MM4 Sessions and Speakers

Brick-and-Mortar Retail in the Internet Age

Brick-and-Mortar Retail in the Internet Age
Online shopping and changing consumer preferences are dramatically changing the retail industry. This session presents key findings from the Montgomery County Planning Department’s research into retail market trends. Experts from the public and private sectors will discuss zoning and regulatory changes, new types of store formats and influence of digital shopping on bricks-and-mortar stores.

Download session slides for Brick-and-Mortar Retail in the Internet Age

  • rick liu

    Rick Liu

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    Rick Liu is an Economic & Development Specialist at the Montgomery County Planning Department. He provides guidance related to development and land use economics, and frequently prepares large and small scale studies related to economic development, market trends, and feasibility analysis in support of the County’s master planning process. He served as the project manager for the Countywide Retail Study. Prior to working at the Montgomery County Planning Department, Rick provided a variety of real estate consulting services to government agencies in the Washington D.C. region. Rick is an active member of the ULI, APA, USGBC, and serves on various committees in each of these organizations. Rick has a Masters of City Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Urban Studies from Tufts University.

  • Kristen Barden

    Kristen Barden

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    Kristen Barden became the Executive Director of the Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District (AMPBID) in November of 2008 after serving as Councilmember Muriel Bowser’s Communications Director. Prior to that she worked with Mayor Adrian M. Fenty in the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services and was the Associate Director of Development at the Alliance for Justice in Dupont Circle.

    Ms. Barden brought to the Adams Morgan Partnership many years of excellent service delivery and 14 years of non-profit management for a variety of international, domestic and local non-profits. She also has a broad understanding of DC Government and non-profit fundraising. She received a BA from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA in 1992 and an MPIA from the University of Pittsburgh in 1994. Ms. Barden is originally from Syracuse, NY and lives in the Brightwood neighborhood of Ward 4 in Washington, DC with her husband Kevin. Ms. Barden is fluent in Spanish and is a member of the Board of Directors of the DC Arts Center in Adams Morgan, the Friends at Petworth Library and the UMS Business Alliance/Uptown Main Street. When not at a community meeting, she enjoys swimming at the YMCA.

  • Atul Sharma

    Atul Sharma

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    Atul is an urban planner at the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission. As an architectural and urban designer, Atul has extensive experience in integrated community planning, transit oriented development, large scale sustainable master planning, mixed-use communities, neighborhood design, design guidelines and contextual architecture. During his career, Atul has worked in the United States and internationally on both architecture and urban design projects with some of the top leaders in planning, architecture and real estate development.

    Atul loves creating places that are sustainable and contextual and elevate the experience of everyday life for all members of the community. Atul also has a keen interest in improving the practice of design through research and exploring emerging technological trends.

The Changing Suburban Economic Landscape

Fresh strategies are needed to transform aging office parks and strengthen networks of related industries, and this session presents new economic development approaches to the suburban office and business markets. Discussion will focus on turning single-use areas into mixed-use neighborhoods and prioritizing funds and resources to support entrepreneurship and innovation.

Download slides:
Nkosi Yearwood, Suburban Office Reinvention, The Changing Suburban Landscape
Kerry Fang, Targeting industries for cluster development and innovation

  • Nkosi Yearwood

    Nkosi Yearwood

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    N’kosi Yearwood is a community planner with the Montgomery County Planning Department. Since 2000, N’kosi has participated and created comprehensive transit-oriented and mixed-use plans for the Shady Grove and White Flint Metro Station areas. He is currently the project manager for the White Flint 2 Sector Plan. He has also created zoning standards for transit areas and reviewed private and public development, including Pike & Rose, Shady Grove Station (Montgomery County Service Park redevelopment), and Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) for Walter Reed at Bethesda Naval Hospital. His education includes architectural history and architecture from the University of Maryland, College Park and University of Cincinnati. He is a resident in the City of Hyattsville; a member of Lambda Alpha International and Next Washington; and a 2015 graduate of Urban Land Institute (ULI) Washington Regional Land Use Institute.

  • Kerry Fang

    Kerry Fang

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    Kerry Fang is a PhD Candidate in Urban and Regional Planning and Design at the University of Maryland, College Park, and will join the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida State University as an Assistant Professor. She specializes in economic development and land use planning. She has taught graduate-level economic development and research methods, and conducted research in the United States, China, India and Australia. She published in top journals of urban planning and received research grants from professional organizations including the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Universitas 21.

The Missing Middle

Thinking outside the box is needed to address the growing demand for housing in the Washington, DC area. This session will focus on the range of multi-unit and clustered housing known as the Missing Middle that is compatible with single-family homes and contributes to walkable, urban living. Planners and developers will discuss the types of designs, zoning changes and economic conditions needed to make this housing more feasible and commonplace.

Download slides:
Paul Mortensen, A Study on the Missing Middle
Murphy Antoine, Missing Middle Typologies
Martin Ditto, The Missing Middle
Erin Grimshaw, Why is the Missing Middle Missing?

  • Martin Ditto

    Martin Ditto

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    Martin Ditto is CEO of Ditto Residential, a leading-edge urban design and development company founded in 2008. Martin is passionate about conceptualizing and creating world-class residences. To achieve this goal, he has assembled a team of fellow visionaries and skilled professionals committed to continuously perfecting their vocations at Ditto Residential. As CEO, Martin sets the direction and vision at the company and oversees acquisition, design, and capitalization.

    Martin believes that we can build livable spaces that are so powerful they can inspire and change the way people live their daily lives. A Ditto property offers unpretentious style with light-infused ambience that encourages appreciation for the beauty evident in the design. Ditto Residential creates evocative, open spaces characterized by purity of form and function, clear sight lines, and thoughtful finishes.

  • Paul Mortensen

    Paul Mortensen

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    Paul Mortensen

    Senior Urban Designer in the Director’s Office
    Paul Mortensen is a Chief and Senior Urban Designer in the Director’s Office at Montgomery Planning and is leading the Design Excellence efforts within the organization.  He is a registered architect in the states of California, Washington and Maryland, is a LEED Accredited Professional, a member of the Congress for New Urbanism, and is an Architect and Urban Designer of significant talent and experience with a strong emphasis on sustainable architecture design in urban settings.  His primary focus over the past thirty years has been on master planning and urban design of residential and mixed-use communities.   Mr. Mortensen was an Associate Principle with Torti Gallas and Partners in Silver Spring, Maryland where he served as a leading principal of the Planning and Urban Design Studio and was involved in a number of large scale, award winning master planning projects and new town designs such as the Crystal City, Virginia Master Plan and the Tacoma, Washington Salishan HOPE VI development.

  • erin grimshaw

    Erin Grimshaw

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    Erin has over 8 years of public and private sector real estate development experience and is currently working within the Research & Special Projects Division of MNCPPC as their Real Estate Market Analyst. She studied Economics and Psychology at Mount Holyoke College and has a Masters’ degree in Real Estate from Georgetown University with a concentration in finance/development. In addition to assisting with the county’s Master Planning and Development Review Processes, Erin’s research portfolio at MNCPPC also covers a variety of topics, including: missing middle housing, agri-tourism, employment trends, and real estate related analysis associated the general plan.

  • Murphy Antoine

    Murphy Antoine

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    Murphy Antoine is a Principal with Torti Gallas + Partners. He leads the firm’s Village Segment, concentrating on the inextricable link between architecture, urban design and planning at a variety of scales and densities. His efforts to implement affordable housing policy through appropriate and contextual architecture and neighborhood planning have produced over sixty revitalization and greenfield projects nationwide.

    His 30+ year career has culminated in an urban design, planning and architecture expertise which has been tapped by a multitude of architecture, planning, housing and urbanism associations, where he has contributed as a speaker, presenter, juror, and exhibitor. His projects with Torti Gallas have been honored with awards from the CNU, AIA, APA, HUD, ULI, NAHB, Residential Architect and Builder magazines.

    He is a registered architect, certified planner, and LEED Accredited Professional, with Masters Degrees in Architecture, and in Urban and Environmental Planning, both from the University of Virginia. His Bachelors of Science in Architecture degree is also from UVA. Prior to joining Torti Gallas, he worked as a designer in the Washington DC region’s production home building industry and on TOD community planning along Virginia’s proposed high-speed rail corridor.

The Purple Line and Economic Growth

The Purple Line light rail system took 30 years to be envisioned and approved. Leaders who witnessed the long planning process for this 16-mile transit corridor will trace the history of how numerous obstacles were overcome so project construction could start in 2017. The results of an economic study will be presented to highlight the Purple Line’s impact on travel patterns and job growth in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.

