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Planning Director and Staff Will Share Expertise at American Planning Association’s 2017 National Planning Conference in New York City 

March 30, 2017

Marketing, transportation, zoning and tactical urbanism will be discussed at conference sessions on May 6, 7 and 9 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will share its expertise at the American Planning Association’s  2017 National Planning Conference, to be held May 6 to May 9 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Planning Director Gwen Wright and staff planners Eric Graye, Caroline McCarthy, Margaret Rifkin and Atul Sharma will speak at six different sessions during the conference, addressing topics related to marketing, transportation, zoning, analytics and tactical urbanism.

On Sunday, May 7, Planning Director Gwen Wright will join a panel of architects and planners to discuss the importance of branding and communication strategies for successful planning efforts. The interactive session, “Marketing Anxiety: Bragging with Aplomb” will focus on developing marketing techniques that work for private planning firms and help public planning agencies to promote and gain support for their projects.

Transportation planner Eric Graye will participate in the session “Multi-Modal Level of Service: Expectations and Standards” on Saturday, May 6 to discuss the development of new metrics for all types of travel, rather than just for vehicles. This innovative approach is being used in Montgomery County to support the Bicycle Master Plan and regulatory development review process.

On Sunday, May 7, Caroline McCarthy, Chief of Research and Special Projects, will join panelists from the private and public sectors at the session “Planning and Design: An Interdisciplinary Perspective” to examine the role of data, analytics and design in promoting plans, influencing policy and attracting investment.

Planner and architect Atul Sharma will explore the potential for streamlining zoning codes at a panel discussion on Sunday, May 7. The session, “Zoning Cities: Toward a Simpler Future,” will focus on the tools for regulating cities most effectively by looking at case studies from around the country. Sharma will draw on Montgomery County’s 2014 Zoning Ordinance to discuss simpler and more effective approaches to implementing planning ideas.

Planner Margaret Rifkin will lead the session, “Tactical Urbanism: People and Pavement” on Sunday, May 7 with New York planner Mike Lydon, co-author of the book Tactical Urbanism. They will discuss guidelines for creating demonstration projects focused on walking and biking. Rifkin will provide lessons learned from her work on the Purple Path and painted crosswalk outside the Planning Department in Silver Spring, MD.

On Tuesday, May 9, Rifkin will participate in “Ethics and Images, Promises and Rights” to highlight issues about the use of photographs and graphics in planning work, and guide a discussion among participants.

Learn more about these conference sessions and the APA’s 2017 National Planning Conference.