Firm Profile: Taecker Planning and Design

firm4Taecker Planning and Design is a small innovative firm focused on revitalizing urban centers and corridors through pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented growth. Planned right, urban centers and corridors create more sustainable cities and regions – where resources are used efficiently and personal car use is just one way to get there. Designed right, urban centers and corridors create great places to live, work, and play – where people are able to meet most of their needs easily on foot or by transit.

Urban centers and corridors can leverage numerous benefits, but they also present great challenges at many levels. Matt Taecker (AIA, AICP) launched his firm to address such challenges with a combination of urban design, policy making and stakeholder engagement. The firm integrates a continuum of services, from concept-level visioning and schematics, to project entitlements and implementation strategies.firm3

Mixed Use Centers. Taecker developed Berkeley’s award-winning Downtown Area Plan, Downtown Street Improvement Plan, and is developing a circulation and urban design element for Fairfax California’s Town Center Plan. Taecker’s master plans also include mixed-use new-urban centers in suburban locations.

Livable Transit Corridors. Taecker coauthored seminal research on what makes corridors more livable, including methods, tools and strategies for getting there. Published by the Transportation Research Board, ”Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics and Strategies,” encourage complete and integrated corridors with a full complement of livability opportunities.

firm1Catalyst Projects. Taecker obtained entitlements for Downtown Berkeley’s new high-rise hotel. The project effectively navigated through Berkeley’s design review, regulatory, community and political process. Catalyst projects also include the innovative design of streets and public open spaces, such as BAMPFA’s shared street on Addison, which proposes a large mixed-mode plaza facing BAMPFA’s outdoor media screen.

Matt Taecker enjoys the freedom that comes with having a small firm. He is involved in several organizations on a variety of issues. He leads AIAEB’s “Regional and Urban Design” forum and serves on its board. He chairs California Planning Roundtable’s project: “Overcoming Obstacles to Infill.” He is working with Downtown Berkeley Association and Bike East Bay to create a continuous multi-use Shattuck-Adeline Greenway through Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville, and linking directly to the Bay Bridge. He is also engaged in masterplanning the Northbrae Community Church campus, so it can serve the community more effectively. Taecker’s office is in downtown Berkeley, where he enjoys village-like connections with colleagues from his days working for the City of Berkeley and with Calthorpe Associates. Matt commutes by bicycle from his home in North Berkeley – a pleasant 10-minute ride. firm2

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