From 2002 until 2015, AICP hosted symposia on timely topics of interest to planners.

On-demand CM credit is available for some of the previous events listed below.

Past Programs

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

October 28, 2015

In urban areas, stormwater presents major challenges for water quality. Runoff and combined sewer overflows result in impaired quality and degraded watersheds. Increasingly, green infrastructure approaches can treat and reduce discharge volumes and help mitigate flood risk, in addition to a range of environmental, social, and economic benefits. Learn from the experiences of Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia in adopting green stormwater management approaches.

CM | 2.5


Paula Conolly, AICP
Policy Strategist, Green City, Clean Waters Program, Philadelphia Water Department

Bethany Bezak, PE, LEED AP
Green Infrastructure Manager, DC Water, DC Clean Rivers Project

Mathy Stanislaus
Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, U.S. EPA

David Rouse, AICP, Moderator
American Planning Association

Symposium Podcast

This 2015 AICP Symposium is available as a free podcast eligible for CM | 2.5 credits. To receive CM credit, please complete the three steps below:


DC Clean Rivers Project Green Infrastructure Program (pdf)

Green City, Clean Waters (pdf)

1. Listen to the audio and follow along with the presentations.

2. Complete an Evaluation

If you wish to claim CM credits for the 2015 AICP Symposium podcast, please take a moment to complete a short survey.

3. Log Your Credits

Visit your CM Credit Log

From the section, Add Credits, click Add On-Demand Courses

From the CM On Demand Course Search page, type the event ID number 9005233 into the search field and click Go

Select Add to My Log, rate the product, add a comment (optional), and answer the Ethics statement, click the box, Agree

Click Submit and verify that your CM credits have been recorded.

Housing Equity and Healthy Housing Choices

October 29, 2014

Housing — or the lack of it — can affect individual and public health in a number of ways, from expanding or limiting access to jobs to influencing family and social cohesion. This year's AICP Symposium explored emerging policy, planning, and funding strategies that promote equitable housing options in urban neighborhoods. Case studies highlighted innovative approaches at the local, regional, and national levels.


Carol Payne
Baltimore Field Office of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Derek Hyra
Associate Professor
Department of Public Administration and Policy, American University

Jonathan Wilson
Deputy Director
National Center for Healthy Housing

Symposium Podcast

This 2014 AICP Symposium is available as a free podcast eligible for CM | 2.5 credits. To receive CM credit, please complete the three steps below:

1. Listen to the audio and follow along with the presentations.


Overview: Housing Equity and Healthy Housing Choices (pdf)

Advancing Mixed Income Projects (pdf)

Choice Neighborhoods (pdf)

Health Impact Assessments as a Tool to Advance Health and Equity (pdf)

2. Complete an Evaluation

If you wish to claim CM credits for the 2014 AICP Symposium podcast, please take a moment to complete a short survey.

3. Log Your Credits

Visit your CM Credit Log

From the section, Add Credits, click Add On-Demand Courses

From the CM On Demand Course Search page, type the event ID number 3030832 into the search field and clickGo

Select Add to My Log, rate the product, add a comment (optional), and answer the Ethics statement, click the box, Agree

Click Submit andverifythat your CM credits have been recorded.

People and Places

October 29, 2013

Immigration is woven into American history. But what about its future? As federal legislators debate immigration reform, this symposium looked at how immigrants affect the economies and cultures of the cities where they live and work. Hear regional perspectives on a dynamic group of people and their role in places across the United States.


Stacy Anne Harwood
Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning
University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Fatima Shama
New York City Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs

Leslie Wollack
Program Director of Infrastructure
National League of Cities

Paul Farmer, FAICP, moderator
Former CEO
American Planning Association

Symposium Podcast

This 2013 AICP Symposium is available as a free podcast eligible for CM | 2.5 credits. To receive CM credit, please complete the three steps below:

1. Listen to the audio and follow along with the presentations.

Planning For Immigrant Friendly Cities (pdf)

NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (pdf)

2. Complete an Evaluation

If you wish to claim CM credits for the 2013 AICP Symposium podcast, please take a moment to complete a short survey.

