Military Installations Need Planning Too - And You Can Help

By Bob Bengford, AICP

Many military installations function as small towns with thousands of people living, working, and recreating onsite daily. Most bases operate their own utilities, maintain their own roads, and sustain facility inventories that can total millions of square feet. At the same time, they also fulfill a vital mission as part of our national defense, creating unique requirements that are not found in most communities “outside the fence.” 

Planning on military installations is a delicate balance between providing the facilities and infrastructure needed to meet mission objectives, while simultaneously creating communities that enrich the lives of our military personnel, their families, and civilian employees. Mission fulfillment continues to be a top priority, but recently there has been an increasing emphasis on the planning principles we often consider commonplace, like walkability, mixed use development, creating a sense of place, and other sustainability strategies.   

MAKERS Architecture and Urban Design has been working with the Department of Defense for over 30 years to create installation master plans that support the mission statement (i.e. why the installation exists in the first place), as well as the planning vision statement (i.e. the desired character of the community). For more information about our work and current job openings please visit us at


Return the the March issue of The Washington Planner