calming, streetscape redevelopment, additional parking, conversion of on-street parallel parking to angled parking in specific locations, enhancing the historic courthouse green, a new park and market, burying overhead utilities, and extending the existing greenway system.
High Point, North Carolina
High Point Core City Plan
Although High Point’s bi-annual “furniture markets” constitute the largest economic events in the state, they are both a blessing and a curse. Because furniture showrooms dominate the CBD’s ground floor uses, the downtown fails to function as a conventional downtown with a range of tenant types and activities. The Walker Collaborative (TWC) was hired by the City to lead the creation of a plan for the Core City.
Downtown Gallatin Master Plan
The City of Gallatin hired The Walker Collaborative to create a Downtown Master Plan. The project started with a public “kick-off” meeting, a market survey and a public charrette. Recommendations included: a new downtown library, a parking garage screened with a new City Hall annex, a public park, an enhanced public plaza, streetscape improvements, a greenway along Town Creek, a farmers market, mixed-use infill, a parking management program and more.
Phil Walker has played a key role in the following projects through The Walker Collaboration (since 2002) and previous firms.
“From all accounts, The Walker Collaborative knows what it’s doing when the aim is downtown revitalization… What we like most about this process is the strong desire this organization has to get public input…
The Walker Collaborative seemed to truly care about getting local buy-in.”
“Downtown Planning for Smaller and Midsize Communities is excellent for anyone working in revitalization. The book covers all of the aspects that help create a healthy downtown and a successful revitalization strategy. It’s the big picture of what makes a downtown function and the importance of having a plan. It reminded me what initially interested me about the field.”
“The reason the City continuously hires The Walker Collaborative, even over the course of multiple political administrations, is because they do a good job. Phil is good at listening to his clients and the public in general, and he takes the time to understand the various existing conditions in a thorough manner. His solutions for our community always seem to be the most technically sound and pragmatic path to take, so we value his recommendations.”
“Mr. Walker assembled a talented team…that have dramatically changed the neighborhood for the better.
The plan has since been used as a model strategy for the revitalization
of other similar neighborhoods in Tupelo.”
“Phil’s charrette process exceeded our expectations… Phil and his team demonstrated an outstanding ability to work with anxious developers, interested property owners, and concerned neighbors. The caliber of Walker’s work was proven when the resulting Downtown and Riverfront Master Plan was awarded the 2009 Outstanding Planning Award from the Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association.”
“… the City hired The Walker Collaborative (TWC) to craft a detailed revitalization strategy in 2013… Issues addressed included uses and development along the Coosa River … Although budgets are tight, we have used the plan to make steady progress in revitalizing the district… The City of Wetumpka was quite pleased with the services and end product provided by The Walker Collaborative.”
“Phil is a pleasure to work with and for. He is committed to giving his clients
everything they seek while providing high-quality professional recommendations and plans.
He is always seeking the best in colleagues and consultants, as well.”
“You and your team did a fantastic job with this comprehensive plan.
It clearly reflects a high level of care on your part.
We feel like the City of Midway really got its money’s worth.”
“I enjoyed your session. Your presentation was streamlined so it was easy to follow and grasp concepts,
entertaining with your natural injection of humor, and you had excellent presence.
You really connected with your audience.”
“Philip and his team are sincerely nice people with no pretense –
a delight to be around and interact with.
I am looking forward to helping implement all the great ideas and images they created for our City.”