The 90s marked the third wave of leadership at WRT, expansion of the firm in size and geographic reach, and the rise of technology throughout design and planning processes. More notable than the shift from Prismacolor to GIS, Adobe, and ACAD, the 90s were a period when many regions experienced a population and development boom. This boom is reflected in WRT’s portfolio of work in the 90s—ranging from comprehensive plans and parks and open space networks to housing and senior living communities.
As cities and regions grew, the public recognized the potential impacts planning and design projects presented to their communities and demanded a voice in decisions regarding quality of life. The emergence of public involvement in all stages of planning and design sparked WRT to evolve beyond the analytical response to problems and develop innovative approaches and solutions based on the public’s values.
WRT’s work in Monroe County, FL, and Charleston, SC, represents projects where community members and stakeholders with divergent views informed the process and solution. Common ground and support for these projects was established by identifying a vision based on common values.
The 90s illustrates a shift from pragmatic problem solving to solutions informed by common values among citizens with often disparate viewpoints. In addition to informing the approach and outcome to planning and design, increased community involvement throughout the 90s signified the recognition that public support creates the political will for implementation.