San Antonio City Design Center Executive Manager describes his move from Southern California to the surprisingly progressive planning environment of Texas; and his discovery of the increasing nationwide prominence of semi-autonomous municipal design departments.
"Cities in the USA have typically organized their urban design functions within their planning departments as part of the development review process. In recent years there seems to be a desire to elevate urban design activities beyond the review of site plans and architectural reviews. Giving these departments their own identities is something that I see as a growing trend."
Brodeur explains some of the reasons he believes are behind this trend, and concludes his essay by identifying 33 urban design departments he's found in public institutions across the United States.