Download slides:
Benjamin Ross, How The Purple Line Came To Be
Chao Liu, Beyond the Tracks: Economic Development in the Purple Line Corridor

  • Benjamin Ross

    Benjamin Ross

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    Benjamin Ross was president of the Action Committee for Transit from 1996 to 2010. Under his leadership, ACT grew to be the largest grassroots transit advocacy organization in the country. He now chairs the Maryland Transit Opportunities Coalition, a state-wide alliance of transit advocates. He is author of Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism (Oxford University Press, 2014).

  • Gus Bauman

    Gus Bauman

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    Gus Bauman is counsel at the national environmental law firm Beveridge & Diamond. A native of Memphis, he has lived in Silver Spring since 1974. During 1989-90, as chairman of the MNCPPC/Montgomery County Planning Board, Gus led the writing and successful adoption of the original County/MNCPPC transitway Master Plan for what today has become the Purple Line. In 1994, he was defeated for County Executive by the anti-transitway candidate. Geopolitical reality in Montgomery County thus prompted the need and wisdom of extending the Silver Spring-Bethesda transitway eastward into Prince George’s County and the U. Md. campus, becoming the Purple Line. In 2004-05, Gus served on the Blue Ribbon Metro Funding Panel. He later chaired the WMATA Joint Development Task Force. In 2010-12, Gus chaired the Maryland Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding. Once litigation ensued against the Purple Line and the federal trial court ruled against its environmental study, Gus in 2017 filed an amicus brief supporting the transitway and its study with the appeals court. He plans on boarding the first Purple Line tram in 2022.

  • Chao Liu

    Chao Liu

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    Dr Liu is a Faculty Research Associate at the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education (NCSG) at the University of Maryland Her research is concentrated in transportation planning, sustainable land use and transportation policy, transportation energy and emission modeling, transit planning, as well as the application of GIS and statistical models in these fields Dr Liu is playing a key role in multiple projects at NCSG: Sustainable and Equitable Economic Development (SEED) Initiative of Maryland; Sustainable Community Initiative (Baltimore Opportunity Collaborative) for BMC; Transit Direct Ridership Model and Transportation Place Types for Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) Dr Liu’s dissertation focused on the influence of land use on travel behavior and energy consumption using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) for both trip-based and tour-based analysis In these project efforts, Dr Liu has been the main person in charge of integrating data from variety of sources, improving the modeling practice, and managing the projects.

  • Nick Brand

    Nick Brand

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    Nick Brand first began working to transform the abandoned Georgetown Branch freight rail line to a shared trolley line and trail in 1990. He initially volunteered with the grass-roots group Action Committee for Transit to convince Montgomery County to purchase the right-of-way, and served as its president several times, most recently in 2015 and 2016. A 33-year resident of Chevy Chase Section 3, Brand had a professional career in passenger rail planning and economics, working on projects in California, Taiwan, the Philippines, Georgia, Texas, and the Northeast Corridor. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1970, and earned a master’s degree in planning from the University of Massachusetts in 1976.

Placemaking and Public Art

This session will focus on integrating public and commemorative art into placemaking and planning processes. Local and federal case studies will be used to explain policy regulations, zoning tools, community engagement methods and partnerships among government agencies, non-profit organizations and private sector developers. A presentation about the Memorials for the Future competition to encourage more inclusive and imaginative commemoration will focus on ways of fostering powerful experiences through public spaces.

Download slides:
Angela Dupont, Placemaking with Commemoration
Heba ElGawish, Carolyn Griffin and Austin Flajser, Art x Design

  • Angela Dupont

    Angela Dupont

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    Angela Dupont is an Urban Planner in the Policy Research Division at the National Capital Planning Commission. Over the past five years, she has worked on an increasingly complex portfolio of projects, including comprehensive planning and special initiatives that seek to protect federal properties and interests in the Nation’s Capital. Angela successfully oversaw the update of the 2016 Federal Elements of the Comprehensive Plan and managed the Memorials for the Future Competition. She also participated on projects that focused on the Height Master Plan Study and the District’s Zoning Regulations Review. Prior to her work as an urban planner, she worked as a NEPA Specialist contractor for the U.S. General Services Administration. Angela holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Planning at the University of California San Diego.

  • Carolyn Griffin

    Carolyn Griffin

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    Producing Artistic Director Carolyn Griffin has been with MetroStage since it’s founding in 1984 and has produced over one hundred main stage productions, including seventeen world premiere plays and musicals, and dozens of cabarets. She is committed to producing the best contemporary writing and showcasing the best regional artists for a broad-based audience reflecting the diversity of the Washington DC metro area. She has built three theatres by repurposing nontraditional storefronts (and a lumber warehouse) into intimate well-equipped theatre spaces.

    She has chaired both the Alexandria Arts Forum, which she co-founded, and the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and has served on regional panels for both the Virginia and Kentucky Arts Commissions. Awards include the Actors Center Award of Distinction, the Cultural Affairs Award from the Alexandria Commission for Women. She was named a “Living Legend” in 2007 by the Alexandria Gazette Packet and the Alexandria Rotary Club. She received “Helen’s Star,” named after Helen Hayes, from theatreWashington, “presented to daring visionaries who have shaped and redefined the landscape of Washington theatre.”
    She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the George Washington University, an M.A. in Psychology from Catholic University and an MBA from Georgetown University.

  • Heba ElGawish

    Heba ElGawish

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    Heba ElGawish is an Urban Planner at the City of Alexandria, VA, Department of Planning and Zoning. With a focus on long-range planning and community development, Heba has lead a planning and community engagement effort to develop the Old Town North Small Area Plan which included a vision for the redevelopment of a 20-acre decommissioned power plant site and the creation of the Old Town North Arts and Cultural District with regulatory incentives to retain and attract arts and cultural uses.

    With 10 years of experience in architecture, urban design and planning in public, private and non-profit sectors, Heba is dedicated to making cities more inclusive and supportive of active healthy living. She participated in a number of architecture and design charrettes where she integrated urban design interventions for underserved communities in the U.S., Egypt and Italy.

    Ms. ElGawish holds a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Design from New York Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from University of Alexandria, Egypt.

  • Austin Flajser

    Austin Flajser

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    Austin Flajser is in charge of day-to-day operations of The Carr Companies with over 40 executive suite, hotel, commercial and retail assets under management in 8 markets across the country but focused in the Washington, DC area. These assets account for over $180M in annual operating revenue and over $200M of new projects currently in the development pipeline. Since joining the Carr organization at Carr Enterprises in 2004, Mr. Flajser has overseen over a million square feet of development projects. Mr. Flajser received his Bachelor of Science from Vanderbilt University, his Masters in Real Estate from Georgetown University and his Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornell University.

Improving the Health of Underserved Communities

Achieving community health through housing, food assistance programs and design principles is explained through this three-part session. A presentation about a Latino community in Langley Park, MD highlights a citizen-led campaign and housing code issues. Details about Montgomery County’s Food is Medicine program reveal ways of delivering nutrition education and assistance to underserved communities. A presentation about an African American neighborhood in Orlando, FL shows how healthy community design principles are being used to balance the preservation of cultural heritage with economic development.

Download slides:
Kevin Keeley and Nathaniel Grier, Healthy Community Design, The Parramore Story
Benjamin Fulgencio-Turner, Food is Medicine: Integrating Food Assistance into Safety-Net Health Care

  • Kevin Keeley

    Kevin Keeley

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    Kevin Keeley is a transportation planner with VHB, where he manages and supports a range of projects related to multimodal transportation, bicycle and pedestrian safety, transit, livability, and university campus planning. Kevin previously worked as a policy analyst for Prosperity Now, identifying and promoting wealth building strategies for low- and moderate-income communities. Kevin received a Master of Public Policy with a concentration in economic and community development from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He holds a BA in History from Davidson College. Kevin lives in the Rosemary Hills neighborhood of Silver Spring.

  • Nathaniel Grier

    Nathaniel Grier

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    Nat is a multimodal transportation planner. In addition to transit, bike, and pedestrian planning, his multimodal work includes transit-oriented development (TOD), scenario analysis, and small area planning. Nat has experience with a wide array of transportation planning projects including transit studies, CTP, LRTP development and traffic forecasting, as well as air quality modeling and emissions estimates. He is currently working with WMATA on ridership forecasting and helping shape the transportation components of the Washington Union Station 2nd Century Project. Nat is also the National Practice Leader for Campus Mobility Planning, helping universities and other institutions improve mobility and travel choice while simultaneously reducing climate impact and promoting enhanced health and other benefits of active transportation. He lives in Silver Spring.

  • Willow Lung-Amam

    Willow Lung-Amam

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    Willow Lung-Amam, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor in the Urban Studies and Planning Program and Director of Community Development at the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her scholarship focuses on the link between social inequality and the built environment. Dr. Lung-Amam has written extensively on immigrant suburbanization, equitable development, gentrification, suburban poverty, and geographies of opportunity.