3. Log Your Credits

Visit your CM Credit Log

From the section, Add Credits, click Add On-Demand Courses

From the CM On Demand Course Search page, type the event ID number 3025647 into the search field and click Go

Select Add to My Log, rate the product, add a comment (optional), and answer the Ethics statement, click the box, Agree

Click Submit and verify that your CM credits have been recorded.

Aging in Place: Planning's Role and Responsibilities

December 6, 2012

As large populations in the United States are aging, our communities must adapt to this demographic shift. More people are living longer in varying locations from cities and towns to rural areas of the country. Planners are in a position to ensure that this growing population has access to services no matter what the context. Issues of mobility, food access, and healthy living are just some topics to be explored in this symposium.


Sandy Markwood
CEO, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Jana Lynott, AICP
Strategic Policy Advisor

David Ferleger
David Ferleger Law Office

Elinor Ginzler, moderator
Senior Director, Cahnmann Center for Supportive Services
Jewish Council for the Aging

Symposium Podcast

This 2012 AICP Symposium is available as a free podcast eligible for CM | 2.5 credits. To receive CM credit, please complete the three steps below:

1. Listen to the audio and follow along with the presentations.

PowerPoint presentations (pdf)

2. Complete an Evaluation

If you wish to claim CM credits for the 2012 AICP Symposium podcast, please take a moment to complete a short survey.

3. Log Your Credits

Visit your CM Credit Log

From the section, Add Credits, click Add On-Demand Courses

From the CM On Demand Course Search page, type the event ID number 3022733 into the search field and click Go

Select Add to My Log, rate the product, add a comment (optional), and answer the Ethics statement, click the box, Agree

Click Submit andverify that your CM credits have been recorded.

Cities in Transition: Today's Realities and the Next Economies

October 27, 2011

Cities are always transitioning, requiring planners to reinvent techniques for new economic development. This year's AICP Symposium provided examples of initiatives from around the country that are creating opportunities for effective and equitable development.


Carolina Barco
Former Ambassador of Colombia to the United States

Robert N. Brown, FAICP
Director, City Planning Commission
Cleveland, Ohio

Jay Williams
Executive Director, Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers

Jason Jordan, moderator
American Planning Association
Director of Policy and Government Affairs

Symposium Podcast

PowerPoint presentations (pdf)

Sustaining Places: Comprehensive Planning for the Future

October 27, 2010

At the U.N.'s 5th World Urban Forum in March, APA's Former President, Bruce Knight, FAICP, formally announced APA's Sustaining Places Initiative. The Sustaining Places Initiative is a multi-year, multi-faceted program to define the role of planning and the comprehensive plan in addressing all human settlement issues related to sustainability, from rural areas and small towns to cities and metropolitan regions. This year's symposium explored both the role and the key elements of the comprehensive plan — the leading policy document and tool to help communities of all sizes achieve sustainability.


Armando Carbonell, AICP
Chair, Department of Planning and Urban Form
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Timothy Beatley
Professor of Sustainable Communities
School of Architecture and Department of Urban and Environmental Planning
University of Virginia

Nancy Stremple
U.S. Forest Service, Urban & Community Forestry

David Godschalk, FAICP moderator/speaker
Stephen Baxter Professor Emeritus of City and Regional Planning
University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill
Co-Chair, APA's Sustaining Places Initiative

Planning for Sustainable Communities: It's More Than Being Green

October 28, 2009

The 2009 AICP Symposium focused on policies and plans for fostering sustainable communities from a variety of scales.

Paul Farmer, FAICP, former executive director and CEO of the American Planning Association, challenged participants to think critically about the term "sustainability." Planners have always employed a comprehensive viewpoint, he noted, and thinking about sustainability is at the heart of the profession.

