Steven Nelson

Steven Nelson, M.C.P.

Senior Advisor

Background & Experience

Steven L. Nelson is a certified planner and policy maker; and understands the interplay between public policy, innovation and constituency building necessary to achieve strategic and measurable success. His  areas of expertise include economic development, open space preservation and trail development, and strategic partnerships.

Steve has extensive experience in county and local government, serving in several high-profile positions  including Director of Policy for Montgomery County, and Acting Director of the Montgomery County Planning Commission. He is currently a senior advisor with Econsult Solutions in Philadelphia.

While serving as Director of Policy, a senior level advisor to the County Commissioners, Steve helped  develop several high-profile programs in Montgomery County, including a $150M open space program, a $50M revitalization program, a $100M economic development program, a first time homebuyers  program, the county’s first climate change action plan and a county-wide arts and culture plan. He was  also the primary staff person for the Metropolitan Caucus and external liaison to municipalities, business and civic groups, state elected officials and regional colleges. Steve also conceived and implemented a national design competition for the County’s September 11 Memorial.

As Acting Director of the Montgomery County Planning Commission, Steve managed a 39 person  professional planning department and initiated a communications and marketing strategy to promote the  department to municipalities and a variety of other audiences. While working at the planning commission  previously, Steve wrote numerous comprehensive plans, studies, and ordinances for 7 municipalities, and  performed demographic, development trend and housing analysis on a county-wide scale.

Collaboration is important to Steve, as he has created several cross-departmental working groups on  diverse topics including geographic information systems, sustainability and economic development. He  also led a multi department group that acquired open space and designed and built trails. Steve has also  facilitated collaborations among arts and cultural groups to strengthen them and provide increased public  access to the arts.

Steve has been a speaker at state and national conferences on topics as varied as setting up a planning department web site to transit oriented design. He has also guest lectured at Temple University, University of Pennsylvania and Widener University and has taught several classes in planning to appointed and elected officials. He is a member of the American Planning Association, the Pennsylvania Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Steve has a master’s in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rutgers University. His civic interest have included: chairman of a local planning  commission, membership in: several business and tourism organizations, a county-wide bicycle task  force, Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Horsham Land Reuse Authority, and Montgomery County Community College President’s  Committee on Climate Change .

In his spare time, Steve enjoys bicycling, exploring cities and travel. He also founded a local ultimate disc  sports club that now sponsors 17 leagues and has over 1500 members.

Areas of Expertise