    Dr. Lung-Amam is the author of Trespassers?: Asian Americans and the Battle for Suburbia (University of California Press, 2017). Her research has appeared also various journals, books, and reports, such as Journal of Urban Design and Journal of Planning, Education and Research, and popular media outlets, including The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun. Her work has been supported by Ford Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Enterprise Community Partners, and other local, state, and federal agencies and foundations.

    Dr. Lung-Amam holds a Ph.D in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.C.P in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a B.S in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University.

  • Benjamin Fulgencio-Turner

    Benjamin Fulgencio-Turner

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    Benjamin Fulgencio-Turner is the Director for Coverage and Connections at the Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County (PCC). He is responsible for initiatives that strengthen connections between local government, health care providers, social service providers, and the community members that these institutions serve. He has worked to develop new initiatives that allow providers to more deeply engage with their patients’ social determinants of health, such as food security, housing, and job opportunities.

    Mr Fulgencio-Turner has supported implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties since enrollment began in 2013. His work includes data systems management, evaluation, and trainings for local enrollment assisters, as well as the development of new health insurance literacy tools that target communities with limited English proficiency and little experience in the health care setting.

    Prior to joining the PCC, Mr. Fulgencio-Turner’s work and education centered on health equity for low-income families and immigrant communities. His experience includes work as a community organizer, at a local safety-net clinic, and in policy advocacy for national immigration reform. He holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Georgetown University with a focus on local safety-net health care systems.

  • Alonzo Washington

    Alonzo Washington

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    Alonzo Washington is the Housing and Community Development Manager at CASA. CASA is an immigrant rights non-profit with a mission to create a more just society by building power and improving the quality of life in working class and immigrant communities. Mr. Washington has a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. Throughout his 10 year career in public service, Mr. Washington has been an staunch advocate for vulnerable low-income families and immigrants. Mr. Washington was appointed to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2012 and then elected in 2014, where he has sponsored several pieces of legislation incentivizing economic development and affordable housing for inside the beltway communities. He was also a co-author of a 2017 research and evidence-based housing report entitled Preparing for the Purple Line: Affordable Housing Strategies for Langley Park, MD. Formerly, Mr. Washington worked for the Prince George’s County Redevelopment Authority, where he managed a portfolio of federal and local housing grants, and worked with community stakeholders to determine effective approaches to housing issues and potential revitalization projects.

Health and Infrastructure

This session looks at the planning of roads, bikeways and pedestrian paths to ensure communities support healthy outcomes for residents. Planners will discuss how Montgomery County’s Vision Zero policy to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries by 2030 is being envisioned in neighborhoods bisected by busy arterials. Presentations will focus on the best practices for bicycling and walking used in Maryland, Virginia and Ohio. They will include a talk on Safe Routes to School programs to encourage children and families to walk and bike between homes and classrooms, while minimizing travel risks.

Download slides:
Jessica McVary, Creating Healthy Communities through Vision Zero
Micah Brachman, Optimizing Safe Routes to School
Wendy Phelps, Beyond Health Impact Assessments: How health organizations are influencing transportation choices and the built environment

  • Jessica McVary

    Jessica McVary

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    Jessica McVary is a planner coordinator with the Montgomery County Planning Department. In this role, McVary leads master planning initiatives, including community engagement and visioning. Most recently, she led the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan for an area situated between Rockville and Wheaton, Maryland, to address transportation and safety needs, redevelopment potential and community priorities, and guide future neighborhood evolution. Prior to joining the Planning Department, McVary was a project director with the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation in Washington, DC. In that position, she assisted in the development and implementation of planning initiatives for the historic Union Station and adjacent areas under the corporation’s stewardship. Jessica worked previously for the City of Alexandria’s Department of Planning and Zoning, where she managed development applications in all phases of the entitlement process. McVary received a master degree in urban and environmental planning from the University of Virginia, and a bachelor degree in environmental studies from Bucknell University. She is a member of the American Planning Association, American Institute of Certified Planners and Lambda Alpha International.

  • David Anspacher

    David Anspacher

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    David Anspacher is a Transportation Supervisor at the Montgomery County Planning Department. He is the Project Manager for Montgomery County’s Bicycle Master Plan. Mr. Anspacher has a BA in Economics from Wesleyan University and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Brachman

    Micah Brachman

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    Session Code: HEA2

    Micah Brachman is a Lecturer in the Center for Geospatial Information Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. He holds a PhD (2012) and MA (2009) in Geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a BS (2000) in Geography from the University of Minnesota. Micah has extensive professional experience in GIS and Remote Sensing in the commercial, government, and non-profit sectors, and recently transitioned from a consulting position to teach in the new Geospatial Intelligence program at UMD. In addition to Geospatial Intelligence, Micah is also actively engaged in teaching and scholarship in Active Transportation, Hazards and Emergency Management, and Network Science.

  • Wendy Phelps

    Wendy Phelps

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    Wendy Phelps got her first taste of the active transportation of the kool-aid in graduate school, and now makes a living serving it to others as a Transportation Planner at Toole Design Group. Since joining the firm in 2014, she has worked on bicycle and pedestrian master plans and Safe Routes to School projects in multiple states and seen firsthand how much easier it is to promote active transportation and increased physical activity when the physical environment is designed to support them. For the past two years, Wendy has been supporting local health departments in Ohio by providing technical assistance on a variety of topics, including trail planning, shared use agreements, and pop-up demonstration projects. She is proud to see the local health departments leveraging this support to improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities and provide education and encouragement programs within their communities. When not at work, Wendy enjoys getting around on foot or by bicycle whenever possible to help balance out her insatiable appetite for good food.

  • katie mencarini

    Katherine Mencarini

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    Katie has been serving communities throughout the country as a transportation planner for over 10 years. Her passion for planning and designing active transportation networks was first kindled by an internship with a commute that required multiple transfers between transit lines and a short walk. Throughout her career she’s written dozens of small area plans for improving safe routes to schools in communities along the east coast and throughout the midwest. Today she has the privilege of serving the County in which she grew up, and she is thrilled to be working on cutting-edge projects that aim to improve comfort, connectivity and safety for all travel modes.

Stronger, Healthier and Happier Communities – Access to Experiences, Not Acres

Some people want playgrounds, others value open space for concerts or being in nature on a long hike. All park experiences are not created equal for everyone. How do you ensure that the right balance of amenities is being provided in dense areas? Montgomery Parks’ Energized Public Spaces Plan eschews the standard metric of walking distance or acres per person used by most park systems to determine park needs. Instead, the plan relies on a data-driven analysis of walking access to different types of amenities to prioritize parks needs more equitably countywide. This new method will be presented along with how the digital game craze Pokémon Go was used to boost visitation, help get people outside and moving, while collecting data on county parks.

Download slides:
Elena Goldsborough and Rahul Joshi, Exploring and Expanding Park Usage Through Pokémon Go
Cristina Sassaki, Christopher McGovern and Brenda Sandberg, Stronger, Healthier and Happier Communities Access to Experiences, Not Acres | Q&A

  • Elena Goldsborough

    Elena Goldsborough

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    Elena Goldsborough is pursuing a Masters in Community Planning at the University of Maryland, College Park. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Goucher College. After finishing her master’s degree, she plans on working in alternative affordable housing.

  • Christopher McGovern

    Christopher McGovern

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    A graduate of Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, Christopher has worked for private mapping firms and subsequently for the military bringing online mapping analysis and techniques to bear for his clients.

    For the past ten years, Chris has served as the Montgomery Parks & Planning as ISGIS manager where he has applied these same techniques to better use and disseminate mapping technology within the commission.

  • Cristina Sassaki

    Cristina Sassaki

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    Cristina is currently leading the Energized Public Spaces Functional Plan (EPS Plan) which will provide a sophisticated GIS analysis of park needs focusing on walking access to park experiences. The methodology will help prioritize the delivery of parks and public spaces to underserved urban areas of the County through its supply and demand analysis. As part of the Plan’s implementation strategies, activation and connection to parks and public spaces will be critical elements to successfully balance a range of outdoor park experiences, including spaces for social gathering, active and contemplative recreation. She brings over 18 years of experience in the fields of planning and urban design working as Associate and Master Planner at SmithGroup/JJR, Gensler and CallisonRTKL/Arcadis where she led, managed and coordinated complex urban projects from the New Carrollton Metro Station, National Institute of Health, National Cancer Institute, St.Elizabeths West Campus in the DC/Maryland region to projects in Brazil, China, Middle-East, Africa and also New York City’s resilience efforts. At Montgomery Parks she coordinates all aspects of urban park planning which requires collaboration with a multi-disciplinary group of stakeholders including residents, developers, planners, designers, engineers, park managers, public officials, and other professionals.

