new Geodesign faculty at Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. Devin Lavigne, a nationally recognized urban planning professional with over 20 years of experience in the fields of urban planning, geodesign and geographic information systems (GIS), has joined Penn State’s faculty to teach an online graduate geodesign studio that focuses on solving problems at an urban scale. The course is offered through Penn State World Campus and is available to students pursuing the master of professional studies degree.

Lavigne is a co-founder of Houseal Lavigne Associates, a planning and design firm based in Chicago. The firm specializes in community planning, urban design and economic development, and uses creativity and collaboration to deliver quality solutions.

The award-winning firm allowed Lavigne to direct over 150 planning projects nationwide, and the firm earned recognition from the American Planning Association with the National Excellence Award. The projects have received several awards in categories of education, innovation, comprehensive planning, strategic planning and implementation.

In addition to the multitude of awards earned by Houseal Lavigne, Lavigne was named to the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) College of Fellows for his innovation in urban planning. The AICP Fellow is one of the highest honors in the planning and design profession. Lavigne was recognized with this honor due to his leadership in community engagement, mentorship to young planners, innovative planning tools and solutions, and years of earning accolades for his innovative techniques.

In 2008, Lavigne launched a map-based tool called “,” which is a platform that encourages community engagement by allowing the public to comment with their thoughts and ideas on a dynamic map of the community. Lavigne partnered with Esri, the world’s leading GIS software developer, to promote the tool which is now used by firms nationwide. Lavigne was first invited to speak at the Esri Geodesign Summit in 2015 where he shared his firm’s innovation and use of GIS, and is now an annual speaker at the summit.

Lavigne has taught GIS and urban planning to both graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at the University of Chicago at Chicago. He also created Planning Prep, a free resource that offers study materials for the AICP exam.

Additionally, he instructs planners across the nation to help them become AICP certified.

“Devin is going to be an exciting addition to our geodesign ranks with his vast range of experience in planning and design,” said Kelleann Foster, director of the online geodesign graduate program and professor of landscape architecture in the Stuckeman School. “He is nationally known and well-respected for his innovation in geodesign for planning in both small and larger cities”.

Lavigne attended the Ryerson Polytechnic University where he earned a bachelor’s degree from the School of Urban and Regional Planning.


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