In addition to his work as a practitioner, Philip Walker’s nationally recognized expertise in downtown revitalization, economic development and historic preservation is furthered through his publications.

This book, published in 2017, is a compilation of several papers on various aspects of economic development for small communities. Phil Walker authored one of the chapters on downtown planning.

It can purchased online, or by contacting:

Box 611 • Jefferson NC 28640
Ph. (336) 246-4460

This book is quoted in the latest edition of Randall Arendt’s classic “Rural by Design,” and is among the APA’s 39 recommended “Best in Class” books for collegiate planning curriculum. It is required reading for several collegiate planning courses, including those at the University of Massachusetts & Arizona State University.

It can purchased online, or by contacting:

Taylor & Francis Group
70 Blanchard Road, Suite 402
Burlington, MA 01803

In 1996, Phil Walker co-authored a book on the planning implications of casino gambling for historic communities. “Gambling, Economic Development & Historic Preservation” was jointly published by the APA and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

It can purchased online, or by contacting:

APA Planners Book Service
122 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60603
Ph. (312) 786-6344



The following articles by Phil Walker have appeared in professional magazines:

“Almost Lost”

PLANNING, American Planning Association • Fall 2021

From land to language, a planning effort on Hilton Head Island seeks to preserve the vanishing culture and history of its native Gullah Geechee residents–and build a better future. Hilton Head Island is most known for its thriving tourism, beach resorts, golf courses, and gated communities. However, as Gullah resident David White said at one of the numerous public engagement activities, “The history of Hilton Head did not start with a nine-hole golf course.”

“A New Direction for Natchez”

PLANNING, American Planning Association • December 2018

A struggling Southern city with a racially divided past takes a big step to create prosperity for all. On May 22, 2018, something extraordinary occurred in Natchez, Mississippi. After decades without an update to the downtown master plan, city leaders approved a brand-new one. It was the first plan in the city’s 300 year history that vigorously engaged the public, particularly the city’s African-American population community members, who account for 60 percent of the population of 15,000.

“Historic Battlefields: Open Space Worth Fighting For”

PLANNING, American Planning Association • April 2014

When it comes to this type of preservation, there’s no time to waste. Beginning when the first Europeans arrived during the 1500s and ending with the Indian wars of the late 1800s, this nation purposely and inadvertently created thousands of battlefields, and every state has them. Most are unprotected and inaccessible to the general public, but communities across the country are now learning that these untapped resources can provide tremendous benefits, including open space, environmental sustainability, heritage tourism, and economic development.

“Yoking Form-Based Codes and Historic Districts:
How To Get The Best Combination”

PLANNING, American Planning Association • March 2014

The Historic Beaufort Foundation was alarmed. Facing the impending adoption of a citywide form-based code, the foundation hired a consultant to help avoid the potential negative consequences to the community’s historic districts. That was 2011. Now, three years later, it appears there will be a happy ending…

“Beauty Isn’t Everything In Your Downtown Plan”

THE COMMISSIONER, American Planning Association • Spring 2010

Each year dozens of communities across the country embark on plans aimed at revitalizing their struggling downtowns. Civic leaders recognize the importance of their downtowns economically, socially, and culturally, as well as the less tangible roles downtowns play, such as defining the community’s image and level of civic pride. Creating a downtown plan means an investment of time, money, and effort. Despite this serious resource commitment, many downtown plans fail to achieve their ultimate goal of revitalization. What causes this unfortunate yet common scenario? 

“Top 10 Myths of Downtown Planning”

PLANNING, American Planning Association • June 2009

The true essence of every downtown plan is a collection of ideas. The misinformed notions listed here are among those frequently voiced by citizens, sometimes voiced by elected officials, and occasionally by professional planners and downtown “experts” who should know better. Many have some element of truth, but none is entirely accurate.

{“I can tell you project managers make all the difference in the overall success of major planning initiatives. Phil Walker provided leadership at every step of the project. He took the lead role in all public meetings, served as the key point of contact with the City, and oversaw all aspects of the planning process. He exhibited a high level of expertise, professionalism, and responsiveness.”
Joey Dunn, AICP
Director of Planning & Development Services
City of Bryan, Texas

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.”

Jeff Siegler, CMSM
Ohio Main Street Program

“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.”

David Bennett
City of Lookout Mountain, GA

“The Walker Collaborative did a tremendous job of helping to forge the initial vision for our heritage area. The economic study prepared by Phil Walker and persuasively presented by him in five communities throughout the region was instrumental in confirming the potential of our proposed heritage area and solidifying widespread political and public support.”

Kent Bain
Program Coordinator
Mississippi Hills Heritage Area Alliance

“… 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.”

J. David Robison, AICP
Planning & Program Director
City of Wetumpka, AL

“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.”

Merideth Hildreth, AICP
Hillsboro, New Mexico

“Working with TWC on the Washington Drive District Plan was enjoyable and rewarding. Phil’s team was very qualified and easy to work with. The high-quality renderings made the plan catch people’s attention. The vision and strategies detailed in the written text inspired those who will implement it. Phil is very attentive, quick to respond, always willing to listen, and incorporate your ideas.”

G. Lee Burnette, AICP
Director, Planning & Development
High Point, North Carolina

“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.”

Katherine E. Ennis, AICP
Planning Director
City of Northport, Alabama

“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.”

Ron Emrich
Former Executive Director
Preservation New Jersey

“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.”

Larry Otis
City of Tupelo, Mississippi