Heather Arnold

Principal, Research + Analysis

As Managing Director of Public Sector work, Heather specializes in retail market analysis, incentive planning, and merchandising strategies for downtown environments. She also leads a multi-disciplinary team on the Vibrant Streets™ initiative, which provides neighborhoods with the tools and framework necessary to create thriving retail in their communities. The Vibrant Streets Toolkit – used by retailers, businesses, merchants’ associations, government agencies, neighborhoods, and community groups to make incremental, measured improvements in their commercial districts – has already been implemented in several municipalities, notably Washington, DC and 11 of its neighborhoods.

Heather is passionate about helping underserved neighborhoods find retail solutions. The most exciting moment of her career so far was presenting the Flint, Michigan Grocery Strategy to a room full of philanthropists and walking away with the funds to make a real impact.

Heather has an undergraduate Architectural History degree from the University of Virginia and a Master’s of City and Regional Planning from Cornell University.



  • Data Nerd

“If men liked shopping, they’d call it research.”

- Cynthia Nelms