April 11th, 2019
Yogesh Saoji: On collaboration with clients, tackling complex challenges, and making an impact.

Senior Associate Yogesh Saoji is passionate about tackling complex challenges and is driven by creating an impact within communities.

What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?

I help strategize and navigate complex planning, design, policy, and real estate development issues with clients, stakeholders, and communities every day. It involves collaborating and communicating with a diverse group of clients including state and local governments, higher education institutions, developers, as well as with a multidisciplinary team of colleagues at WRT and partners.

We are currently working on a redevelopment plan in Hoboken, NJ that involves working with City and the property owners / developers, working on a third Capitol Complex Plan in Richmond, VA with the Commonwealth, and on an area-wide master plan for the Gateway area in Pinellas County, FL.


Why are you motivated to do what you do? 

I believe planning and design professionals can make a lasting impact in our communities. As an architect, planner, and urban designer I tend to think beyond disciplines addressing complex challenges we face today of resiliency, mobility, economic feasibility, and improving the quality of life. To me, connecting the dots while staying focused on implementation is imperative.


How do you come up with new ideas? How do you choose the best one? 

Working with teams and brainstorming various options is the best way to come up with new ideas. The process starts with listening and analysis so that we get initial ideas flowing. New ideas require us to go beyond our comfort zones and disciplines. I find that the best ideas emerge from such partnerships and they are often authentic, rooted to a place, get implemented, and are known for their design excellence.


What is a project that you've always wanted to work on?

A project of any scale and size that provides lasting value, community benefit, and can be an inspiration to generations.


Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career? 

As a trained architect, I wish I knew to devote more time developing my writing skills. And while I knew computers were coming, none of us estimated the pace of change including the power of our own hand held supercomputers. 


Bonus question:  
What gets you out of bed in the morning? 

Knowing that I can make an impact every day.