Planners as Broadband Champions

APA Technology Division


Monday, September 15, 2014
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. EDT

Springfield, MA,

CM | 6

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1. How will event offer a professionally relevant learning experience for a planner? Every day, the news media is covering innovative technologies that are helping cities engage citizens, improve public safety, conserve energy, manage water resources, reduce traffic congestion, attract new businesses, and plan for the challenges of the 21st century. Giant companies like Google, IBM, Cisco, and Siemens have "smart city" initiatives to promote fiber networks, big data, and the "Internet of Things." President Obama has challenged cities to adopt smart technologies to achieve energy efficiency, build more resilient infrastructure, and respond to more severe weather events. Robust and reliable broadband networks represent the underlying infrastructure that is necessary to support all of these undertakings. It requires a commitment to public policy is that foresighted and engages all stakeholders to develop successful strategies for next generation broadband. Planners are in a position to advocate for broadband as a critical infrastructure. They have the skills to conduct visioning processes, communicate with public officials and identify collaborative strategies. To adopt this new role of “broadband champion” planners will need to acquire new knowledge. This workshop will provide planners with knowledge to share with communities on incorporating broadband goals into plans and regulatory processes in order to facilitate the emerging smart city. 2. How does this event meet a specific planning related training objective? As recommended by the American Planning Association, Rebuilding America APA National Infrastructure Task Force Report: “Planners will need to become aware of the importance of planning for broadband infrastructure. In order to incorporate broadband strategies into local plans they need familiarity with how various technologies operate. Understanding broadband applications is essential to working with telecommunications experts that are designing wireless, fiber and cable networks. Planners need access to educational material that can help them navigate these issues.” 3. What are specific training objectives? • Learn how broadband infrastructure is becoming a critical part of urban systems and why it is essential to have affordable, reliable and high-speed broadband for communities of all sizes. • Uncover opportunities for planners, planning commissioners and local officials to promote broadband development through comprehensive plans, revitalization efforts, permitting processes, land use regulations and capital improvement plans. • Become familiar with models for broadband deployment – including community networks - and discuss the roles planners can undertake in these efforts. 3. Agenda: 8:30am - Welcome & Introductions 9:00am - 10:00 am - Session - Overview of Various Roles Planners have in planning and deployment of broadband infrastructure 10:00 - 11:15 am - Case studies of communities who have used Comprehensive Plans, TIF Districts, Downtown Revitalization Plans and Capital Improvement Plans to facilitate investment in broadband infrastructure 11:15-11:30 am - Break 11:30 - 12:30 - Question and Answer session with Broadband experts 12:30 - 1:30 PM - Lunch 1:30 - 2:30 - Zoning, Subdivision & Permitting - Model codes to facilitate broadband deployment 2:30 - 3:30 - Broadband Issues & Policies - ROW, social equity, 3:30 - 3:45 - Break 3:45 - 4:45 - Community Broadband Networks - Pros & Cons of different models and how planners should be part of the discussion. 4:45 pm Wrap-Up 4:

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