The Walker Collaborative’s Phil Walker has over 35 years of experience drafting and implementing all types of land use and design policy, including zoning, development standards and design guidelines.

In addition to writing such policies for dozens of communities across the country as a consultant, he has implemented land use and design policies by performing plan review for communities as diverse as Pensacola (FL), Natchez (MS), Nolensville (TN), and numerous boroughs and townships throughout New Jersey. Specific services provided by The Walker Collaborative include:

• Zoning Ordinances Development
• Design Standards and Form-Based Codes
• Historic Preservation Ordinances and Design Guidelines

Zoning & Design Guideline Project Portfolio

Cullman, Alabama


Cullman was hit by a tornado that destroyed part of its historic downtown. With many property owners needing to quickly repair and rebuild, the City’s lack of historic zoning and design guidelines amplified the downtown’s vulnerabilities. Not wanting to hold up the recovery process, the City quickly hired TWC, which led an intensive three-day charrette to create design guidelines. Support was provided by Common Ground Urban Design + Planning and local architects.

Sumner County, Tennessee


Sumner County is a largely rural, but rapidly suburbanizing, county located northeast of Nashville. Hemmed in by a half dozen communities on its periphery, the county has several roads having the potential to gradually transition into strip commercial corridors. To help the county deal with these serious challenges, TWC was first hired to lead a multi-disciplinary team.

Fayetteville, North Carolina


Founded in 1760 near the Cape Fear River in the southeast part of the state, Fayetteville is perhaps best known as the home to the Fort Bragg military base. Less known to those who have not visited the community are its beautiful historic districts that reflect a broad range of eras and architectural styles. Their existing standards prior to this project were prepared in 2000, but in much need of rewriting.

Frederick, Maryland


Established in 1745, Frederick has a population of approximately 72,000 people. Because of the extraordinary historic integrity and character of the community, it had one of the country’s first locally-designated historic districts. The East Street corridor is located just east of the core of Downtown Frederick, but it features a wide range of conditions. The City decided to pursue the creation of their first Form-Based Code (FBC) to guide future redevelopment and hired TWC to prepare a study for the area before embarking on the project.

Northport, Alabama


The Walker Collaborative’s Phil Walker has been working with the City of Northport on planning issues since 1999. TWC led the creation of a master plan and new zoning and design standards for the entire area. The zoning and standards completely replaced the existing policies with the creation of twelve distinct districts, each with different permitted land uses and design standards. Similarly, there were several street types mapped for the area that correlate with street cross-sections, as well as two alley types. The plan and codes were adopted by the City Council shortly after their completion and have since been used to guide development in the 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 Zoning and Design Guideline Projects

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

Capitol Districts Design Guidelines: Little Rock, Arkansas (2022)*

Burlington Historic Districts Design Standards: Burlington, North Carolina (2022)*

Madison Historic District Design Guidelines: Madison, Indiana (2021)*

Omaha Historic Districts Design Guidelines: Omaha, Nebraska (2020)

Sumner County Unified Development Code: Sumner County, Tennessee (2018)*

Trussville Subdivision Regulations: Trussville, Alabama (2018)*

Lookout Mountain PUD Ordinance: Lookout Mountain, Georgia (2017)*

Lookout Mountain Town Center Design Guidelines: Lookout Mountain, Georgia (2016)*

Starkville Code Update: Starkville, Mississippi (2015)*

Oxford Code Update: Oxford, Mississippi (2015)

MacArthur Park Historic District Infill Guidelines: Little Rock, Arkansas (2015)*

Natchez Development Code Update: Natchez, Mississippi (2013)*

Beaufort Zoning Analysis & Strategy: Beaufort, South Carolina (2011)*

Downtown Clarksville Design Guidelines: Clarksville, Tennessee (2010)

Route 17 Corridor Design Guidelines: Isle of Wight County, Virginia (2007)

Rock Hill Zoning & Development Standards: Rock Hill, South Carolina (2004)

Heath Town Center Overlay Zoning & Design Guidelines: Heath, Texas (2002)*

Fanning Bend Design Standards: Franklin County, Tennessee (2002)*

Wildwood Town Center Zoning & Design Guidelines: Wildwood, Missouri (2002)*

Lenox Village Zoning & Design Standards: Nashville, Tennessee (2001)*

Uptown Memphis Zoning & Design Principles: Memphis, Tennessee (2001)*

Music Row Design Guidelines: Nashville, Tennessee (2000)*

East Nashville Design Guidelines: Nashville, Tennessee (2000)*

Franklin Development Standards: Franklin, Tennessee (2000)*

Columbia Avenue Design Guidelines: Franklin, Tennessee (2000)*

Hillsboro Village Design Guidelines: Nashville, Tennessee (1999)*

Fairpark District Design Guidelines: Tupelo, Mississippi (1999)

Old Meridian Design Guidelines: Carmel, Indiana (1999)*

Downtown Memphis Urban Design Guidelines: Memphis, Tennessee (1998)*

Cleveland Zoning, Subdivision & Development Standards: Cleveland, Tennessee (1997)

Central High School Neighborhood Design Guidelines: Little Rock, Arkansas (1997)*

Walden Commercial Development Standards: Walden, Tennessee (1997)*

Saving the Farmstead Design Guidelines: Williamson County, Tennessee (1997)*

Nolensville Zoning, Subdivision & Development Codes: Nolensville, Tennessee (1997)*

Natchitoches Historic District Design Guidelines: Natchitoches, Louisiana (1996)*

Cumberland Historic District Design Guidelines: Cumberland, Maryland (1994)*

Vicksburg Downtown & Riverfront Design Guidelines: Vicksburg, 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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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)