Moderator Jason Jordan, APA director of policy and government affairs, outlined the symposium goals: to develop a dialogue between professionals at different scales; to discuss sustainability from a "triple-bottom line" perspective; and to highlight planning as a necessary part of sustainable outcomes — not a luxury.

Representing the federal perspective were Beth Osborne, deputy assistant secretary for transportation policy at the Department of Transportation, and Shelley Poticha, senior advisor for sustainable communities at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. They spoke about their work on the new Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which also includes the Environmental Protection Agency.

According to Osborne and Poticha, this groundbreaking initiative is set to coordinate the programs and funding streams of the three agencies so, for example, funding for affordable housing might be prioritized for projects that are built on former brownfield sites. Members of the partnership have developed six livability principles that will guide the work.

Tim Brennan of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission spoke of the need to look regionally to make a sustainable impact, highlighting several innovative plans and projects of his organization, including a regional energy plan and a comprehensive plan that ties land use, transportation, economic development, and environmental stewardship.

Brennan noted the importance of local support and proudly displayed the signatures of local elected officials who had signed on in support of the region's plan. He challenged the professionals in the room to think big, noting that the planning profession is a vocation, and that we need to start thinking of innovative "22nd century plans" today.

From the local perspective, Joseph Schilling of Virginia Tech's Alexandria Center and director of the Metropolitan Institute's Green Region's Initiative spoke of producing an "Eco-City" plan for Alexandria, Virginia. He called it Alexandria's "sustainability journey," noting that while the initial impetus for developing the plan was purely environmental, the plan grew to include broader sustainability goals such as public health, green jobs, and transportation options.

While some residents were initially resistant to the term "sustainability," a process of public participation and outreach allowed residents to take ownership of the concept, and the term gained acceptance. Schilling covered eight lessons learned for local communities seeking to develop integrated sustainability plans.

In the moderated session, panelists addressed the question of rural communities, responding to critiques that sustainability initiatives are "directed toward urban centers." Osborne noted that one of the largest challenges facing rural areas is the mobility of an aging population. Poticha and Osborne outlined the importance of developing communities that allow residents to stay in place as they age, provide economic opportunity, and provide opportunities for mobility. Brennan again stressed the regional perspective, noting that the cities and rural areas are reliant on each other.


Tim Brennan
Executive Director
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

Beth Osborne
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy
U.S. Department of Transportation

Shelley Poticha
Senior Advisor for Sustainable Housing and Communities
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Joseph Schilling
Associate Director for Green Regions
Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech

Jason Jordan, moderator
Director of Policy
American Planning Association

Symposium Podcast


Beth Osborne, USDOT

Shelley Poticha, HUD

Tim Brennan, PVPC

Joe Schilling, Virginia Tech

Panel Discussion


Tim Brennan's presentation (pdf)

Joe Schilling's presentation (pdf)

Making a Difference with Green

October 22, 2008

Environmental sustainability and climate change issues are consuming the nation's attention. As of February 2008, nearly 800 mayors have pledged to "meet or beat" the Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas emission reduction target for the United States. Local leaders of cities and regions are adopting a wide array of green community strategies: "green" municipal operations and construction standards, alternative forms of transportation, and "energy smart" growth.


Lee R. Epstein, Director, Lands Program, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Nancy McKeever, Sustainable Energy Program Manager, California Energy Commission

Phillip Rodbell, Program Manager for Urban and Community Forestry in the U.S. Forest Service Northeastern Area, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

The Art of Making Great Places Green Places

October 23, 2007

Great Places. Green Places. You know them when you see them. But there's more to it than that. In fact, the decisions we make, large and small, all influence the quality of the places we live today and in the future.

The American Planning Association kicked off its Great Places in America Program in 2007, aimed at recognizing places of exceptional character and quality. The program also focuses on approaches to planning communities — at the neighborhood and street level — that are environmentally sensitive and sustainable.

