who we are

David Whitley is the owner of a Dallas-based urban planning firm, drw planning studio. His practice focuses on aiding municipalities with long-range planning initiatives and small area plans, as well as evaluating municipal policies and business practices through the lens of fostering more vibrant cities. He also assists development clients to capitalize on strategic opportunities that create unique and enduring places. 

Prior to starting his own firm, David was the Associate Director of the Dallas CityDesign Studio at the City of Dallas. Key initiatives while at the Studio included: completing an award-winning urban design plan and guidelines for West Dallas, advancing changes to city policy regarding mobile food vending, and developing an urban design review process for key areas of the city. 

David has over 15 years of urban planning experience. During his 11-year tenure with the City of Dallas, David worked on a number of planning initiatives including development code amendments for neighborhood stabilization, as well as planning and economic development efforts for the Trinity River Corridor. David previously worked with the City of Arlington, handling long-range planning initiatives, development review, and TIF District administration. He holds an architecture degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master’s in Regional Planning from Cornell University.


Leadership: Greater Dallas Planning Council Board Member, Columns Advisory Board Member, AIA Dallas Communities x Design Chair


David Whitley, principal

At drw planning studio, our work focuses on the nexus of place-making and planning practice. We place high value in community-driven processes to shape the built environment, and collaborate with clients to discern community aspirations and translate them into clear, achievable plans. We bring a strategic approach that emphasizes plan implementation, and we believe that the success of realizing a vision is rooted in a deep understanding of the practical aspects of city building and the need to embed good place-making ideals within city policy, business practices, and organizational structure.

firm Biography