Sonja Kruesel

Sonja Kruesel, AICP

Associate Planner

Sonja brings 10 years of professional leadership in municipal planning and zoning, along with a passion for community development and Midwest places. Having served previously as City Planner / Planning Director for both the cities of Monona and Fitchburg, WI, she has experience in comprehensive planning, project leadership and management, and strategic planning across a variety of geographies and soci-economic contexts. She also brings technical expertise in TIF, environmental issues, municipal zoning, subdivision regulations, housing, real estate, greenfield development, urban redevelopment/ revitalization, form-based regulation, and farmland preservation zoning.

Working as Planning Director for both cities, Sonja served alongside the Vandewalle & Associates team on Comprehensive Plans and key projects such as the catalytic Monona Waterfront Redevelopment.

In her current role as an Associate Planner at Vandewalle & Associates she enjoys guiding projects from concept to occupancy and facilitating communication with developers, elected officials, and the public. She is also primed to lead long-range planning efforts and strategic initiatives.



University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin – Master of Science, May 2013

Degree focus in Urban and Regional Planning – Land Use and Sustainable Community Development; Capstone project – “Cultivating Main Street in Suburban Business Districts.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin – Bachelor of Arts, May 2011

Degree focus in Geography, History, Environmental Studies. Capstone project – “Wisconsin Barns: Stewards of our Dynamic Cultural Landscapes.”



  • American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) – May 2015
  • Market Leadership Advisory Board, Secretary – WI United States Green Building Council – December 2015


  • Plenary Panel Speaker “Forwarding Equity” APA Upper Midwest Planning Conf. – 2019
  • Speaker “Strategies for Market-Ready Redevelopment” APA Upper Midwest Planning Conf. – 2015


  • Fitchburg Mayoral Award for Outstanding City Department – 2020
  • Madison Community Shares “Backyard Hero Award” – February 2013
  • Wisconsin County Code Administrators Scholarship Recipient – 2012