Who We Are

Areas of Expertise:

  • Active Design
  • Charrette Management
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Cultural Planning
  • Urban Design
  • Comprehensive Planning
  • Institutional Design

Ernest Watson Hutton, Jr. FAICP Assoc AIA

Senior Planning Consultant

Ernest Hutton is a Senior Planner with Vita Nuova LLC specializing in smart growth planning, active design, and the integration of stakeholder involvement in planning and transportation strategies.

Mr. Hutton, recipient of the national American Institute of Architects 2011 Associate Award, trained as an architect and planner at Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania, and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners (the professional arm of the American Planning Association, of which he is a Charter Member), an Associate of the AIA (Co-Chair of the AIANY Planning/ Urban Design Committee, and a former five-year member of the AIANY Board), a member of the Congress for New Urbanism, a Fellow of the Institute for Urban Design, and a resource participant of the Mayors' Institute on City Design. He is a member of the advisory board of the Center for Active Design and a member of the national AIA Design and Health Leadership Group and the national AIA Membership Committee. He holds a certificate in charrette management from the National Charrette Institute.

He was also awarded the 2003 AIANY Citation of Excellence in Outreach, the 2004 New York Building Congress George A. Fox Public Service Award, and the 2006 AIANY Harry B. Rutkins award for his work as Co-Chair of New York New Visions, a volunteer organization formed to advise on Lower Manhattan rebuilding and recently the city as a whole. In 2008 he received an AIANY Citation of Excellence as co- chair of the Planning & Urban Design Committee's role in the PlaNYC city-wide sustainability effort.

A particular emphasis in the last three years has been assistance with creation and expansion of the NYC 'Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design', a strategy for using planning and design to attack public health issues. As part of the design process, he organized and coordinated stakeholder involvement and testing of concepts through a multi-disciplinary charrette to test and refine application to existing and new buildings and to real world public realm examples.

He has recently organized educational outreach and implementation efforts for Active Design, including seminars and workshops with public agencies, private real estate interests, civic organizations and professional planning and design firms. He has also participated in seven annual AIANY-sponsored 'Fit-City' conferences, as well as three CDC-sponsored 'Fit-Nation' events with 10 'mentored' cities from around the US. Based on this experience, he recently co-authored a followup document to the original work, Active Design Guidelines for Low-Density Communities.

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