Robert Gibbs

Speech Topics:
What Main Street Can Learn from the Mall
Smart Growth Codes for Big Box Retail
Effective Urban Development Techniques for Historic Towns
The Charleston Model for Commercial Revitalization
Enhancing Sustainability by Expanding Urban Retail Market Share
Expanding Dining and Shopping Options for Medical Centers
Retail for Rebuilding Towns and Cities

Robert Gibbs, ASLA, speaks on urban retail planning. For the past 25 years, Gibbs has instilled successful commerce in new developments and revived retail in challenged downtowns and historical neighborhoods.

He has developed innovative yet practical methods for successful commercial development for more than 300 town centers and historic cities around the world including Alexandria, Atlanta, Cambridge, Charleston, Chicago, Denver, Knoxville, Naples, Portland and Seattle. He has also advised universities, corporations and states including Johns Hopkins University, Ohio State University, General Motors, the State of Florida and the Walt Disney Company.

Charleston’s Mayor Joseph P. Riley described Gibb’s work as “The Bible for the future of our historic district.”

For the last 12 years, he has taught an executive Urban Retail Planning session at Harvard’s School of Architecture. Gibbs has been a pioneer and leader in new urbanism and implementing the environmentally sustainable principles of traditional town planning as an antidote to the alienating, formless sprawl of suburbia.

Gibbs is the principal of Gibbs Planning Group, which was established in 1988. Before that, he gained invaluable expertise in retail planning by advising shopping center developers on “the psychology of commerce”—the practical science of analyzing and adjusting all elements known to affect a shopper’s mood in the marketplace. From this experience, Gibbs distilled many retail and merchandising principles for reviving retail in challenged downtowns and for instilling successful commerce in new ones.

Gibbs is the author of an upcoming book Retail Planning Principles and has been profiled in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Urban Land, and The Wall Street Journal. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Oakland University and a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan. He is a charter member of the Congress for the New Urbanism and a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Urban Land Institute.

Travels from Detroit, Traverse City or Pellston, Michigan.

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