The symposium examined in depth the elements of great places, the connection between place making and green planning, as well as how the climate for planning can encourage a place's creation and conservation. Examples from recognized places selected were shown and there was a discussion with well known place makers and green planning advocates.

Speakers included:

  • Ronald Fleming, AICP, the President of Townscape Institute and author of the recently published book The Art of Place Making: Interpreting Community Through Public Art and Urban Design.
  • Paul Farmer, FAICP, Former Executive Director and CEO of the American Planning Association.
  • Chris Zimmerman with the Arlington County (Virginia) Board who has been an advocate of the county's legacy of transit-oriented development and managed growth and new urbanism principles.

Disaster and Displacement One Year Later

October 26, 2006

The American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, joined the National Building Museum to present a morning symposium exploring housing and community issues related to the short and long-term displacement of recent hurricane survivors. Panelists discussed the challenges involved with survivor displacement, and the role of local planners and housing organizations in addressing challenges and rebuilding communities in Katrina and Rita affected areas.


Speakers included Stephen Villavaso, FAICP, president of the Louisiana Chapter of APA and CEO of Villavaso and Associates; Emily Eberhardt, Director of Community Planning and Development at the Jackson, Mississippi, HUD Field Office; and Gavin Smith, director of the Office of Recovery and Renewal in Mississippi. The panel was moderated by AICP President Sue Schwartz, FAICP.

Emily Eberhardt's presentation (pdf)

Gavin Smith's presentation (pdf)

Stephen Villavaso's presentation (pdf)

Housing in the Wake of Katrina

December 2, 2005

The National Building Museum joined the American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) to present a morning symposium exploring the short- and long-term housing issues that governments, planners, and residents of the hurricane-devastated region face.

What were the post-disaster planning issues, and what steps should be taken to better prepare for future disasters? This symposium featured experts fresh from inspection of the ravaged areas as well as experience in disasters overseas.

Speakers included:

Fernando Costa, AICP, Planning Director at Fort Worth, Texas, is leading a special volunteer six-member team of planners assembled by APA in New Orleans to assess the city's needs for developing and implementing plans to guide redevelopment in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Franck Daphnis, President and CEO of Development Innovations Group, Silver Spring, Maryland, expert on international housing and post-disaster planning. He has worked in more than 30 countries, including countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East, and devising reconstruction strategies in Pakistan after the recent earthquake.

Laura Steinberg, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tulane University in New Orleans is currently a visiting scientist at The George Washington University Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management. Her research interests include disaster management, risk assessment, critical infrastructure and environmental modeling.

Sue Schwartz, FAICP, President of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and Neighborhood Planning Division Manger, Housing & Community Development in Greensboro, North Carolina, served as moderator.

Safe Growth

December 16, 2004

The goal of Safe Growth is to build environments that are safe for current and future generations and to protect buildings, transportation, utilities, and the natural environment from damage. Safe Growth is the current APA super-topic, and a variety of Safe Growth events and products will be developed over the next several months.

At the 2004 AICP Symposium, speakers explored aspects of Safe Growth all the way from routine hazards, such as pedestrian-vehicle conflicts and unhealthy buildings, to sudden disasters.

Safe Growth America Checklist Introduced

Also at the symposium, APA introduced the Safe Growth America Checklist, which enables citizens to evaluate the safety level of their neighborhoods from various risks and hazards. The checklist was developed by AICP to provide a comprehensive approach to neighborhood safety. It asks a series of questions to help identify unsafe features or aspects of a neighborhood — from poor street lighting and damaged sidewalks to rundown or vacant buildings and the lack of recreational facilities. It examines neighborhood safety for all users — pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, transit riders and persons with disabilities, as well as ways communities can encourage healthy living and mitigate natural disasters.

Safe Growth America Checklist


Here is a summary of the what each panelist had to say about Safe Growth:

Eric Klinenberg
Professor, University of New York, and author of Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago

Eric Klinenberg addressed why the devastating heat waves of Chicago (1995), with more than 700 victims, and Europe (2003), with more than 23,000 victims, are easy to ignore.

