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January-April 2015


Urban Planning & allied fields are well known for the drafting, analysis & presentation work which are generally followed by a higher-level policy work. Undoubtedly the work done by planners is vast and diverse and cannot simply be put into words. Interdisciplinary nature of the field requires planners and anyone concerned with the land development process to be familiar with the related fields. Although each of the connected fields of planning, architecture, civil engineering, land developing, surveying has evolved over time the technological growth exclusive to planning has lagged behind. There are a number of software available for architecture & engineering work but planners all over the world are still forced to use that same software for planning work also. These include AutoCAD in “drafting” mode, GIS software for drafting & analysis such as QGIS, ArcGIS which have much wider applications, SITEOPS. Autodesk, Bentley & Carlson are the industry leaders which introduced significant changes and improvement in the 1980s & 1990s in how we design, draft & present our work. But even after decades, the fundamentals on which this software are built have remained the same. This was large because of a lack of competition in the market. Planning & Land Development industry also suffers because of lack of collaboration and teamwork from professionals of different fields namely architects, planners, surveyors & engineers.

Keeping in mind the requirements and the special need of this industry Rick Harrison from Rick Harrison Site Design Studio worked on developing software to put an end to all of these roadblocks. These concerns lead to the development of “LandMentor” which was in beta phase for a number of years. After extensive research, refinement & application the software is now available to students, municipalities, developers, consultants and everyone associated with the land development process.

To enter a market saturated with CAD and GIS software is a daunting task. Through a website frequented by Urban Studies and GIS students, Neighborhood Innovations is making the complete LandMentor system with specific training available to students worldwide for free for a one year license to create a grassroots movement that will empower the future leaders of growth to make sustainability mean something. Also, students will have access to book “Prefurbia” for free when obtained from PlanningTank. Students in urban studies, civil engineering, surveying, planning, architecture, landscape architecture, real estate, construction, have a single system to learn and work on. Kindly visit the website to know more and download the software or click read LandMentor FAQs

About Rick Harrison & RHSD Studio:
Almost 50 years ago Rick Harrison began a career in Land Planning. A few years later while developing land how critical engineering and surveying was to the process leading to a career path in those industries. Software development was a hobby that led to founding Land Innovation, Inc. after Hewlett Packard called him to form a collaborative relationship. Over 25 years ago Rick Harrison Site Design was formed as a research firm to solve growth solutions leading to pioneering innovations that has demonstrated more attractive and functional development and architecture solutions with both economic and environmental advantages. The collection of these methods were made possible by developing new technology in concert with the invention, led by Keith Willenson.

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