Ralph Willmer, FAICP

Technical Assistance Program (TAP) Manager and Principal Planner

Department: Land Use
Phone: 617-933-0734


Ralph Willmer, FAICP is the Principal Planner at MAPC, and is a member of the Land Use Division. He has over 30 years of planning experience, focusing on the preparation of community master plans, open space and recreation plans, housing production plans, and the drafting of zoning codes. As Principal Planner within the Land Use Division, Mr. Willmer will provide MAPC municipalities with a wide range of community master planning services. His understanding of land use, open space and recreation, and affordable housing, in addition to his experience in revision and updating zoning codes, has provided him with the expertise necessary to assist municipalities to move the planning and implementation process forward. Specifically, he will work on projects that include master plans, open space and recreation plans, housing production plans, zoning revisions including the establishment of new 40R Smart Growth Overlay Districts. Mr. Willmer will be coordinating the citizen outreach efforts for these planning projects and will assist on legislative and policy issues for MAPC.

Previously, Mr. Willmer was a Senior Planner/Project Manager with VHB based in Watertown, MA. He prepared numerous master plans and open space and recreation plans, drafted zoning revisions and updates, participated in downtown and transit-oriented development plans, and was a consultant under the Massachusetts Housing Partnership Chapter 40B Technical Assistance Program. He won several awards from the American Planning Association (APA), most recently for the Hudson Master Plan, which received the Massachusetts Chapter 2014 Comprehensive Planning Award. Mr. Willmer began his planning career while at McGregor & Associates, an environmental and land use law firm in Boston. During that time, he co-authored the 2001 revision of the Open Space and Recreation Planner’s Workbook under contract with the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.

Mr. Willmer received his B.S. in Environmental and Resources Management from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY and his M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University in Medford, MA.

He has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) since 1993, and in 2010 was inducted to the AICP College of Fellows in recognition of the significant contributions he made to planning, the profession, and society. He served as the Massachusetts Chapter President and as a member of the National Board of Directors of APA. In addition, Mr. Willmer holds a certificate from the National Charrette Institute as a NCI Charrette System planner.

Mr. Willmer currently serves as Chair of the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative, an organization that provides Massachusetts planning and zoning officials with the tools to make effective decisions regarding their community’s current and future land use.

Areas of Expertise: Community master plans, open space and recreation planning, affordable housing, zoning, citizen outreach and participation