L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



City Appoints Pitt to “Richmond 300” Advisory Council

By Pamela Stallsmith

A Wilder School faculty member has been appointed to the advisory council for the city’s new master plan process, Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth.

Damian Pitt, Ph.D., associate professor of urban and regional studies and planning, is among 21 Richmonders named to the council. Also serving on the council are Meredith Weiss, Ph.D., VCU’s vice president of administration, and Wilder School alumna Ashley Hawkins (M.P.A.’13/GPA; Cert.’13/GPA), cofounder and executive director of Studio Two

Three, Richmond’s only printmaking studio that’s open to the public.

The plan will set forth a 20-year vision for Richmond’s growth and will be developed with extensive community input as the city approaches its 300th anniversary in 2037. The plan will set the roadmap for how Richmond evolves over the coming decades, and will establish the city’s goals and objectives on a number of different topics including land use, transportation, economic development, public safety and sustainability.

Richmond’s Department of Planning and Development Review made a concerted effort to recruit Advisory Council members who would represent a diverse cross-section of the city’s residents and stakeholders, Pitt said, which will help to ensure that the plan’s recommendations address the full range of needs across the community.

“Richmond is at a turning point, with tremendous growth opportunities and a rising national profile,” Pitt said. “The plan will identify strategies for capitalizing on these opportunities in a way that will benefit all sectors of the city, and I’m excited to be a part of the process.”

Two of the background reports in support of Richmond 300, which the committee will use, were created by the Wilder School’s Center for Urban and Regional Analysis:

  • Land Use, Housing, and Demographic Analysis, which summarizes Census data showing how Richmond has changed over time. The report also presents an analysis of six historic commercial areas in Richmond and states how many more median-income households would be needed in the neighborhood to support a neighborhood grocery store.
  • Urban Design Typologies, which categories Richmond land area by urban design typologies and also presents a short history of the development of the city of Richmond.

At an event to launch the initiative this summer, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said, “Make no mistake, this is a massive undertaking that involves aligning internal city hall department efforts, braking down silos, and having one roadmap for the growth of our city.”