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Planning Department Will Present Cutting-Edge Concepts and Projects at National Conference of American Planning Association

December 21, 2017

Five department-led sessions selected for April 2018 conference will examine new types of suburban development, recreation, retail, community outreach and public art

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), has been selected to present several sessions at the American Planning Association’s national conference to be held from April 21 through April 24, 2018 in New Orleans. Of the seven conference sessions submitted by Planning Department staff, five were selected by the APA.

Lessons in New Suburbanism – Planning Director Gwen Wright will lead a discussion about the successful transformation of suburbs outside Washington, DC into walkable, mixed-use and transit-oriented communities through data-driven planning. Panelists include Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson.

Smart Tools for Recreation Planning– This session will focus on the 2017 Recreation Guidelines for private developers of residential projects in Montgomery County. Planner Coordinator Marybeth O’Quinn will lead the discussion about the intent of the new guidelines and new digital tools designed to simplify the process of determining recreation solutions for children and adults.

Resilient Retail in the Internet Age – E-commerce and evolving consumer preferences are changing the retail industry. This session, led by Economic and Development Specialist Rick Liu of the Planning Department’s Research and Special Projects Division and Area 2 Planner Atul Sharma, will examine how brick-and-mortar stores can be successful even in the current climate through zoning and regulations.

Engaging Hard-to-Reach Communities – Communication Manager Bridget Schwiesow will lead this presentation of effective community engagement tools, including social media, videos, interactive maps and more, designed to attract hard-to-reach audiences. Planning Board member Natali Fani-Gonzalez and Planner Jessica McVary will also be panelists.

Public Art Ecosystems: Artrepreneurs in the Development Community – This session will focus on networks of creative professionals who are using public art to strengthen communities. Molline Jackson, public art coordinator for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will highlight Montgomery County’s strong advocacy of public art within private developments.

For more information about the sessions at the APA’s 2018 National Conference, consult the organization’s website.