  • Rahul Joshi

    Rahul Joshi

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    I am a Master’s student in the Project Management department at the University of Maryland, College Park. My under graduation was in the field of Civil engineering, however I have always kept my-self abreast to the various strategies being followed around the world that has helped neighborhood. It was only in the Fall semester of 2017 that I realized that I have a natural affinity to develop strategies that would help to build healthy communities, and found my self working on the project to expand the usage of Montgomery County Parks. Even in the Project Management course I worked on a project to identify the effects that a Large Dam project has on the communities around it and performed a qualitative analysis to measure the impact of the dam. I am elated that our proposal got selected for this prestigious conference, and I am looking forward to presenting good ideas my team and I developed.

  • Brenda Sandberg

    Brenda Sandberg

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    Brenda C. Sandberg has a background in public policy, natural resource management and law, and environmental and park planning. Her work has centered around a variety of policy analysis, planning and implementation projects for the Parks Department in Montgomery County, Maryland. She recently guided the development of the new Energized Public Spaces Functional Master Plan to provide more parks and open spaces to serve the growing urban portions of Montgomery County. She has served as the Legacy Open Space Program Manager for the past 18 years, implementing a comprehensive program to protect and interpret the best remaining open spaces in this growing County. Prior to Montgomery Parks, she served as an environmental planner in the Montgomery County Planning Department, and as an aquatic ecologist and environmental specialist for other public agencies.

    Ms. Sandberg holds a BA degree in Public Policy and an MS degree in Environmental Law and Natural Resources Management, both from Michigan State University. She is a certified planner (AICP) and holds memberships in APA and NRPA.

Healthy Policy

This session demonstrates how government and community policies can support healthy communities, achieve health equity and encourage active lifestyles for residents. Discussion will highlight indicators and metrics that support smart planning and connect socioeconomic status with health. A panel presentation will focus on findings from a study of Health in All Policies in Montgomery County and the ways in which this comprehensive approach can be used to make planning and zoning decisions. Case studies in Rockville, MD and Long Island, NY will show how design was used to address neighborhood health concerns.

Download slides:
Amy Lindsey, Chunfu Liu, Sam Oji and Karen Thompkins, Building Healthy Communities in Montgomery County, Maryland
Erik Aulestia, Health Beyond Healthcare: The Chronic Disease Impacts of Neighborhood Design

  • Erik Aulestia

    Erik Aulestia

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    Mr. Aulestia is a certified Planner and a Partner in Torti Gallas and Partners’ Region and Town Planning Studio with over 24 years of experience. Mr. Aulestia has led numerous planning and urban design efforts throughout the United States and abroad. His work centers on Urban Planning at a variety of scales ranging from Corridor Plans, Neighborhood Plans, Downtown Plans, and Form-Based Codes and private sector Master Planning from 5 acres to 40,000 acres. His expertise includes Transit Oriented Development, Mixed-Use Town Centers, Urban Revitalization, Form-Based Codes, Traditional Neighborhood Design, Healthy Communities, and consensus building. Mr. Aulestia guest lectures often at the University of Maryland and Georgetown University on the topics of form-based codes, mixed-use, and place-making. Awards include the Driehaus Award from the Form Based Codes Institute for the Downtown Wyandanch Form Based Code, Charter Award from the CNU for the Downtown Wyandanch Revitalization, and Award of Merit from the CNU for the South Bend, Indiana West Side Corridors Plan. He recently led the development of The Community Health Report Card which is a tool that measures or predicts the comparative health benefits/reductions in chronic disease of a community based on its physical design.

  • Rita Deng

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    As senior planning specialist at Healthy Montgomery, Rita Deng leads the county’s community health improvement efforts including the community health needs assessment. Passionate about storytelling with data and community engagement, Ms. Deng has a decade of experience in public health practice, data analytics and visualization, as well as program and policy development, working with diverse organizations and populations. Ms. Deng holds a Master of Health Science from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

  • Karen Thompkins

    Karen Thompkins

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    Karen Thompkins obtained an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Spelman College and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She has over 19 years of experience in public health working in the public, non-profit and private sectors. Her past scope of activities included: community engagement, program management, strategic planning, public health promotion and social marketing. In May 2014, Karen joined the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and currently serves as the Program Manager supporting Healthy Montgomery and the Commission on Health.

  • Sam Oji

    Sam Oji

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    Sam joined Montgomery County Maryland’s Department of Transportation (DOT), ten years ago as a Senior Planning Specialist in the Commuter Services Section. He led a team that initiated and implemented several alternative commute programs in the County. In that capacity, he also represented the County at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s (COG) Commuter Connection, partnering with other jurisdictions to develop policies and programs aimed at addressing traffic congestion and air quality concerns. In 2012, Sam transitioned into a new role as Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s Enhanced Mobility and Senior Services Chief, overseeing that entire section. In this current capacity, he serves as the Department’s senior policy expert on transportation issues and needs, related to seniors, persons with disabilities and low-income residents. His section operates the County’s transportation programs and services for those residents, while providing information, linkage and access to transportation options and resources to increase mobility and independence, while improving the quality of life for this vulnerable population.

  • Chunfu Liu

    Chunfu Liu

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    Dr. Liu is a Senior Epidemiologist with more than 2 decades of experience in public health and currently the Chief Epidemiologist with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. He has worked in various settings including health plans, consulting business, academics, and governments. He leads a team of researchers, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, and research analysts in data acquisition, quality assurance, surveillance, program evaluation and planning, and research projects to support public health functions. He has published articles in numerous peer-reviewed journals and has presented papers in many professional conferences. He received doctor of science degree in Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology from the University of Massachusetts, and has graduate training in public health and health care administration.

  • Amy Lindsey

    Amy Lindsey

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    Amy Lindsey has worked for 14 years for the Montgomery County Planning Department as a planner. She has a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from Morgan State University and became interested in the health impacts of physical design through her studies. Her specific area of research is children’s access to open space. Amy is the Planning Department’s representative to the Healthy Montgomery steering committee and the chair of Health In All Policies (HiAP) Workgroup. She lives in West Virginia with her three kids and menagerie of animals.

Identifying and Improving Health-Challenged Communities

Single-use, auto-dependent suburbs can be repositioned to facilitate healthy lifestyles, connections to nature and diversified transportation choices. This session focuses on such a potential transformation in Fairfax County, VA, where an aging highway is envisioned with bus rapid transit hubs and walkable, mixed-use development. A second presentation reveals new methods of data collection to identify Maryland communities with pollution and toxic facilities so they can be helped. It will explain the development of a new environmental tool and its influence on decisions to improve community health.

Download slides:
Elizabeth Hagg, Gayle Hooper, Sukirti Ghosh and Max Pastore, The Spine of a Livable Community
Daniel Engelberg, Maryland Environmental Screen Tool

  • Elizabeth Hagg

    Elizabeth Hagg

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    Elizabeth Hagg has over 30 years of urban planning and community development experience, principally in the Northern Virginia area. For the past ten years, Elizabeth has served as the Deputy Director for Fairfax County’s Office of Community Revitalization (OCR). In that role she leads the revitalization activities for the seven Commercial Revitalization Districts and Areas in the county, and assists the Director of OCR with developing and formulating commercial revitalization and reinvestment initiatives, projects, programs and strategies.

    Ms. Hagg holds a B.A. from Binghamton University and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University. She also has a Certificate in Woody Landscape Plants from George Washington University and is a graduate of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service LEAD (Leading, Educating and Developing) program at the University of Virginia. Her work over the years has garnered awards from the International City Managers Association, Virginia Municipal League and the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association.

  • Sukirti Ghosh

    Sukirti Ghosh

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    In a career that spans continents, sectors, and diverse contexts and scales of design, Sukirti’s work is driven and united by his passion for urban life, “people places,” and research-informed design. Trained as an architect in his native India, Sukirti has since devoted his career to planning and urban design, as both a public sector planner and private sector consultant. His work is grounded in his belief that learning is a lifelong endeavor, and that a successful planning and design process must begin with understanding—and learning from—the people and particular context of each place. He has managed diverse and award-winning projects, ranging from citywide comprehensive plans, downtown and corridor plans, and transit-oriented development strategies, to design guidelines, streetscape master plans, site redevelopment, and architectural design. In particular, much of his work has explored the intersection between physical design interventions and economic development strategies for rejuvenating cities, towns and urban districts. With an educational background in both architecture and planning, Sukirti excels at making connections between micro-level design details and broader, multidisciplinary considerations at the neighborhood, city and regional scales. He is also noted for his creativity and ability to express ideas through graphics.

  • Daniel Engelberg

    Daniel Engelberg

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    Session Code: HEA5

    Daniel Engelberg is a research associate at the National Center for Smart Growth with a focus on regional sustainability planning. In his current position, Daniel leads research for Prospects for Regional Sustainability Tomorrow (PRESTO), an effort to develop a strategy for advancing a more sustainable Baltimore Washington region. For this project, Daniel has managed a scenario planning process guided by technical experts throughout the region and operated an integrated modeling suite that explores the future of land use, transportation, Chesapeake Bay pollution, greenhouse gases, and local air pollution. In addition to PRESTO, Daniel has also lead the development of the Maryland Environmental Justice Screening Tool (MD-EJUST), a tool designed to determine areas of environmental justice concern throughout Maryland. Additional interests include emerging transportation technology and planning for deep uncertainty.