"Heat waves are a disaster that we as a public do not hear much about, but need to be increasingly concerned about," said Klinenberg. He continued to say that heat waves produce a greater mortality rate than all of the other so-called natural disasters combined. He stated that the lack of heat wave awareness can be contributed to the fact that no image of a heat wave comes to mind like that of a tornado, avalanche or hurricane. "The lack of a visual image makes heat waves easier to forget."

Contributing to the lack of awareness is the victims of heat waves are the individuals themselves, who die alone. "The victims perish out of sight. The deaths from the Chicago heat wave were questioned if they really happened," Klinenberg said.

The victims in heat waves often die alone since they live alone, often in impoverished neighborhoods. "The loss of neighborhood infrastructure and amenities fails to draw people out of their homes. Failing to draw people out of their homes creates social withdrawal."

Additionally, Klinenberg said that men are two and a half times more likely to die alone than women. Women are better at establishing relationships throughout their lifetime and are more socially connected than men.

"Heat waves are often forgotten about soon after they happen, more so than any other disaster. We need to convince people to take these seriously," Klinenberg concluded.

Karen Helbrecht
FEMA Mitigation Planning Branch. Primary author of the Hazard Mitigation Planning Interim Final Rule and works with communities to encourage development of multi-hazard mitigation plans.

Helbrecht addressed the need for effective mitigation planning in communities to prevent damage and destruction.

FEMA requires that states and local governments develop multi-hazard mitigation plans. "These plans help reduce our nation's loses from natural disasters," Helbrecht said.

"The typical response to a disaster has been to put the community back together the way it was before. We need to change the cycle of loss-rebuild, loss-rebuild, by preventing the damage from occurring," said Helbrecht. "We need to look at what causes the damage and how planning is an essential component to reduce hazards and build safer communities."

Hazard mitigation involves any action that reduces or eliminates risk to people and their property from hazards. Mitigation provides long-term or permanent risk reduction. "Start by conducting a risk assessment. Identify your community's hazards, assess vulnerabilities and analyze exposure to risk," said Helbrecht. The next step is to develop a strategy. Identify potential solutions, coordinate among agencies and concerned groups, evaluate and prioritize actions. "It's very important to obtain community 'buy-in.' This type of planning should never be done in isolation — the business community and civic associations need to be involved in the planning process."

After assessing risk, communities should create their mitigation strategy, schedule plan maintenance and formally adopt the plan. Helbrecht cautions that the plan should be updated at least every five years. "Effective strategies form the basis for safer communities," Helbrecht said. "Currently, every state and territory and many Indian Tribal Governments are covered by an approved plan, or approved extensions." She stressed that good planning provides a solid foundation for effective mitigation plans.

Patti Gallagher, AICP
Executive Director of the National Capital Planning Commission

Gallagher spoke about the effort to protect the capital city's monuments and facilities from the threat of bomb-laden vehicles.

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) provides overall planning guidance for federal land and buildings in the national capital region. "Ad-hoc security measures surfaced after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and increased dramatically after September 11, 2001, said Gallagher. "Temporary structures like jersey barriers were jeopardizing the urban vitality and leading to street closures, loss of parking, decline in street life and commerce, restricted mobility and access, loss of openness and degradation of beauty."

"The NCPC took a comprehensive approach to designing security by integrating it into the streetscapes and landscapes," Gallagher said. "The goal was to replace the repetitious, poorly designed objects with a flow of varied, well-designed elements, custom-designed security measures and well-designed elements that enhance the environment and provide security. Our goal is to remain an inviting and accessible city, while protecting the beauty and historic design of the city, which is a challenge."

Gallagher stressed that good landscape design enhances security and remains invisible. "People shouldn't think of 'security measures' when they see planters and park benches."

Security is now factored into all new facility construction and redevelopment within Washington, D.C. Federal agencies must seek NCPC approval for security measures installed for more than 60 days. No temporary measure should be in place longer than two years.

