PlaceMatters logo PlaceMatters text logo

Staff members of PlaceMatters

Brad Barnett

Brad’s work is at the intersection of planning analysis and design. At Calthorpe, he leads projects that help answer big questions about the consequences and opportunities of land use and transportation decisions. (What happens to public health costs if highways move to certain locations? What happens to energy usage if density increases near transit stations?) Calthorpe is unique in both leading scenario planning analyses and building software to support those projects. Brad also works with the software team to develop the planning software UrbanFootprint; he improves the software’s ability to communicate complex information and meet user needs.

Planning is difficult because it involves technical information and diverse people, and a huge number of people are impacted by decisions. This puts different demands on the way information is used and communicated. PlaceMatters was a particularly useful place to engage with these issues because the work is high level and on the ground.Brad’s work today builds off his experience at PlaceMatters, where he focused on effectively using data and communicating about complex issues in planning projects. He started at PlaceMatters as a Planning Analyst, leading GIS analyses or integrating results into civic engagement processes. Later, as a Program Director, Brad led initiatives like the Open Planning Tools Group and helped strengthen PlaceMatters’ focus on user experience and more nimble web-based tools. Brad credits PlaceMatters with giving him a sharper skillset around communicating complex information to different audiences.

Brad stays involved with PlaceMatters through the Open Planning Tools Group, in which Calthorpe Analytics is a member.

Learn more about Calthorpe Associates’ work at