Growing up in a rural small town that was overtaken by suburban development, Trevor Barger’s legacy to planning is the marriage of these environments in a way that brings the best of both to the fore within the constraints of the natural setting. To accomplish this, he has honed the skills of being a natural social bridge builder and idea translator. In his professional urban planning work, he is often as creative with the spreadsheet and entitlements as he is with the physical design of the land and social engagement of the community. His award-winning projects (“his children”) have inspired planners in the profession regionally, nationally and internationally. Trevor loves to share what he has discovered - teaching at ASU and Taliesin and informally with fellow DRC (P&Z) board members, elected officials and clients.
5 Outstanding Career Achievements
Making the Unique Character of the Desert Southwest “Cool” - As an Arizona native, Trevor is passionate about the character and the complexity of the desert southwest. In his professional work he has brought the natural character of the region with all of its subtle nuances into the built environment. DC Ranch was the first of these major projects which was conceived in a time where lawn and palms and red tile roofs in a monochromatic style was the cutting-edge format for master planned communities in the southwest. His approach to DC Ranch challenged that paradigm in favor of a design that would work with the beautiful natural character of the lush desert, mountainside site. This ability to work with the land has impacted the built environment on thousands of acres in Arizona, whether through a master planned community or on important and historic ranching properties. The resultant places are the subject of lectures, studies, analogies and have been photographed, toured and copied by planners, developers and communities who seek to emulate the result.
Leading in Neighborhood Crafting - Passionate about neighborhoods, Trevor has studied neighborhood form from places around the world and uses these well lived examples to create contemporary, intimate neighborhoods with a strong sense of place, connected to each other and the greater region. Working with like-minded landowners has provided him the ability to refine neighborhood crafting principles and techniques, creating many sought after neighborhoods including DC Ranch, Verrado, Marley Park and Eastmark. In the last decade, his projects have included dense urban neighborhoods in projects such as Eastline and The Grid.
Clever Entitlements to Make the Impossible Possible - Trevor has collaborated with others to create renowned regulatory zoning frameworks to create new methods to regulate land use. He has authored zoning documents that have been effective in allowing and encouraging master planned communities to evolve and grow over time. One Scottsdale implemented the use of a land use budget and planning area to encourage diversity in the urban character. Eastmark created Arizona’s first form-based zoning and inspired the City of Mesa to adopt a similar zoning code as an opt-in zoning for its downtown redevelopment areas. NZ Legacy included the Compressive Plans for Navajo and Apache Counties in Arizona, creating a rural growth plan from the urban standard requirements.
Applying Planning Techniques to Non-traditional Projects - Trevor uses traditional planning techniques to create long term strategic development plans for non-traditional projects such as non-profit organizations including Childhelp, the Phoenix Zoo, Consolari, the Sea Water Foundation, the Sonoran Desert Center and the Firelight Center
Communicating Complex Ideas - Trevor is well known in the local development community for his ability to communicate complex planning and development visions and ideas in a simple, clear and understandable manner. Through the use of elegantly crafted graphics, comparative analyses and causational diagrams he has crafted presentations on character, design guidelines, the keys to regional employment growth, density, and recently the Planners Guide to the 2016 APA National Conference in Phoenix.
Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Certified Urban Designer (FAICP CUD)
Bachelor of Science in Design
Focus Housing & Urban Development
Arizona State University, 1995
Masters of Science, Planning
University of Arizona, 1997
Swaback Partners - 1998-2003
Espiritu Loci, Founder & CEO 1997 - present
Arizona Strategies, Principal 2017- present
ASU, Associate Faculty Member
Taliesin West – Adjunct Faculty
American Planning Association (APA)
Urban Land Institute (ULI), Member
Co-Chair, ULI’s AZ Technical Advisory Panel 2008 - 2011
Giving Tree’s Advisory Board
All Saints Roman Catholic Newman Center Tempe, Chair, Advisory Committee
Childsplay Board of Trustees & Capital Campaign Board Member (former)
Development Review Commission, Vice Chair , City of Tempe (former)
Neighborhood Advisory Commission, Commissioner, City of Tempe (former)
Capital Campaign Board, All Saints Catholic Newman Center (former)