  • Max Pastore

    Max Pastore

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    Max Pastore is an urban designer and urban planner at Rhodeside & Harwell (RHI). At RHI, Max strives to keep cities dynamic, resilient and human-centered.

    He earned his Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Master of Community Planning at the University of Maryland (UMD). While earning his degrees at UMD, he worked in the Community Planning Division of Prince George’s County, Maryland’s Planning Department. At Prince George’s and UMD, he focused on developing more public-facing projects like photo profile campaigns and short documentaries that highlighted small business owners and historical resources in evolving suburbs.

    At Rhodeside & Harwell, he works with a range of jurisdictions to revitalize and reimagine urban neighborhoods and infrastructure through placemaking and urban design interventions. Such projects have continued to strengthen his interest in the relationship between the built environment and human behavior. In his work, Max continues to find that his greatest insights come from communities’ citizens, and believes that the planning process works best when it is transparent and actively promotes citizen participation.

  • Gayle Hooper

    Gayle Hooper

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    Gayle Hooper is a professional landscape architect with more than 30 years of experience in land planning and landscape architecture in both the public and private sectors. Currently working for Fairfax County Park Authority, Ms. Hooper focuses on planning for park spaces that foster community building and inclusiveness while supporting healthy environments and lifestyles.

Public Engagement

How can public meetings be more productive and fun for planners and citizens? This session presents a toolkit for more effective community engagement. Attendees will learn how to break down barriers between planners and residents, ensure every voice is heard and build stronger and more inclusive constituencies. Presented case studies include hands-on workshops to encourage creative problem-solving and a program for marginalized residents who identify community challenges through photographs of their daily lives.

Download slides:
Sandy Klanfer, Making Community Engagement a Conversation
James Rojas, Community Engagement for Communities of Color
Lani Steffens, Using Photography and Facilitated Conversations to Empower Marginalized Communities

  • Sean Emerson

    Sean Emerson

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    I’m a transit advocate from Silver Spring, MD. I have served on the board of the Action Committee for Transit since 2016 and recently joined the editorial board of Greater Greater Washington. I presented a plan for bus rapid transit on the Route 29 corridor in Montgomery County that was embraced by the Montgomery County Council and funded for further study. I believe ordinary citizens can make a difference in local planning by participating in evidence-based decision making.

  • Lani Steffens

    Lani Steffens

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    Lani Steffens is the Director of Public Health Research at EurekaFacts. She is responsible for managing the design, implementation, and analysis of qualitative and quantitative studies for public health. Since joining EurekaFacts, Lani has directed studies on LGBTQ communities, prescription opioid use, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and others. Prior to EurekaFacts, she worked in mental health promotion with college students, researched the wellbeing of resettled refugees, and created an advocacy platform for adults with disabilities to work toward greater accessibility. Lani has also worked in social marketing for public health and environmental sustainability, diversity and inclusion in medicine. She also has specialized training in photovoice, a qualitative participatory action research approach using photography. With her years of on-the ground public health practice experience and behavioral research training, she brings the blended perspective of a scientist and a practitioner to EurekaFacts.

    Lani has Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Trinity University, a Master of Arts in Health Psychology from Texas State University, and a Master of Public Health in Global Health Practice from the University of South Florida. She holds a graduate certificate in Social Marketing for Public Health from the University of South Florida and is Certified in Public Health.

  • Dan Reed

    Dan Reed

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    Session Code: INC1

    I’m an urban planner and community advocate who first testified before the Planning Board at 15. For 12 years I’ve written a blog called Just Up The Pike, which offers news, research, and advocacy on transit, smart growth, and social equity in Silver Spring, MD, a mix of urban and evolving, diversifying suburban communities north of Washington, DC. With a small army of over 7000 followers on Facebook and Twitter, we’ve led or participated in campaigns for everything from a proposed light rail line, to school equity, housing issues, and youth rights.

  • Paul Schroeder

    Paul Schroeder

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    Paul Schroeder is the Chief Business Officer at EurekaFacts. He is responsible for business development, reputational capital, and growth strategy for the firm. Paul has over 17 years of experience in the research industry and previously served as Vice President at Abt Associates before joining EurekaFacts. Paul serves on advisory boards for the National Household Travel Survey (US) and the National Travel Survey (UK).

    Paul’s areas of expertise include multi-mode data collection, address-based sampling, questionnaire development, sample design, and quality control.

    Paul holds a M.A. in Sociology from the University of Virginia, and a B.A. in Sociology & Philosophy from the University of Tennessee. He earned his Master’s Certificate in Project Management from Villanova University.

  • James Rojas

    James Rojas

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    James Rojas is an urban planner, community activist, educator, and artist. He developed an interdisciplinary, community healing and visioning outreach process that uses storytelling, objects, art-production and play to help improve the urban planning outreach process.  He is an international expert in public engagement and has traveled around the US, Mexico, Canada, Europe, and South America, facilitating over five hundred workshops, and building a hundred interactive models. Most of his clients are women or men of color. He has collaborated with municipalities, non-profits, community groups, educational institutions, and museums, to engage, educate, and empower the public on transportation, housing, open space and health issues. His award-winning method has been implemented all across the globe.

  • Sandy Klanfer

    Sandy Klanfer

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    Sandy is a transportation planner at Foursquare ITP in Rockville, Maryland. In that role, he has worked on community engagement for transportation projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, finding innovative ways to reach underrepresented populations and turn the results of that outreach into actionable insights about transportation needs. Prior to joining Foursquare ITP, Sandy worked for the City of Philadelphia, supporting the city’s first Open Streets event, a federally-supported design charrette to improve safety and connectivity across an interstate highway, and its Indego bikeshare program. He earned a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. Before beginning his career in transportation planning, Sandy worked in communications, most recently expanding the reach of a college scholarship program in the DC area.

Affordable Housing

Offering fresh perspectives on the need for affordable housing, this session focuses on regional supply and demand data, and suburban gentrification. Findings will be presented from the National Center for Smart Growth’s modeling work on housing capacity and the Prince George’s County Housing Study. A presentation on suburban gentrification traces the trajectory and effects of this change on inner-ring suburbs in terms of race, income, home prices and education.

Download slides:
Uri Avin, Housing Affordability in Central Maryland: the Supply-Demand Cliff
Nicholas Finio, Gentrification, with a white picket fence? Suburban neighborhood change in Montgomery County

  • Uri Avin

    Uri Avin

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    Uri Avin is a Research Professor at the UMD National Center for Smart Growth where his applied research and projects have addressed numerous aspects of growth management at the county, region and statewide scales. Before UMD, Uri was a consultant with several national planning and design firms for three decades where his work included 20 projects in Maryland. He also served for a decade in Maryland’s public sector as planning director in Howard and deputy director in Baltimore and Harford Counties. His work has been recognized through 10 national awards for excellence and 20 state awards. Uri also directs the Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS) at the Center which has, over the past four years, provided over 120 UMD courses to 9 Maryland jurisdictions to help address their sustainability challenges. He is currently working on PRESTO, the Center’s statewide scenarios project and on a Housing Strategy Plan for Prince George’s County. He serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association and is on the Transportation and Land Development Committee of the TRB. Uri holds Masters Degrees in Architecture, Urban Design and City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Nick Finio

    Nick Finio

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    Nick is a PhD Candidate in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his Master’s in Planning from the University of Maryland in 2015.

    His dissertation investigates the progression and reach of gentrification in the 21st century, including its forms and causes. He is also interested in social equity, housing, transportation, and smart growth.

Inclusivity Through Public Spaces

What makes people feel welcome or unwanted in a public space? Who is heard during the planning and design of a public space? Who has access to the assets of a public space? These questions will be addressed in this session focused on the inclusivity of the public realm. Case studies include neighborhood projects in Philadelphia and Silver Spring, MD, temporary art installations and pop-up public spaces that bring people together and celebrate community identity.

Download slides:
Inclusiveness through Public Space Introduction
Veronica Davis and Andrew Stober, Just Spaces: University City District’s early thoughts about new ways of understanding, creating, and operating public spaces
Shalini Agrawal, Public and Planful: Art, Design & Community Change
Ronit Eisenbach and Anne L’Ecuyer, A Creative Ecology
Carl Atiya Swanson, Inclusivity Through Public Spaces

  • Andrew Stober

    Andrew Stober

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    Andrew Stober is the Vice President of Planning and Economic Development for the University City District (UCD), a special services district in West Philadelphia. Andrew joined UCD in January of 2016 and leads a portfolio that includes public space development and management, Green City Works – a 15 person landscaping social enterprise, commercial corridor development, and transportation improvements for University City. Andrew joined UCD after working for more than six years for the City of Philadelphia. With the City, he served as the Chief of Staff for the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU), where he had lead responsibility for launching Philadelphia’s Indego bike share program, reestablishing a City energy office, and for raising millions of dollars in competitive public and private grant programs aimed at improving transportation infrastructure. Andrew earned a Master’s of Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Northeastern University.