"Security is an evolving process. Our initial goal was to secure facilities and monuments from vehicles. Now we are examining the risk of pedestrian or chemical damage and protecting buildings from possible collapse," said Gallagher. She encourages others to look at the security approaches used around the world. "Look at common world examples, what London and Jerusalem have done for security. Take a comprehensive approach."

The National Capital Planning Commission was selected as the recipient of a 2005 National Planning Award in the Current Topic category.

Marya Morris, AICP
Senior Research Associate for the American Planning Association and project director for "Planning and Designing the Physically Active Community" sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Morris discussed the role planning has in helping solve obesity and other health epidemics.

"We are seeing a convergence of priorities with public health, physically active communities and community planning and design," said Morris. "Land use and transportation, automobile dependency and social processes all effect people's health. These all can contribute to obesity, air pollution, asthma, pedestrian injuries, social isolation, and crime, as well as impact physical activity, climate changes, and mental health."

Morris cautioned that transportation is not the sole contributor to the health crisis. "We need to examine the built environment as a contributing factor. Surveys shows that citizens are more likely to walk if walking trails, parks or gyms are accessible, sidewalks are present and scenery is enjoyable, friends available to exercise with and if many people are exercising. People are less likely to exercise if they have too little time, too tired, unmotivated, or the perception of traffic, crime or other dangers exist."

"The solution is not to just build more sidewalks," said Morris. "Sidewalks need to be accessible to destinations citizens want. Post offices, museums, and other public spaces that serve as a destination for people should be kept within the downtown area. Street connectivity and mix land-uses have shown the most promise for developing walkable communities."

Planners have the ability to affect change. Successful communities that have reduced sprawl and addressed health impacts utilize good land-use controls, reduce the dependence on automobiles and improve the social process. "Zoning and subdivision regulation, transit-oriented development and streetscape improvements can be used to enhance the quality of neighborhoods," said Morris. She encouraged planners to think about state and local planning. "Functional plans should address multiple uses including bicycle, pedestrian, transit, trails and parks."

Getting to Equality: Better Transportation Choices for Underserved Communities

November 13, 2003

A panel of transportation experts convened by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) for a symposium on inequities in transportation resources agreed that better planning is crucial to providing choices for underserved communities.

"Our panel included a wide range of perspectives, from federal representatives to transit advocates," noted AICP Director Rudayna Abdo, AICP. "One thing they could all agree on was the importance of the planning process in making certain our transportation resources are directed in a fair and equitable manner."

The symposium, "Getting to Equity: Better Transportation Choices for Underserved Communities," was held at the National Building Museum on Thursday, November 13, 2003 and was the 5th annual symposium convened by AICP to explore ways of making communities better through planning.

Panelists included:

Dan Tangherlini
Director of the Washington, D.C., Department of Transportation

Tangherlini addressed the experience of underserved communities in Washington, D.C., a city second only to New York City in transit use. Despite the success of D.C.'s Metrorail system, Tangherlini reported that 75 percent of D.C. residents use the city's buses, while only 38 percent use rail.

"The D.C. bus system is making a secret resurgence," Tangherlini said. "Ridership is beginning to set records that were set prior to the existence of the Metro system."

While facing many of the same budget woes as other metropolitan areas in the United States, D.C. has devoted additional funding toward expanding and integrating its public transit system, which Tangherlini says is unusual. When most cities need to cut spending, they look to how they can tighten their transit service, he said. But cutting transit scares away a customer base, causing job losses and a steadily decreasing tax base.

Tangherlini noted that D.C.'s experience shows how planners must be vigilant in keeping transit-oriented development from becoming transit-oriented gentrification. "Handing people another fork at the table does not affect how much they have to eat," he noted.

"Traditionally, transportation engineering has focused on throughput as vehicles-per-hour. When we begin to think in terms of people-per-hour, we begin to democratize the rights of way."

