Chester County’s Virtual Spring Planners’ Forum

The Chester County Planning Commission held the 2021 Spring Planners’ Forum on Tuesday, March 30. More than 120 local planners, municipal officials, and other interested individuals joined on the Zoom call which began with a networking session at 8:00am.

The forum focused around the long-term impacts of the pandemic, and included perspectives from local transportation, land use, and demographic experts.

Becky Bradley, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC), was the first to present and highlighted various key points of LVPC’s strategies and goals. Bradley provided an overview of LVPC’s current comprehensive plan, FutureLV, which includes five goals that are focused around the themes of balance, mobility, resiliency, equity, health, culture, funding, technology, and governance. Additionally, Bradley discussed the importance of planning for a “new normal” in order to meet the needs of our communities.

Rob Henry, Executive Director of the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVFTMA) spoke next about transportation impacts and trends seen throughout the region. Henry noted on the air quality improvements and less traffic congestion due to the pandemic, and discussed options for mobility planning, including how to change the way we do things to build a better future.

And last (but certainly not least), Dottie Ives-Dewey, Planning Program Administrator at West Chester University, discussed planning and the pandemic from an academic standpoint, including what information planners can find useful to in order to help guide a strong recovery. Some of the important questions she noted that Planners’ might want to think about include what will and should recovery look like, as well as what tools they can use to get there.

“It’s great to see so many planners and other individuals coming together to discuss local planning initiatives,” noted Chester County Planning Commission Executive Director, Brian O’Leary. “It’s important for our local planning commissions and municipalities to remain on the forefront of good planning in this ever-changing world.”

The 2021 Spring Planners’ Forum was the Chester County Planning Commission’s eleventh semiannual Planners’ Forum, and second virtual forum.

Stay tuned for more information to come on our 2021 Fall Planners’ Forum!