  • Shalini Agrawal

    Shalini Agrawal

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    Shalini Agrawal is trained as an architect and has over 20 years of experience facilitating multi-disciplinary workshops between participants of all ages, ethnicities, and socio-economic statuses. She believes community engagement is the foundation of a practice focused on making a difference. She is co-founder of the non-profit Architreasures in Chicago, where she created the community engagement programming still core to the organization today, and founder and principal at MAC Studio Landscape Architecture, a practice that engages communities in design of their landscape. Shalini has been the Director of the Center for Art + Public Life at the California College of the Arts, and has facilitated (stats?) mutually beneficial partnerships and programs with community-based organizations and the college. Under her leadership, the Center has been awarded the AIA SF Community Alliance Award in Education. She is founder of FIELD Design Network, an organization grounded in values of equity and diversity that supports leadership in public interest design. She is Associate Professor in Interior Design, Interdisciplinary Studies, Diversity Studies and Individualized. Shalini is a contributing author to the new publications Design for Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity and Public Interest Design Education Guidebook.

  • Veronica Davis

    Veronica Davis

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    Currently, she is a co-owner and Principal Planning Manager at Nspiregreen LLC. At Nspiregreen, she is responsible for managing the Urban Planning business unit, which includes surface transportation planning, policy development, and long-range planning. 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.

  • Ronit Eisenbach

    Ronit Eisenbach

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    Ronit Eisenbach is an architect, artist, curator and educator whose scholarship, pedagogy and multi-disciplinary, collaborative practice, StudioRED joins architecture installations, exploratory performances and public participation in situ. Her ephemeral works spark dialogue about our relationships with the places we make for ourselves and with one another. Situated within museums, abandoned buildings and on public streets, Eisenbach’s interventions simultaneously operates at and connects two spatial and temporal scales — the intimate scale of the individual and the public scale of the city. A creative team builder, her works invite active participation, engaging a wide-range of partners in the ongoing effort of transforming, enhancing and attending to place while acknowledging inherent and meaningful tensions that exist between flux and stability. Co-author of Installations by Architects and Ruth Adler Schnee: A Passion for Color, she is a Fellow of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, SandBox at Washington College, and the MacDowell Colony. At the University of Maryland, she is an Professor of Architecture, Director of Creative Placemaking for the National Center for Smart Growth and the Kibel Gallery Curator.

  • Anne L'Ecuyer

    Anne L’Ecuyer

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    Anne L’Ecuyer is the executive director of Arts on the Block. She is a strategist, facilitator and executive consultant who stays closely connected to an international network of city leaders, cultural professionals, and individual artists. Anne is an expert in the creative industries and cultural tourism in the United States, as well as the contributions of the arts toward educational, social, and environmental goals. She is a founder of Art Lives Here, a creative placemaking campaign in the Gateway Arts District. Previously, she taught at American University in the Arts Management Program and served as Associate Vice President for Field Services at Americans for the Arts. Throughout her career, Anne has consulted with hundreds of arts leaders to provide strategy and support for their efforts.

  • Carl Atiya Swanson

    Carl Atiya Swanson

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    Carl Atiya Swanson is Springboard for the Arts’ Associate Director. He manages projects across Springboard’s program areas, leads development and partnerships, and launched Creative Exchange (, a national hub for stories and toolkits for artists and organizations to solve local challenges and create new opportunities. Since the launch in 2014, over 6,000 toolkits have been downloaded from Creative Exchange, facilitating artist-led projects, business skills development, and creative placemkaing projects. He has presented on arts leadership, creative placemaking, and community engagement for Americans for the Arts, the Delta Regional Authority, IdeaLab, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and others.

    Swanson previously worked at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and founded Crown & Sparrow, a boutique communications consulting firm specializing in work with artists. He is a theatermaker and has served on the boards of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network – Twin Cities, and Dissonance, advocating for mental health and wellness in creativity. Swanson holds a BA in Studio Art from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.

Inclusivity Through Philanthropy

This session will look at how place-focused planning and philanthropy can create inclusive community spaces. The authors of the Montgomery County Public Art Roadmap will discuss how this new plan will benefit public places through creative placemaking. The transformative impact of the Cleveland Foundation’s Neighborhood Grants Program, which has funded 2,225 projects to improve the city, will be explained by an urban planner who has worked with the program since its beginning. The diversity and range of these grassroots projects offer lessons for both inner-city and suburban neighborhoods.


Download slides:
Abraham Bruckman, Neighborhood Connections: A program of the Cleveland Foundation | Sample Application
Todd Bressi, Public Art Roadmap
Norie Sato, Working on an artwork for Wheaton Town Center
Michael Smith, S.: An Experience Consultancy

  • Abraham Bruckman

    Abraham Bruckman

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    Bruckman is an urban planner, project administrator and grant writer, with a background in philanthropy, community development, and the arts. His presentation will offer background details and insights about the impact of philanthropic programs used in tandem with a grassroots approach to develop social capital. The presentation will highlight the work of the nationally recognized ‘Neighborhood Connections’ program, established in 2003 by the Cleveland Foundation. The program has now funded 2,300 projects within the city of Cleveland through small grants. The program draws additional strength through an inclusive process that draws people from all walks of life to learn about the grant funding process, either as applicants or as grant review team members, and fosters new relationships. Bruckman served for five years as one of the original review committee members within the program.

  • Todd Bressi

    Todd Bressi

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    Todd W. Bressi is an urban designer and public art consultant, educator and writer. He has managed his own public art consulting practice since 2008, in addition to serving as director of muraLAB and coordinator of artistic planning for Mural Arts Philadelphia.

    Todd consults with public agencies, civic/community groups, cultural organizations and private developers throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has worked on nearly 40 public art and arts district master plans, has managed complex public art commissions, teamed with artists on collaborative design projects, and provided on-call consulting to several public art programs. His projects creatively meld the visual aspects of city design, the activation of public space, and the visions of the organizations and communities he works with.

    Todd’s consulting has inspired more than a dozen projects that have been recognized by the Public Art Network “Year in Review” and the International Downtown Association. His journalism won recognition from the American Planning Association, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Institute of Architects, and the Environmental Design Research Association.

  • Norie Sato

    Norie Sato

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    Norie Sato is an artist living in Seattle whose artwork for public places is derived from site and context-driven ideas. Currently, she has been commissioned to make an artwork for Wheaton Town Square, with the involvement of 2 local artists, Adrienne Moumin and Eric B. Ricks. She has been involved in many aspects of public art including making, teaching, planning, activating, consulting, advocating and supporting. She works in sculpture and 2-dimensional work, and in various media including glass, metal, terrazzo floors, integrated design work, landscape, video and light. Her projects are varied and related closely to site, and located around the country including the San Diego International Airport Reflection Room; San Francisco International Airport Terminal 2; Arabian Library and McDowell Mountain Ranch Aquatic Center, both in Scottsdale; Seattle’s Central Link Light Rail; Miami International Airport; Iowa State University’s Hach Chemistry Building. Her projects have been recognized in the Year In Review from the Public Art Network 5 times. She was honored with the Public Art Network Leadership Award from Americans for the Arts, a national organization that advocates for and supports the arts, as well as Washington State’s Governor’s Arts and Heritage Award for an individual artist.

  • Suzan Jenkins

    Suzan Jenkins

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    Suzan E Jenkins, CEO, Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Maryland has been a visionary leader in the non-profit arts and culture sector for over twenty years, serving in executive positions at the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and the Recording Industry Association of America. A Peabody Award winning producer of the radio series Let the Good Times Roll for Public Radio International, Jenkins has often been recognized for her leadership and entrepreneurial endeavors, including by the Gazette of Politics and Business and Women Business Leaders of Maryland. As an educator, Jenkins has served as Executive in Residence in the College of Music at Loyola University and as Adjunct Professor at both American and George Mason Universities. As co-founder of the Nonprofit Energy Alliance, Jenkins is the winner of the 2012 Washingtonian Green Giant Award. Jenkins serves on the Boards of the Committee for Montgomery and Nonprofit Montgomery, among others; on the Community Advisory Council of WETA and on the American University Arts Management Advisory Council. Suzan Jenkins holds an Honorary Degree in Public Service from Montgomery College, MD; a BS in Psychology and Management, and an MBA from the University of Maryland University College.