Stephanie Ortoleva
Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Transportation

Ortoleva (left, pictured with Effie Stallsmith, right), presented preliminary research on transportation inequalities affecting women. The U.S. Department of Transportation National Household Travel Survey and other transportation studies demonstrate significant differences in women's travel behavior, Ortoleva noted. These differences include variations in "trip chaining," or combining multiple stops (grocery store, dry cleaning, etc.) into one trip to save time.

Often, the disparate impact on women of minor transportation changes is overlooked, Ortoleva observed. "Historically, transportation has both liberated women and restricted them."

For example, establishing toll lanes on highways or toll roads to mitigate congestion and/or raise highway funds might have a greater impact on women drivers who have more limited economic resources and who also engage in more "trip chaining."

Effie Stallsmith
Office of Planning and Environment, Federal Transit Administration

Noting that only 6 percent of welfare recipients own cars, Stallsmith identified transportation as "the single most significant issue in getting and keeping a job."

Stallsmith reviewed the FTA's Jobs Access Reverse Commute (JARC) program that provides 50/50 matching funds to community transit projects for low-income populations. While the program is responsible for a growing number of success stories, eligibility for the funds requires that a community provide significant investment in transit planning. Thus, only the communities that have an existing commitment to transit for low-income workers have tended to receive the funds.

Nancy Jakowitsch
Director of Policy Development, Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP)

Jakowitsch presented some striking statistics regarding transportation inequalities across socio-economic demographics. She reported, for example, that the poorest American households spend nearly 40 percent of take-home pay on transportation. Cancer rates along major highway corridors are as much as 42 percent higher than in other communities. And, while African-Americans account for only 12 percent of the population, they represent 37 percent of pedestrian fatalities.

Jakowitsch noted that more targeted transportation planning is necessary to address these disparities. "Our sense is that if we were able to better target transportation investments to communities with disparate health effects," she said, "we could begin to mitigate those impacts."

Thomas Sanchez
Associate Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning, Virginia Tech's Alexandria Center and Fellow, The Metropolitan Institute

Sanchez explored the relationship between transportation choice and access to affordable housing, noting that limited transportation choices affect where underserved communities live and hence their exposure to certain environmental risks. The need for more targeted transportation resources should be presented as part of a comprehensive welfare-to-work strategy in order to be politically viable, said Sanchez.

"University planning departments and academics should also do more to attract diverse students who are already aware of these issues," he suggested.

Chandra Foreman, AICP
Commissioner, American Institute for Certified Planners and Research Associate, Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)

Foreman moderated the panel and spoke about the need to bring transit agencies into the development review process early. "The more inclusive our planning process, the better prepared we are to address the inequalities within our current transportation system," she noted.

Foreman also reviewed the American Planning Association's support for reauthorization of the nation's transportation laws based on principles of increased choice, access, equity, flexibility, and livability through planning.

Creating Livable Communities, Not Leaving Planning to Chance

November 21, 2002

The American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners sponsored the 2002 AICP Symposium: "Creating Livable Communities, Not Leaving Planning to Chance" at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

The Symposium featured Gene Bunnell, author of Making Places Special: Stories of Real Places Made Better by Planning, a book from APA Planners Press. Making Places Special is a series of 10 case studies highlighting best planning practices in cities ranging from Burlington, Massachusetts, to San Diego, California.

Bunnell's argument that careful planning and thoughtful public policy will help create livable communities and enhance the quality of life in America's cities is illustrated in his narratives of each city. He makes a strong case for why the development of communities should not be left to chance and should include a range of stakeholders. Bunnell will share with the audience visual examples of places made better by planning.

Following the slide presentation, there was panel moderated by Paul Farmer, FAICP, former executive director of APA. The panel included:

  • Sam Casella, FAICP, AICP President

  • Ellen Ittelson, Director of Planning Services for Denver, Colorado

  • Robert Collins, City Manager of Kansas City, Missouri

Based on their extensive experience with planning and community livability, the respondents discussed the practicalities of applying the lessons identified in the case studies.