The American Institute of Certified Planners, the governing body of the city planning profession in the United States, has named South Miami resident Victor Dover a member of its College of Fellows. The Fellows of FAICP are the most esteemed planners in active practice, are permitted to place the “FAICP” insignia after their names, and are mentors for upcoming generations of planners and urbanists. This year’s class was inducted in a black-tie ceremony in Los Angeles on April 15th, as part of the American Planning Association’s national conference. According to the APA, “Election to Fellow is one of the highest honors that the American Institute of Certified Planners bestows upon a member… Victor Dover insists that planning return to its roots as a humanist pursuit, the civic art.”
Dover is a principal in the firm of Dover, Kohl & Partners Town Planning, an urban design firm in South Miami / Coral Gables. He is also a charter member of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), and currently serves as its national chair. The CNU is the leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities and healthier living conditions.
Dover is also a founder of the Form-Based Codes Institute, a thinktank which promotes reform of zoning and other development regulations, and was a founding board member of the National Charrette Institute, a training organization that teaches community leaders and professionals to maximize public participation in decisions about city planning and land development. He recently served on the core committee that authored the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system for certifying green development.
As young practitioners, Dover and Kohl had their breakthrough assignment in South Miami in 1992. They were the principal authors of the city’s “Hometown Plan” for downtown revitalization. That plan resulted in a dramatic overhaul of the city’s development rules, and in turn a revival of the downtown economy. Where there were once boarded-up shopfronts on the main street, today there are tony restaurants, housing, broad pedestrian promenades, and successful retail; along the way, the downtown once again became the social hub of the town. Dover and Kohl and their team have gone on to produce award-winning plans for cities, public agencies, community groups and developers in 17 states and on six continents. These include their recent Plan El Paso, which provoked a report in Atlantic Cities on “How El Paso Got America’s Best Smart Growth Plan.”
The pioneering work of Dover, Kohl & Partners has since been featured on CNN, NPR, in BusinessWeek, USAToday, and many other media outlets. With his partner Joseph Kohl, Victor Dover has produced plans for urban renaissance that are showcased in dozens of urban planning textbooks. At present, Dover is at work on a new textbook on Street Design.
Dover is married to architect (and BikeSoMi advocate) Mari Chael. He is also a veteran marathoner and Ironman triathlete.