Capital District Master Plan

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Clients Location

Montpelier, VT

Category Awards
  • Vermont Planning Award

  • AIA New England Special Citation Award

  • New England Chapter of the American Planning Association Award

Planning Unifies the Diverse Needs of a Small City

The State of Vermont and the City of Montpelier, acting through the city/state commission, hired gbA to develop a fifteen year plan for Montpelier, VT.

The final master plan was largely the product of community participation.  It unifies city and state interests with public concerns of the natural environment, economic growth, private development pressures, and transportation needs.  A key component of this effort was an analysis of all State of Vermont buildings and various state department needs in each building.  gbA worked with all state agencies in the Capitol Complex to determine the short and long term facility program needs.  A fifteen year plan to accommodate said needs through both existing building renovations and new construction was then created.

For the City of Montpelier, gbA looked at existing infrastructure and land use to identify opportunities for infrastructure improvements and economic development.  One key component was the introduction of a shared district energy system serving the entire Capitol Complex and downtown Montpelier.  The district energy plant and new multimodal transit center have since been completed.


"It may happen to you more often, but I have rarely (aka never) seen a plan for a small municipality created, accepted, and enacted the way this one has been. Amazing, truly amazing.

 One thing that was bringing an occasional smile to my face yesterday as I recounted the meeting is that so few are "following" the plan, yet so many are fulfilling it. That speaks to the thought, process, and wisdom you incorporated in it. Well done."

– Bill Kaplan