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The Master Plan: Developing a Plan for the Future
The Master Plan: Developing a Plan for the Future

For every great idea, there’s always a plan in place. However, engineering experts must create a project guideline to truly understand the scope, nature and impact of local land development and construction. Also known as a general or land-use plan, a master plan is essential to the beginning stages of commercial and residential projects throughout your community. And with help from Austin Engineering, you can quickly have a master plan in place, jumpstarting the land development and site planning processes.

What is a Master Plan?

Simply put, a master plan is a document (or several) that outlines the long-term actions and goals for a city, community, or piece of property. Most master plans take place over ten or more years. While master plans don’t always get into the specifics of individual projects, the information they provide helps guide overall construction, renovation and development toward one primary objective. And whatever that objective may be is up to those who commission the master plan. Austin Engineering has helped develop master plans for projects such as community revitalization, streetscape design, and more.

Stages of a Master Plan

As your master plan begins to take shape, so too do the various stages of your plan. Each phase of a master plan considers the proposed space development, the plan’s objectives, and how those objectives can be reached throughout the process. Stages of your master plan include:

  • Research and Analysis – A master plan takes considerable time and research. Thankfully, a company like Austin Engineering can help get the ball rolling. Much of this first phase of your master plan will consist of site planning and land development design. Construction sites will be picked, budget estimates will be provided, and the course of your projects will be set.
  • Defining Objectives – With an initial plan in place, it’s time to get everyone on the same page. Your teams of architects, engineers, contractors and construction professionals must understand the overall goal of your master plan. The collaborative nature of your master plan enables individual development projects to progress, but with a master plan’s objectives in mind.
  • Plotting a Course – While your master plan should be an excellent framework for area projects and land development, it will likely change throughout its implementation. Initial planning should include multiple options for how projects should advance. As long as your master plan’s main objectives are achieved, the methods for getting there aren’t set in stone.

Why Do You Need a Master Plan?

Master plans aren’t necessary for every commercial project you or other contractors choose to embark on. The purpose of a master plan is to create a unified vision between individual projects within an area or community. In Peoria, IL, for example, the revitalization of the Riverfront District is part of a master plan that continues to this day. Builders, architects, landowners and city leaders all utilize master planning for its ability to:

  • Create One Shared Goal – Whether it’s to help incorporate new urban design into a community or to attract tourism to an area, the commercial and residential projects that take place under a master plan will share the same goal.
  • Promote Growth – No master plan’s objective is to “maintain the status quo.” The idea behind master plans is the growth and development of a community or city. Thus, a master plan incorporates ideas and information supporting financial development, attracting business, promoting sustainable design, etc.
  • Look Toward the Future – As master plans typically take place over ten or more years, many of their design ideas are modern/futuristic. A community can come together over the implementation of a master plan to contribute ideas for how they wish their area to progress into the future.
  • Preserve the Past – At the same time your master plan considers the future of your community, it also preserves the past. In some master planning, preserving old and historic buildings is essential to your community’s vision. Especially where old subdivisions and structures have become dialect, a master plan looks to revitalize such areas.
  • Protect the Environment – Common design philosophies have begun to embrace “green” and environmentally friendly construction and land development. To this end, a master plan can help encourage greener streetscapes, sustainable construction, and protection of natural resources (woods, wetlands, agricultural lands, etc.).

Austin Engineering Can Help

Much of how Austin Engineering implements site designs and local land development relies heavily on sustainability, area revitalization, and environmental protection. As such, we’re well versed with the common objectives of a master plan, having helped put together planning previously. If your community is considering master planning, Austin Engineering can assist with its creation. Allow our team of civil engineers to help set your community on the path towards greener, more modern land development.

Or, if interested in Austin Engineering’s other civil engineering, landscape design and property surveying services, contact us today. The first consultation for your proposed project is always free, with no obligation. We presently work with clients throughout the country, with offices in Peoria IL, Davenport IA, and Chattanooga TN.

311 SW Water St, Ste 215, Peoria, IL 61602
Phone: 309-204-0694

220 Emerson Place, Ste 101-A, Davenport, IA 52801
Phone: 563-207-4605

2115 Stein Dr, Ste 207, Chattanooga, TN 37421
Phone: 423-379-2725