Robert E. Brosnan


Bob Brosnan is an expert in strategic long-range planning. He is a nationally recognized planning professional with nearly four decades of experience in city planning and urban design, with extensive knowledge of community-based planning, land use, local government policy, and zoning regulations.

Led successful planning efforts

His efforts transformed Arlington County from a quiet suburb to one of the most successful examples of smart growth and transit-oriented development (TOD) in the county with its “bull’s eye” development strategy – building housing, office and retail around transit stops.

During his tenure as the Arlington’s planning director, and also the director for the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development, the County experienced tremendous growth with the addition of 20 million sq. ft. of office/retail and 20,000 residential units in the two transit corridors, while experiencing an overall reduction in automobile trips with increased public transit ridership.

Implemented award-winning plans

Brosnan knows what “works” and how government agencies can keep a competitive edge through effective planning. His approach is to rethink land use and zoning tools to prepare for the future, encourage sustainable development and retain diversity of the population and industries.

In 2011, Arlington County adopted the urban form based codes for the Columbia Pike corridor to encourage the revitalization of key commercial nodes. The County, seeing the tools as being highly effective, adopted a neighborhood version of the form based code for the residential districts along Columbia Pike. This effort will help to reserve 6,400 affordable housing units as the area underwent transformation into a pedestrian and transit-friendly Main Street. Columbia Pike won Best Corridor Plan award in 2014 from the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU).

Brosnan also developed an innovative Crystal City plan to redevelop a substantially built-out, 1960’s mixed-use development. The Plan balanced the economics of redeveloping substantial buildings with the need for a better urban form, new streets and the coming of a streetcar system. The Crystal City Vision Plan 2050 won the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) 2009 Charter Award.

Under Brosnan’s leadership, Arlington County has been recognized as a national model of good planning, the County won many awards, including American Planning Association (APA) Innovation in Economic Planning and Development in 2013, the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement by EPA in 2002, a 2005 Sustainable Community Award from the National Association of Counties, and Great Streets by APA in 2008 as a part of its Great Places in America program.

Advisor, Speaker and Thought Leader

Brosnan has served on several Urban Land Institute (UNI), Technical Assistance Panels (TAPs), including Wheaton Metro Station Area Plan and the College Park Metro Station Plan, Brosnan is an active contributor in the Region Forward Coalition.

He has represented the United States, Department of State, on goodwill tours to South Korea, India and Bangladesh to share Arlington’s planning, smart growth and sustainability success stories.

Bob received a Master’s of City and Regional Planning from Catholic University and a BA in Business Administration and Management from Georgetown University.


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