Planning Department Announces its 2017-2018 Winter Speaker Series

November 2, 2017

Speaker Series 2018

Sessions will focus on the economic future of the suburbs through discussions of infill housing, retail trends, office building conversions and placemaking

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), is sponsoring a three-part Winter Speaker Series in December 2017 and January and February 2018 that celebrates 90 years of planning achievements since the M-NCPPC was founded in 1927. The series, titled The Economic Future of the Suburbs: Infill, Commerce, Placemaking, will examine the shift away from sprawling, car-centric places to more walkable, mixed-use and urban-style communities.

The presentations will focus on the changes that are occurring in the suburbs in response to market conditions: infill housing instead of single-family homes; office building conversions into residential units; the influence of digital technology on retail and commerce; and placemaking as a strategy for economic development.

The sessions, which will include question-and-answer discussions, will be held in the Planning Department auditorium (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD) from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The Winter Speaker Series is free and open to the public and planning professionals. Credit for certification maintenance (CM) for members of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) attending the series is pending.

Session 1 on December 6, 2017: Infill

Adam Ducker, Managing Director and Director of Urban Real Estate for RCLCO in Bethesda, has expertise in analyzing the changing suburbs and understanding the interrelation of residential, hospitality and retail/attraction environments. His presentation will offer an overview of suburban economic trends, then focus on infill and other types of housing.

Session 2 on January 24, 2018: Commerce

Heather Arnold, Director of Research and Analysis for Bethesda-based StreetSense, specializes in retail market analysis, incentive planning and merchandising strategies for communities. She was the lead consultant on the Planning Department’s recently completed Retail Trends Study and will speak about online shopping’s influence on retail and commerce in the suburbs.

Peter McLaughlin, Development Director of Rockville-based ProMark Real Estate Services, manages construction projects and focuses on new acquisitions, portfolio strategy and redevelopment opportunities. He will discuss the Octave condominiums in Silver Spring, a 1964 office building transformed by ProMark into residential units, and the challenges of such conversions.

Session 3 on February 28, 2017: Placemaking

Ethan Kent, Senior Vice President of Project for Public Spaces (PPS) in New York City, has traveled to more than 800 cities and 55 countries to advance the cause of placemaking and public spaces. He will speak about placemaking as a strategy for economic development in the suburbs.

Learn more here.