Reports & Resources


Publication Announcement

“MASTER PLANNERS: Fifty Years of Regional Planning in Southeastern Wisconsin: 1960-2010” by Paul G. Hayes, published by Marquette University Press.


To help guide its future by reviewing and learning from its past, and to commemorate its 50th anniversary, the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) commissioned Paul G. Hayes to write a history of the first fifty years of the Commission’s existence. The Commission was created in September of 1960, when then Governor Gaylord A. Nelson issued the executive order creating the Commission. Governor Nelson acted upon the unanimous petition of the County Boards of Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha Counties.

The book describes the Commission’s pioneering efforts in assembling the data needed for sound planning, including the completion of detailed inventories of the regional land use patterns; of the natural resource base including its hydrogeology, soils, woodlands, wetlands, streams and lakes; of its socio-economic characteristics; of its public infrastructure of streets and highways, transit facilities, water supply, sanitary sewerage and stormwater management facilities; and its traffic generating characteristics. The pioneering application by the Commission of mathematical simulation modeling and systems engineering to urban problems and its extensive control survey and mapping efforts are described, the latter as the foundational elements for the creation of automated, parcel based, land information systems in the Region. The Commission’s regional plans are described, noting that many initial and subsequent regional plan recommendations have been controversial, but are now generally accepted, and many have been substantially implemented. These include the identification and preservation of the Region’s environmental corridors which encompass the Region’s best remaining natural resources; the acquisition and development of 14 major State and County park sites located throughout the Region; the mapping of the Region’s floodplains to prohibit development in flood prone areas; water quality management planning which resulted in the abandonment of 20 public and 35 private sewage treatment plants and the consideration of 10 new consolidated plants; the preservation, re-establishing, and improvement of public transit systems throughout the Region; and the construction of many expanded and new arterial streets and highways.

The book also describes the cooperative, collegial, intergovernmental approach taken by the Commission to its planning work through its use of technical and intergovernmental advisory committees.

Published by the Marquette University Press, the book is available directly from SEWRPC for $29, plus shipping and tax. Please call the SEWRPC office at (262) 547-6721 or e-mail to order a copy. A newsletter and brochure have been prepared to provide an introduction to the book.

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Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission


W239 N1812 Rockwood Drive
P.O. Box 1607
Waukesha, WI 53187-1607


Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Phone: (262) 547-6721
Fax: (262) 547-1103

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