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About Shannon

Shannon McElvaney is the Geodesign Practice Director in the Advance Planning Group at Jacobs, where he focuses on integrating geospatial technology and geodesign processes with planning and design to help clients create a more sustainable built environment. He is also the Chief Geospatial Officer at WISRD (Whole Infrastructure Systems for Resilient Development), an Esri Emerging Business Partner that takes an integrative, cross-sectoral, systems approach to help leaders understand what it takes to create and maintain resilient infrastructure for our cities, campuses, and installations. He is also an adjunct professor in the Geodesign Program under the Department of Landscape Architecture at Penn State University. Formerly, Shannon worked for Esri as a geodesign evangelist, helping to promote the adoption of geodesign within the planning and design community.

Shannon has more than 25 years of experience applying a broad range of geospatial technologies across numerous industries including planning, utilities, transportation, natural resources, conservation, agriculture, and renewable energy. He has written many articles on the use of geospatial technology and is the author of the book Geodesign: Case Studies in Regional and Urban Planning. In addition to writing, Shannon is a regular speaker at conferences and workshops around the world.

Presentation abstract

A Creek Runs Through It

The City of Manitou Springs is planning a creek walk along Fountain Creek, an aspirational goal for over 30 years. The question is how does one unite a diverse set of stakeholders with competing interests to agree on a preferred route that incorporates their values and priorities? Use geodesign.

Geodesign is a powerful participatory planning method that uses stakeholder input and geospatial analytics to show the possible impact of design scenarios. It gets its strength in two ways: 1) from the diversity of participants—proving the adage that two heads are indeed better than one—and 2) from the power of spatial analytics, which allows the visualization of the world both as it is and as it could be.

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