Bradley Calvert, AICP

Bradley's headshot standing in front of a dark background, wearing a suit
Director of Community Development for the City of Glendale, CA

Bachelor of Architecture, UNC Charlotte (2009)  
Master of City and Regional Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology (2014)
Graduate Certificate in Real Estate, Georgia State University (2014)

Hometown: Bloomington, I.L.

Bradley Calvert began his journey in architecture as a child when he started drawing buildings and cityscapes. He was also given a drafting set at a young age, when he really fell in love with drawing and creating. "From there I was fortunate to have a high school that offered a variety of courses that contributed to my growth and interest in the built environment," he says.

Bradley built a strong foundation in architecture at UNC Charlotte, specifically in the areas of planning and building and safety. "I feel that the architecture education created the foundation necessary for me to expand my abilities and expertise to be comprehensive in how we create places and cities. It has equipped me with the tools to develop zoning and urban design guidelines and regulations that are rooted in a pragmatic foundation, considering both the needs of the community and designers. I also began to develop a strong interest in urban design and placemaking, both of which are becoming increasingly important tools in regards to economic development and the ability to create a place and city that businesses and their employees want to be."

His favorite memory from his time on campus? "My studio with Deb Ryan was one of my favorites. It was a project to redevelop a part of downtown Mt. Holly, and was by far one of the most fun projects we were able to work on. It was through this studio where I developed a strong passion for urban design and city planning and understanding the complex interrelationships that exist beyond the design of buildings, and included the public realm, streets, and even considerations of economic development. This studio taught me to see things on a much larger scale and eventually led me to my current profession in planning and community development."

As a professional, one of Bradley's most rewarding projects was a plan for the Wilburton Commercial Area in Bellevue, Washington. "The project was to create a community and redevelopment plan for an area that is primarily automobile oriented big-box retail and car dealerships. It was a unique location, adjacent to downtown, but also had a light rail line and a regional trail coming in the next few years. It presented a unique opportunity to create a new urban neighborhood that would incorporate trail and transit oriented development. The plan had a very heavy emphasis on urban design, and allowed our team to collaborate with a number of very well-regarded designers to seek new opportunities in how the built environment would engage with these assets and to create open space. The final proposal was very ambitious, but won the support of the community, as well as a Washington State American Planning Association Award."

He has since moved to California for an amazing new job opportunity as the Director of Community Development for the City of Glendale. "This includes overseeing the divisions of Planning (current, long range, historic preservation, urban design, and mobility), Economic Development, Housing, Building & Safety, and Neighborhood Services."

Bradley's advice for current students is, "Keep an open mind of where your education may lead you professionally, and look beyond the parameters of your project. Architecture all too often finds itself obsessed with the jewel box. Think about how your work impacts and influences the surrounding environment, how it relates to those that may not be direct users, but will engage with your building, and how it relates to the public realm. A building can be beautiful and enhance the public realm. It can also be much more modest and significantly enhance the public realm. As Carlo Scarpa said, 'If the architecture is any good, a person who looks and listens will feel its good effects without noticing.""