March 30, 2016
$1.45-Million Project to Set Vision for Region’s Future Development
This spring, Michael Baker International experts are applying their experience in community and urban planning to a large-scale initiative in San Bernardino County, Calif. designed to create a resident-driven blueprint for the region’s future growth and development. The company’s $1.45-million agreement calls for the creation of a new approach to community planning for 26 unincorporated communities in the county, the largest in the nation by land area and home to more than two-million people.
“Michael Baker experts in community and urban planning know that each San Bernardino County community faces unique challenges – from how the land is used to how the economy will evolve in the years to come,” said Susan Harden, national practice lead for Michael Baker International’s Planning Practice. “With a local focus and deep experience in this kind of work, Michael Baker is ready to coordinate the complex process of assessing needs, engaging the residents of each unique community in a meaningful way and preparing a system of plans designed to capitalize on the opportunities in this diverse region of California’s Inland Empire.”
The two-year plan development process involves an integrated, full-scale assessment of community needs, including potential changes in land use, economic development initiatives, tourism opportunities, business retention strategies, roadway and housing improvements, mass transportation, environmental and sustainability practices, infrastructure, parks and open spaces. To begin the process, Michael Baker team members are spearheading a series of community workshops this spring to solicit input on key topics from stakeholders that include elected officials, business leaders and residents.
“Michael Baker’s collaborative approach and expertise in both community planning and stakeholder engagement made them the optimal choice for this important exercise, one of the largest of its kind in county history,” said James Ramos, chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. “We’re pleased Michael Baker is facilitating the process of laying the groundwork for our communities’ futures.”
Michael Baker’s expertise in community planning includes a full continuum of innovative solutions for outreach, planning, urban design, environmental clearance and entitlement processing. The company’s experts maintain an intense focus on quality of life, social and economic health, livability and sustainability when developing comprehensive community plans for a region’s future. Representative projects include community planning for the California cities of Fullerton, Murrieta, Buena Park and Lancaster; and the cities of Surprise and Scottsdale in Arizona.