The Walker Collaborative’s Phil Walker has over 35 years of experience with waterfront planning.

He has extensive experience with waterfronts in both the public and private sectors. All three of his public sector positions included the revitalization of highly-significant waterfronts.

His first high-level position in planning was as the Executive Director of the Pensacola (FL) Downtown Improvement Board (Pensacola Bay / Gulf of Mexico), while his subsequent positions included the City Planning Director for Natchez, Mississippi (Mississippi River) and the Interim Director of Clarksville, Tennessee’s, Two Rivers Company (Cumberland River).

As a consultant, he served as the Project Manager for several plans for important waterfronts, including: D’Iberville, MS (Back Bay of Biloxi /Gulf of Mexico); Vicksburg, MS (Mississippi River); Cumberland, MD (Potomac River); Troy and Ossining, NY (Hudson River); and Natchez, MS (Mississippi River).

Waterfront Project Portfolio

Natchez, Mississippi

Downtown Natchez Master Plan

Established in 1716, Natchez has an international reputation for its antebellum architecture, but the downtown has floundered. As a result, The Walker Collaborative (TWC) was hired to lead a consultant team to craft a master plan. While the plan addressed the entire downtown, a focus was paid to the river bluff area on the west end and the MLK Triangle (hub of African American history) on the east end.

Isle of Wight County, Virginia

Isle of Wight Area Plan

Established in 1634 at the confluence of the James River and the Chesapeake Bay, Isle of Wight County had concerns that the area surrounding the Route 17 corridor might be over-developed and the coastal natural environment might be negatively impacted. The Walker Collaborative was part of a team led by Raybould Associates to create a plan and design guidelines to help shape the area’s future growth. TWC had the lead role in two key components: public engagement and the creation of the design guidelines.

Wetumpka, Alabama


Located 20 miles north of Montgomery, Downtown Wetumpka is wedged between the Coosa River and the steep rocky rim of a meteor impact crater. The Walker Collaborative was hired to craft a strategy to enhance the riverfront and revitalize the adjacent downtown. Since the plan’s adoption, progress has included streetscape redevelopment and a new Main Street program.

Clarksville, Tennessee


Located on the Cumberland River in North Central Tennessee, Clarksville is the state’s fifth largest community. While a variety of downtown and riverfront revitalization entities had come and gone over the years, a new organization was established in 2010. Lacking a vision and strategy, the Two Rivers Company (TRC) hired The Walker Collaborative to lead a visioning process with their board and to create a Strategic Plan.

Northport, Alabama


The Walker Collaborative’s Phil Walker has been working with the City of Northport on riverfront and downtown planning issues since 1999. Most recently, the City hired TWC to lead an extensive planning project for the downtown, riverfront and surrounding urban neighborhoods. Under a development moratorium until this work was completed, TWC led the creation of a master plan and new zoning and design standards for the entire area.

Additional Projects

Phil Walker has played a key role in the following projects through The Walker Collaboration (since 2002) and previous firms.

Click Here To View More Waterfront Projects

Projects for which he was the Project Manager have been asterisked (*)

Riverfront Site Market Feasibility Study: Nashville, Tennessee (2003)

Tims Ford Lake Conservation Development Plan: Franklin County, Tennessee (2002)*

Uptown Memphis Comprehensive Plan: Memphis, Tennessee (2001)*

Downtown Historic District Plan: Natchitoches, Louisiana (1996)*

C&O Canal Management Plan: Cumberland, Maryland (1995)*

Downtown Evansville Recommendations: Evansville, Indiana (1995)*

Ossining Downtown & Riverfront Plan: Ossining, New York (1994)*

Troy Downtown Waterfront Plan: Troy, New York (1993)*

Vicksburg Downtown Plan: Vicksburg, Mississippi (1993)*

D’Iberville Downtown Waterfront Study: D’Iberville, Mississippi (1993)


“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

“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.”

Denise Boswell, Ph.D.
Senior Planner, Planning and Development Services
City of Wilson, NC

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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.”

Courier Staff
The Courier (Russellville, AR)

“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.”

Don Emmons
City of Midway, Georgia

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

“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