First Quarter Kicks Off With New Community Planning Projects

April 4, 2024   /   Studio News

In the first quarter of this year, Asakura Robinson has been diligently advancing our planning efforts with enthusiasm and dedication.

As a firm deeply committed to creating sustainable and thriving communities, we have embarked on several projects aimed at addressing pressing societal and environmental challenges. With a keen focus on innovation and collaboration, we are excited to kick off new initiatives that will further our mission of fostering holistic urban development while respecting the delicate balance of nature. 

M.O.V.E. Southeast Action Plan

The Mobility, Opportunity, Vitality, and Empowerment, or M.O.V.E. Houston Southeast Action Plan kicked off in February with planners Ranjan Roy (Project Manager), Tamara Fou (Deputy Project Manager), and Diego Degenhart (Engagement Specialist). The action plan is funded through the Federal Transit Authority’s Areas of Persistent Poverty Program, which targets funding to mobility-focused projects that are aimed to address environmental and/or equity in neighborhoods. M.O.V.E. Southeast goals are to create action plan centered around mobility, while also addressing needs for access to opportunity, and in turn supporting the growth of individual and community vitality and empowerment in Houston Southeast.  

The team had a successful first Steering Committee meeting with a fantastic turnout, discussing existing mobility and transportation conditions in the area with TEI Planning + Design and hearing the committee members’ aspirations for Houston Southeast. AR is also excited to embark on an engagement strategy alongside FordMomentum!, that meets the community where they are through pop-up/incremental engagement and public meetings, that will keep people informed and engaged throughout the entire planning process.  

City of Shreveport Comprehensive Plan Update 

Heading just across the Texas-Louisiana border, planners Andrew Knuppel (Project Manager) and Tamara Fou (Deputy Project Manager) traveled to Shreveport, Louisiana in early February to launch an update to the City of Shreveport’s Great Expectations 2030 Master Plan. During the kickoff meeting, attendees discussed project goals and toured Shreveport’s diverse neighborhoods. 

See full story here 

Since the previous plan was adopted, Shreveport has adopted a new land development code and implemented a Choice Neighborhoods implementation project. Updating the plan provides an opportunity to further define and refine shared values in Shreveport including a visionary Equitable Development Strategy, responding to changing economic conditions, and focusing on community economic development initiatives through a coordinated planning framework. As prime consultant for the plan, Asakura Robinson will work closely with the Shreveport-Caddo Metropolitan Planning Commission to manage the community engagement process including an extensive Community Ambassador program that will build local capacity and organization for plan implementation. AR is joined by a talented team of locally based sub-consultants, including KSA Engineers (engineering/infrastructure advisory and meeting facilitation support), AMW Consulting (community engagement and outreach strategy), and Richard Creative (communications and graphic design) as well as Atlanta-based APD Urban Planning + Management (economic analysis and community development strategy). 

“I am excited to play a supportive role as Deputy Project Manager in developing a plan that will propel the growth of the City and build capacity, through focusing on the reconciliation of community goals and aspirations for the City of Shreveport.” Tamara Fou, AICP 

City of Hattiesburg Broadway Drive and West Pine Street Master Plan 

The firm is also starting its first project in the Magnolia State of Mississippi, working with the City of Hattiesburg to create a Broadway Drive and West Pine Street Master Plan. These corridors connect historic Downtown Hattiesburg to U.S. Highway 49 and reflect postwar suburban commercial and industrial development patterns. 

The project will build on AR’s corridor planning portfolio, developing a refined land use and urban design vision and identifying mobility improvements to make the area safe, accessible, and attractive for all users. AR is using ArcGIS Urban and scenario planning methods to assess potential urban design and land use outcomes within the corridor, and will host a “mini-charrette” in addition to an open house and virtual community engagement to provide opportunities for the public and stakeholders to shape the corridor’s vision.  

Project Manager Andrew Knuppel attended the in-person kickoff meeting in Hattiesburg, meeting with City staff and elected officials to understand the City’s goals for the project and gain on-the-ground experience through a study area tour.  

Deputy Project Manager Mary Allen will lead the project’s urban design elements and support coordination with the firm’s One Studio vision and transdisciplinary approach. Alliance Transportation Group will provide transportation modeling, engineering, and design recommendations for the plan, bringing additional design and implementation expertise to the project team.  

We are excited to get to work on these new projects and continue our firm’s work across Texas, Louisiana, and the Gulf South! 

For more information, please contact Amanda Wheeless at 

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