Rodney L. Arroyo Recognized for Impact on the Planning Profession

Rodney L. Arroyo, partner emeritus with Detroit-based Giffels Webster, was awarded the title of American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Fellow for his achievements in urban planning.
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Rodney L. Arroyo
Rodney L. Arroyo

Rodney L. Arroyo, partner emeritus with Detroit-based Giffels Webster, was awarded the title of American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Fellow for his achievements in urban planning.

Giffels Webster is a multi-disciplinary firm focused on long-range planning, zoning, and community engagement. Arroyo is one of 33 inductees into this year’s College of Fellows. Inductions are done biennially.

Fellowship is granted to planners who have achieved certification through the American Planning Association’s professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and have “achieved excellence in professional practice, teaching and mentoring, research, public and community service, and leadership.”

Fellows are selected after a thorough nomination and review process, ensuring the nominee has had a positive, long-lasting impact on the planning profession.

“Members who have earned the FAICP designation are the true leaders of the planning profession,” says Karen Wolf, president of the AICP. “Their contributions and impacts to the profession serve as inspiration for future generations of planners of how to best serve our communities.”

Arroyo serves as partner emeritus with Giffels Webster, and he has more than 35 years of planning consulting experience in Michigan in addition to work in Florida and Georgia earlier in his career.

As a lifelong advocate for people and places, Arroyo helped create Clearzoning, which transforms zoning codes to be user friendly and accessible. His plans resulted in the creation of better places and boosted economic development, including the award-winning Big Beaver Corridor Study in Troy, which helped bring more than $200 million in new investment in the corridor.

Arroyo’s educational efforts led to advancement of the profession through graduate coursework (serving as Adjunct Professor at Wayne State University), sharing best practices, and offering hands-on learning opportunities.

He co-authored the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) Zoning and Development best practice training programs used in the redevelopment ready certification process. While serving as assistant director of the South Florida Regional Planning Council, Arroyo’s projects included Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins, and other developments of regional impact.

“I have worked with Rod since 2008 and am delighted by this recognition for him,” says Jill Bahm, a partner at Giffels Webster. “Rod’s innovative spirit, willingness to share knowledge with others, and leadership style have been meaningful to countless professional and community planners. I’ve drawn from his example in the way I lead our planning team today.”

Arroyo received his Master of City Planning degree from Georgia Tech and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida. Arroyo is also a photographer and a supporter of jazz in Detroit. He and his wife Beth live in Grosse Pointe Farms.