  • mike smith

    Michael Smith

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    Michael is Director of Real Estate at Streetsense, with 22 years of experience in design, development, leasing and management of landmark retail destinations, food halls and markets. At Streetsense, Michael advises clients at every touchpoint, including site analysis, strategy and leasing. Current projects include the retail strategy and leasing at the Parks at Walter Reed in Washington, DC; retail strategy for the redevelopment of Potomac Yard in Alexandria, VA; the reenvisioning of The Collection at Chevy Chase and repositioning of Market Common in Clarendon, VA. Michael also led Streetsense’s role in the concepting of the Market District at The Wharf in Washington, DC, opening in 2018.

    Prior to Streetsense, Michael was VP of Development for Williams Jackson Ewing, specializing in landmark urban projects. At WJE he managed the company’s design and development efforts and was involved in the firm’s strategic leasing assignments; notably at CityCenterDC, a 2.5 million SF landmark mixed-use project in Downtown Washington, DC. Michael was part of a leasing team that assembled a collection of the industry’s most sought after luxury retailers and chefs. Michael was also involved in the merchandising strategy for Industry City, a 6 million SF retail, office and maker mixed-use project in Brooklyn.

Inclusivity Through Transit

Montgomery County faces challenges in making connections between jobs and locations where the workforce can afford to live. This discussion among housing developers, architects and urban designers illuminates how transit-oriented development, such as Strathmore Square at the Grosvenor Metro Station, and mass transit systems, including the Purple Line and bus rapid transit, will influence the county’s pattern of affordable housing development and make living car-free an option for more County residents. Presenters will also address why these transportation improvements are vital to economic development and job growth.

Download slides:
Phillip Kash and Eric Rothman, Leveraging TOD Infrastructure Investments as a Catalyst for Inclusive Economic Development
Andrew Altman and Matthew Bell, Inclusivity Through Transit: Cleveland Park and Grosvenor

  • Phillip Kash

    Phillip Kash

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    As a Principal in HR&A’s Washington, DC Office, Phillip leads HR&A’s affordable housing practice and engagements on strategic planning, climate adaptation and resilience. Phillip brings over a decade of experience designing and implementing programs and real estate development projects that align the goals of public, private and philanthropic stakeholders to address pressing community challenges. Within HR&A’s affordable housing practice, Phillip leads engagement on affordable housing policy, program design, and project development.

    Phillip is currently leading an equitable housing needs analysis for the City of Atlanta, a comprehensive process that evaluates the current state of housing affordability in the city and provides recommendations for creating a more equitable and inclusive housing market moving forward. Phillip has led the creation of other affordable housing strategies in Norfolk, VA; Detroit, MI; and Wake County, NC. Finally, Phillip is lead for a multidisciplinary team working for the DC Housing Authority to develop a mixed-use and mixed-income redevelopment plan for Greenleaf, a 15-acre, 493-unit public housing site located in Southwest DC.

  • Eric Rothman

    Eric Rothman

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    Eric Rothman is President of HR&A Advisors, Inc., an industry-leading real estate and economic development consulting firm. He is a nationally recognized expert in transit-oriented development and advises municipalities, transit agencies, institutions, and private and non-profit organizations to support transformative economic development, especially around urban transportation centers and public transit infrastructure, including Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, San Jose Diridon Station, Saint Paul Union Depot, and Hoboken Terminal. Prior to joining HR&A, Eric served as Director of Business Planning for Transport for London.

    Eric also advises cities on issues at the intersection of technology, land-use and public policy. He has partnered with New York City’s Economic Development Corporation to manage BigApps, the nation’s largest civic technology competition. In 2017, he helped create a policy toolkit for cities to plan for driverless cars:

    Eric serves as Board Chair for the Design Trust for Public Space, as Vice Chair of ULI’s Public-Private Partnership national product council, on the Advisory Board of the ULI-New York District Council, and as a board member of KaBOOM! He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a Master’s of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

  • altman

    Andrew Altman

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    Andrew Altman is a nationally recognized leader in transforming cities, urban planning and directing large-scale urban development projects and public/private partnerships. Andy is currently the co-founder and Managing Principal of Fivesquares Development, a real estate development company based in Washington DC focused on innovative urban and transit-oriented projects. Andy was most recently CEO of the Olympic Park Legacy Company in London where he led the transformation of the 500-acre London 2012 Olympic Park – the largest regeneration project in the United Kingdom. Andy first established himself as an internationally recognized urban planner as the Director of Washington, DC’s Office of Planning where he created and directed the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative that resulted in the complete transformation of Washington’s waterfront.

  • matthew bell

    Matthew Bell

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    Matthew Bell, FAIA specializes in large-scale architecture and urban design and is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Maryland and Principal with Perkins Eastman in Washington, DC. He has been active throughout the region with professional projects ranging in scale from waterfronts, new towns and neighborhoods to civic and mixed-use buildings, libraries and schools. His work has received awards from the American Institute of Architects, the Congress for the New Urbanism, the USGBC and the Committee for 100 on the Federal City. Bell has degrees in architecture and urban design from the University of Notre Dame and Cornell University.

Data and Technology Based Planning

Geographic information systems (GIS) are some of the newest tools being used to plan and manage cities and suburbs, but are rarely discussed as a driver of smart growth. This session focuses on the technological advances being used to shape compact, pedestrian-friendly communities and multi-modal accessibility to jobs and services. Planners of Montgomery County’s new Bicycle Master Plan will explain its data-driven approach to bikeways and the important role of digital tools, such as the Bicycle Stress Map, used to identify the level of comfort when bicycling on specific roads.

Download slides:
David Anspacher, Russell Provost and Stephen Tu, Where the Rubber Meets the Road: A Decision-Making Tool For Bicycle Planning in Montgomery County, Maryland
Reza Banai, Data and Technology Based PlanningConnecting GIS Technology and Smart Growth

  • Russell Provost

    Russell Provost

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    Russell Provost is a Planner Coordinator with the Functional Planning and Policy Division at the Montgomery County Planning Department. Russell Provost received his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech in Public and Urban Affairs and Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida. Russell specializes in operationalizing planning theories and concepts using geographical information systems (GIS). Russell currently assists staff with advanced GIS analyses to measure the performance and connectivity of multi-modal transportation systems.

  • Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu

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    Stephen Tu is a planner in the Functional Policy and Planning division of the Montgomery County Planning Department – by way of contract through the University of Maryland National Center for Smart Growth. He has supported the development of Montgomery County’s Bicycle Master Plan through the last two years with policy, program and GIS analysis. An appreciator of all things data-related in transportation planning, Stephen is hopeful for the Bicycle Master Plan’s potential to transform bicycling accessibility in the suburbs. Stephen holds a Masters in Public Policy from the George Washington University.

  • David Anspacher

    David Anspacher

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    David Anspacher is a Transportation Supervisor at the Montgomery County Planning Department. He is the Project Manager for Montgomery County’s Bicycle Master Plan. Mr. Anspacher has a BA in Economics from Wesleyan University and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Reza Banai

    Reza Banai

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    Reza Banai, Ph.D.,M.A., M.Arch. is Professor of City and Regional Planning, School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, and Smart Cities Research Fellow, FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis. He is principal investigator of a smart cities research project titled “A Planning Support System for Comprehensive Planning and Zoning: A Geospatial Simulation Model of Land Use, Land Cover Change for the Memphis Metropolitan Region.” Transit-oriented development site suitability, aided jointly by decision support and geographical information systems; evaluation of the new urbanism with performance dimensions of good settlement form–in the style of Kevin Lynch; assessment of the core commercial areas of the new urbanism, with perspectives from (retail) location and land use theories, and the conventional wisdom are among his publication. His research about light rail transit route alignment alternatives in Memphis TN, is a network model that captures feedback in evaluation of land-use and transportation systems. His recent research focuses on the connection of land use and transportation and the sustainability of the Aerotropolis as an urban form of the future, and on spatial structure of retailing activity with vitality even during economic downturn in the metropolitan region.

Real-Time Data

This session presents insights into governments’ effectiveness to communicate with the public through digital technologies. Presentations will focus on a study of Twitter messages sent by a local government to Maryland citizens and the Pennsylvania Avenue 2040 initiative in Washington, DC to enhance visitors’ experience through Internet of Things technologies, including Wi-Fi and sensor-based LED street lights. Discussion of these projects will include potential lessons for other cities and suburbs seeking to become smarter and more connected.

Download slides:
Mehdi Khan, Exploring citizen-government interactions through analysis of Twitter data
Kenneth Walton, NCPC Planning Process & Innovation

  • Mehdi Khan

    Mehdi Khan

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    Mehdi Khan started his career as an Architect and worked in several architectural, construction and planning projects in different countries as a design professional. He has always been interested in using technology to improve built environment, which led him to study IT/GIS and become a technologist in the areas of urban planning and development. Mehdi Khan has a bachelor degree in Architecture, an MS in Building Design with Computing and GIS concentration, and an MBA with Real Estate and Urban Analysis specializations. Currently Mehdi Khan works as a Program Manager in the Office of Planning and Zoning in Anne Arundel County and leads a team in Research and GIS Division.

