Planning Commission Staff Attends Educational Sessions at Statewide Conference

Over 400 planners from across Pennsylvania, including members of the Chester County Planning Commission staff, recently converged in State College, Centre County for a three-day conference that provided opportunities for learning, training, and networking.

The Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association’s annual conference included many great educational sessions about various topics, including housing, aging in place, economic development, water quality, transportation, and healthy communities. 

Keynote speaker Spud Marshall, the chief executive officer and chief analyst at an international network of homes for changemakers known as, discussed what it takes to transform communities into hubs of entrepreneurial spirit, social innovation, and creative community development. Marshall mentioned an interesting website during his speech.

Chester County Planning Commission Planning Services Director Susan Elks presented sessions on images and ethics, the AICP exam, and transitioning to management with other agencies, including the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the Borough of State College.

Planning Commission Urban Planner Kevin Myers presented “Placemaking Using an Economic Development Study: A Data and Market Based Approach,” with Mary Hutchins, executive director of Historic Kennett Square, and Todd Poole, president, founder, and managing principal of 4Ward Planning, Inc.

The Planning Commission was honored at the conference for the Commercial Landscapes series.

The Planning Commission would like to extend a special thanks to local businesses who contributed items toward the “Best of Chester County” gift baskets that were raffled off at the statewide conference: Chaddsford Winery, Golden Barrel-Good Food Inc., Herr Foods Inc., Neuchatel Chocolates, Swarmbustin’ Honey, and To-Jo Mushrooms Inc. Proceeds from the auction go toward the Pennsylvania Chapter’s college scholarship fund. Multiple scholarships are awarded annually to planning students, providing critical financial assistance for educational expenses.

Selected presentations from the conference were recorded and are available for viewing. These presentations cover topics such as urban forestry, real estate finance for planners, repurposing stranded real estate, and implementing tactical urbanism.