Regional Planning in North Carolina: Useful Strategies and Big Ideas

APA North Carolina Chapter


Friday, September 29, 2017
8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. EDT

CM | 1.25

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This exciting panel brings together the most experienced regional planners in North Carolina, with planning directors from the Triangle J and Centralina Councils of Governments, and the Piedmont Triad Regional Council. The panel will discuss the major challenges to regional planning, strategies and lessons for effective planning, and opportunities for the future of regional governance.

This session aims to achieve two primary objectives. 

First, the expert panel of regional planning directors will provide insight into the most pressing challenges, opportunities, and strategies relevant to local governments, COGs, regional planning agencies throughout North Carolina and the southeast. They will talk about how to work regionally, and now as a growing mega-region, in order to be globally competitive, pull in funds, and highlight strategies for coordination. Regional planners often work as coordinators and collaborators between local governments, bringing leaders together and providing expertise to smaller planning departments.  

The second objective of this session is to lay the theoretical groundwork for an ideal regional planning and governance landscape. This will be achieved by discussing solutions that are provided at the regional level in other places in the U.S. and around the globe and how some of those solutions could be applied in North Carolina in the future. 

Participants of this session will come away with an understanding of pragmatic and realistic local solutions to regional challenges as well as gain insight into ways that metropolitan areas from around the world have succeeded or failed in creating a framework for sustainable growth. Participants will also learn how the three largest metros in the state are working together on issues now and in the future in order to solicit more public resources and private investment, and to educate political bodies about the pressing needs of metropolitan areas.

Each panelist will provide a presentation followed by a short list of questions from the organizer. Time will be allotted for additional questions from participants.


John Hodges-Copple

Confirmed Speaker


Michelle Nance, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Michelle E. Nance, AICP is the Planning Director for the Centralina Council of Governments, providing planning services to nine counties in the greater Charlotte region. She directs the Council’s work related to land use and transportation, healthy community initiatives, energy and the environment. Her work is focused on helping ... Read More

Jesse Day, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Jesse Day is the Planning Director for the Piedmont Triad Regional Council. Jesse has been with the Piedmont Triad Regional Council since 2006 and manages land use, economic development, bicycle, pedestrian, open space and parks and recreation planning projects on behalf of member jurisdictions in the 12-County Piedmont Triad. He ... Read More

Nate Baker

Confirmed Speaker

Nate Baker, AICP, is an associate at Clarion in Chapel Hill, where he works with communities around the country to develop comprehensive plans and land development regulations. In addition to working as a planner, Nate has researched international planning including a recent Fulbright Fellowship to study regional planning in Brazil ... Read More

Contact Info

Benjamin Howell,