The Yabra in Belize City: APA’s First International CPAT
You'll learn about:
Explore planning approaches to an (international) resource-poor community and the challenges of finding workable, realistic solutions
Urban design ideas for a waterfront community that maximize its assets, achieve the city’s broader vision, and maintain local neighborhood values and goals
Learn about the iterative planning process and the strength of encouraging community-led initiatives
Discover creative hazard-mitigation solutions to flood-prone communities with limited resources
APA’s Community Planning Assistance Teams (CPAT) program conducted its first international project in the Yarborough (Yabra) neighborhood of Belize City in the summer of 2016. Five team members with a mix of expertise and planning backgrounds volunteered their time to assist the Belize City Council with a revitalization plan for the waterfront community located just to the south of their downtown. The neighborhood experiences frequent flooding and rapid loss of natural mangroves and coastline; contains many dilapidated structures and vacant lots and lacks quality public space; and suffers from negative public perceptions and a lack of local employment opportunities. Despite the challenges, the Yabra is just steps away from downtown and possesses great historical resources known to all Belizeans, including the nation's oldest school and other assets. The team worked closely with many of the youth and residents from the neighborhood and across the city, and with city staff and other stakeholders to develop concepts and recommendations. Faced with limited resources, the team concentrated on finding low-cost, near-term solutions for the community. There’s also evidence that the project accomplished more than just the plan for Yabra. The process provided city officials and community members a new approach to planning that will hopefully benefit not only Yabra, but other planning initiatives for Belize City into the future.
Confirmed SpeakerVeronica O. Davis, PE is a transportation nerd who uses her knowledge to spark progressive social change in the community. Currently, she is a co-owner and Principal Planning Manager at Nspiregreen LLC. In July 2012, the White House recognized her as a Champion of Change and Transportation Innovator for her professional accomplishments and community advocacy in the District of Columbia. Veronica is one of the co-founders of Black Women Bike (BWB), an organization and movement that encourages African American women to use biking for health and wellness as well as an alternative form of transportation for commuting. She holds a dual Masters Degrees (Engineering Management and Regional Planning) from Cornell University and a B.S in civil engineering from the University of Maryland. She is a registered professional engineer in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.
Shannon Van Zandt
, Texas A&M University
, College Station
Confirmed SpeakerShannon Van Zandt, Ph.D., AICP, is an Professor of Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning and is currently serving as Interim Head of the department. She also holds the Nicole & Kevin Youngblood Professorship in Residential Land Development. Dr. Van Zandt’s research, centers on the spatial distribution of housing and the consequences for vulnerable populations. Her recent research focuses on social vulnerability to and recovery from disaster in Texas, specifically Hurricanes Ike and Dolly in 2008. She has served as PI- or Co-PI on external grants totaling nearly $4 million from funders including the National Science Foundation, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the US Department of Housing & Urban Development. She has authored or co-authored one book and more than 45 journal articles, book chapters, professional papers and technical reports. Her work has been cited more than 800 times and is included in essential texts within her discipline. She connects her work to practice through consistent involvement in continuing education instruction, public speaking, and active engagement in several professional organizations including the APA.
, Downtown Denver Partnership
Confirmed SpeakerAdam Perkins is the Urban Planning Manager for the Downtown Denver Partnership where his focus is on place-based economic development through improving the public realm. He manages all planning efforts for the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District involving the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, the public realm and outdoor spaces, transportation corridors, core neighborhoods, and the downtown area. He coordinates the Partnership’s and BID’s efforts in developing policy guidance and recommendations to improve the downtown environment. He also leads the development review process of streetscape and public realm improvements within downtown Denver ensuring consistent and high quality design of the downtown built environment. Prior to working for the Downtown Denver Partnership, Adam worked for Denver Public works where he coordinated private and public infrastructure and design projects in the public right-of-way. He is also the founder of Local Innovations a community development firm that provides services to struggling communities in Colorado to help them overcome imminent challenges. Adam also currently serves as the Chair of APA’s Housing and Community Development Division.
, NYC Public Design Commission
, New York