    Mehdi Khan is huge ‘Smart City’ enthusiast and direct the Maryland chapter of DC based “Smart Cities Group” to promote smart ideas to make our cities better.

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    Kenneth Walton

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    Ken Walton an architect/ urban designer in Washington DC with 25 years of experience in architecture, urban design and planning with a strong belief in the collaborative process. His experience spans architectural design, concept and product development, entertainment, urban design, sustainable design, smart cities, and software development. Currently, he works as an architect and urban designer at the National Capital Planning Commission. Prior to joining the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), he worked as an architect and designer for Walt Disney Imagineering, HOK Architects, RTKL Associates.

Automated Transport: Today and Tomorrow

Autonomous vehicles have become a reality, leading planners and government officials to weigh their impact on local communities. This session examines the potential effects of driverless vehicles on roadway design standards, signals and signage, pedestrian safety, land development, public transit and other transportation-related components. It identifies ways of preparing for the change through transportation policies and processes that can shape and connect communities to the autonomous vehicle future. Discussion will stress the importance of community values and the potential of the technology to benefit smart growth.

Download slides:
Paul Silberman, Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV): Planning Impacts & Benefits for Local Government
Alex Rixey, Travel Trends in the Automated Future
Drew Morrison, Preparing for Autonomous Vehicles Now

  • Paul Silberman

    Paul Silberman

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    Paul Silberman has been active in the transportation planning field for 21 years. Paul holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland with a minor in Urban Planning. Paul is a registered Professional Engineer in MD and VA and a Certified Professional Traffic Operations Engineer. Paul currently leads the Transportation Planning practice at Sabra, Wang & Associates, Inc. in Columbia, Maryland, and has managed numerous on-call planning and engineering contracts for municipal, County, MPO and State transportation agencies, and has worked on strategic planning for all modes of travel including integrating Intelligent Transportation System and technology applications such as smart traffic signals, smart parking, shared mobility services and connected vehicles.Paul is active in several community projects and professional organizations, including the Maryland Quality Initiative engineering outreach program, the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.

  • Alex Rixey

    Alex Rixey

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    Alex Rixey, AICP is a Senior Transportation Planner with Fehr & Peers DC. Alex has diverse, multimodal transportation and land use project experience at a variety of geographic scales, ranging from single development sites to regional long range plans. Alex has led projects serving public- and private-sector clients, including travel demand modeling; transportation and parking studies; master plan, transit neighborhood plan, and mobility element development; and data analysis and visualization, with an emphasis on analyzing the effects of built environment and demographic characteristics on demand for all modes of travel.

    Alex has combined his passions for quantitative analysis and bicycling by developing a bike sharing ridership model. In the transit space, he combined General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data with cellphone-based big data to pilot an innovative transit market analysis methodology. Alex has also recently worked to develop multimodal transportation performance measures that incorporate land use, transportation, and accessibility factors for auto, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian modes as alternatives to the traditional Level of Service metric.

    He is an active member of Fehr & Peers’ FP Think initiative evaluating and forecasting the effects of Automated Vehicles (AVs) and Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) on future travel behavior.

  • Drew Morrison

    Drew Morrison

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    Drew Morrison is a transportation planner based in the DC office of the planning and engineering firm VHB. He serves as project manager on the Union Station Expansion Project and also works on the MD 355 Bus Rapid Transit initiative. Prior to coming to VHB, he served as the transportation and environment aide for Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner. He previously worked in the Montgomery County Executive’s Office and for Enterprise Community Partners. He holds a BA from Yale University in Economics and Political Science, with a concentration in Urban Studies.

Parking Data and Policy

Smart technologies can help improve parking efficiency, lower energy consumption and reduce environmental impacts. They include automated parking, driver guidance systems with parking sensors and advanced lighting, ventilation and energy-saving systems. This session presents several case studies of smart parking technologies and compares them to conventional parking arrangements. It explores ways of addressing parking supply and demand in the face of limited funding, land capacity and other challenges. Attendees will learn about new approaches to parking that can be applied in their own communities.

Download slides:
Ming Hu and Hiroyuki (Hiro) Iseki, Smart Parking for Sustainable Communities
Michael Weil and Kael Anderson, National Capital Region Federal Parking Study: An Accessibility-Based Approach for Federal Facilities Parking Policies

  • Ming Hu

    Ming Hu

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    Ming Hu is an Assistant Professor at School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, University of Maryland, College Park, affiliate faculty in the National Center for Smart Growth. She teaches technology courses focus on the integration of architectural design with structural, materials and building performance assessment.

    She is an architectural practitioner, educator and researcher with vast experience in high-performance building design, lifecycle assessment and building performance measurement and benchmarking. She has more than fourteen years’ experience working on international high-profile projects with HOK from the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Her background includes training in the architectural discipline and years of practice across disciplines, which gives her a unique perspective and ability to weave these fields together in her research.

  • Kael Anderson

    Kael Anderson

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    Kael Anderson is a Community Planner at the National Capital Planning Commission. Mr. Anderson has advised on a wide variety of projects at the planning commission, from federal facilities and transportation to parks and commemorative works. He completed a Masters’ in Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Tech and has served as president of several community development-oriented non-profit associations.

  • Michael Weil

    Michael Weil

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    Michael Weil is a Community Planner with the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC). With 20 years of combined experience as a consultant and federal planner, Mr. Weil has worked in economic development, traffic engineering, transportation/transit planning, Travel Demand Management, policy development, and project review. He completed a Masters in City Planning and a Masters in Traffic Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as service in positions on the Citizens Advisory Committee for Ride-On transit (Montgomery County, Maryland), planning/management group for the DC Circulator (Washington, DC), and his neighborhood Homeowner’s Association.

  • hiro iseki

    Hiro Iseki

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    Hiroyuki (Hiro) Iseki is Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning and Research Faculty at the National Center for Smart Growth at University of Maryland, College Park. Iseki provides expertise in the area of transportation and land use planning, travel demand and behavior analysis, transportation economics and finance, public transportation planning and management, and applications of GISs in planning with the overarching objectives of balancing efficiency and effectiveness in the provision of mobility and accessibility with diversity of needs among different socioeconomic groups. Iseki’s work includes the development of direct ridership models for Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) and Maryland Transit Administration, the review of transit-oriented development (TOD) typology, the GIS analysis of firm locations in relation to rail stations in the DC region, the Universal Transit Pass (U-pass) programs at selected US universities, and the study to examine the effects of gasoline prices on transit ridership. Iseki has worked on various transportation research projects funded by university research centers, foundations, and government agencies, including University of California Transportation Center, Mineta Transportation Institute, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Maryland Department of Transportation, and California Department of Transportation.

Environmental Data Monitoring

Monitoring the environmental quality of natural areas and neighborhoods is the subject of this session. A case study of Harvard Forest in western Massachusetts will reveal the ways in which the forest has been studied and seen as model of smart community design. The presentation offers a new perspective on such planted areas as important infrastructure, rather than as obstacles that need to be cleared so suburban development can occur. A presentation about the recent emergence of low-cost air monitors will examine the potential to expand and democratize the assessment of air pollution.

Download slides:
Gregory Newmark, Environmental Data Monitoring Emerging Lessons of Shared Air/Shared Action (SASA) : Community Empowerment through Low-cost Air Pollution Monitoring

  • Jana VanderGoot

    Jana VanderGoot

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    Jana VanderGoot is interested in the intersection of architecture, landscape, and urbanism. Her work and research focus on the ways in which buildings act as extensions of urban ecological networks, and specifically where this applies to forest systems.

    VanderGoot is an Assistant Professor of Architecture, tenure track, at the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. She holds a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia, and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame. Jana is a registered architect, founding partner at VanderGoot Ezban Studio, and 2011 recipient of the Rieger Graham, Prize, ICAA affiliated fellowship at the American Academy in Rome.

    VanderGoot’s new book, Architecture and the Forest Aesthetic: A New Look at Design and Resilient Urbanism, was published by Routledge in December, 2017.

  • Gregory Newmark

    Gregory Newmark

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    Gregory Newmark, PhD, is an assistant professor of Regional and Community Planning at Kansas State University. His research focuses on the interplay of transportation policy and travel behavior to advance environmental sustainability and social equity. Currently, Dr. Newmark is working on an EPA funded project to explore the use of low-cost air monitoring devices in four neighborhoods in Chicago, on a USDA funded project to redefine rural food deserts, on a project to merge traffic sensor data to predict (and therefore reduce) crash risk on interstates in the Kansas City region, and on an effort to collect and share transit on-board surveys.

Last Updated: July 5, 2018