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Melissa Hege, AICP, LEED AP, Director of Planning at Redevelopment Management Associates.
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Melissa Hege, AICP, LEED AP, practices planning and urban design in one of the Country’s most envied and envious iconic cities—the Republic of Miami. For more than a decade, she has enjoyed the juxtaposition of the region’s beauty and dysfunction, and continues to learn from it daily. Educated at the University of Pennsylvania and Brandeis University, her portfolio includes master plans and redevelopment plans, which translate design based solutions into practical applications. A focus on community outreach, goal setting, neighborhood preservation, and implementation is essential to her work as noted in her recent involvement with the Village of Pinecrest’s Strategic Plan. Other notable projects include the Downtown West Palm Beach Master Plan and Urban Regulations, which received the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association’s highest honor in 2008.

Melissa is Immediate Past Chair of the Miami Section of the Florida American Planning Association, was Co-chair for the State’s 2008 annual conference on sustainable planning, was appointed to Miami-Dade County’s Transportation Aesthetic Review Committee for three years, and spearheaded an effort to initiate a dialogue between City and County leaders to address growth management in a half day symposium. She has been published in the Miami Herald, Florida Planning, and Panorama (University of Pennsylvania).

As Director of Planning and Redevelopment Management Associates, Ms. Hege transforms complex design concepts into practical applications for downtowns and main streets.

Recent Posts

Blog post
April 11, 2012, 6pm PDT
As a childhood Whitney Houston fan and former owner of her Greatest Hits cassette tape, her death revived memories of a 13 year old summer camper standing atop a twin bed belting out The Greatest Love of All into a hairbrush microphone. I never really paid much attention to the lyrics until news reports of her death relentlessly played the song--“I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” The 13-year old in me always liked that Whitney was singing about my generation, but beyond that, I didn’t quite understand the message. And it wasn’t until last month when I listened to the lyrics and I get it now.  It is our responsibility to prepare our children for their roles in building and shaping our world, our cities, our neighborhoods.
Melissa Hege
Blog post
September 15, 2011, 8pm PDT

During these harsh economic times I’ve read about some of the most creative and inspiring planning and design projects in my career. Whether they are the product of the underemployed looking for a creative outlet or a resetting of our values and goals, something magical is happening in the world of planning. Below are 5 things that have inspired my inner planner.

 

Melissa Hege
Blog post
January 2, 2011, 7pm PST

 Be a better person; be a better planner. Musings from a planner who wants to improve our profession for 2011. Here’s how:

Melissa Hege
Blog post
August 30, 2010, 9pm PDT

Planners are taught to be analytical thinkers who use quantitative data, but also qualitative research. Remember the Myers Briggs personality test? It assesses an individual’s personality based on four preferences: A focus on the outer world (extraversion) or inner world (introversion); basic information (sensing) or interpretation and meaning (intuition); making decision based on logic (thinking) or people and special circumstances (feeling); dealing with the outside world with clear decisions (judging) or staying open to new information and options (perceiving).  As planners, we are constantly in conflict with these preferences as we straddle the world of technician and analyst.

Melissa Hege
Blog post
June 23, 2010, 8pm PDT

Melissa Hege
Blog post
June 3, 2010, 8pm PDT

I have to admit, listening to Peter Lovenheim talk about his book “In the Neighborhood, The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time”, spiked my planner’s radar. In his novel, the journalist, quite intentionally, well, the title is self-explanatory isn’t it? It sounded a bit hokey and contrived at first, as did the interview. Lovenheim explained that the only way to truly get to know someone and develop a real sense of intimacy and bond was to sleep in their home and shadow them for the day. But the real story is about the loss of intimacy and comfort among neighbors.

Melissa Hege
Blog post
May 10, 2010, 7pm PDT

As planners, we try to live the urban lifestyle, minimize our carbon footprint, and even grow our own vegetables.  I once saw a colleague wearing a button which read “Riding transit is sexy.” Lose the car, bike or walk to work. Hey, if you’re adventurous, you can even take the bus. But this is easier said than done. I’ve lived in New Haven, Boston, Philadelphia, and now Miami. And as every year passes, I find it more and more challenging to cling to my planning ideals.

 

Melissa Hege
Blog post
April 20, 2010, 8pm PDT

Let’s face it, we all get into planning ruts. A public meeting gone awry, a discontented client, a community that just doesn’t get it.  I like to call it planning fatigue, and up until a month ago, I was headed down that path. But a meeting of the minds which converged in my hometown, Miami, brought me a little closer to god, the planning god, that is. Joe Riley, the mild mannered and poignant mayor of Charleston brought me to planning euphoria. If you’ve heard him speak, then you know what I mean.  If you haven’t, well let me bring you up to speed. 

Melissa Hege