APA Missouri Chapter


Thursday, October 25, 2018
3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. CDT

CM | 1.50

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Investments in the public realm play a vital role in catalyzing investment, promoting valuable places, and shaping the identity of our cities.  Historically, planners played a lead role in the design of our public realm, but that has been eroded over time by other professions.  How can planners be more of an authority on the design of our public realm?

Cities invest millions of dollars annually in the public realm, whether through capital investments or in association with developer-funded projects.  In most cities, the public realm encompasses between 20% and 30% of its land mass.  Planners often focus attention to the design of many incremental and disjointed projects in the private realm as we try to shape our communities for the better.  However we typically ignore the one-quarter to one-third of our cities that we should have the most direct design influence over our public realm. 

If planners are to regain a key role in the design of our public realm, we must understand three crucial concepts:
1. How planners and planning commissions have the statutory authority to plan and design our public realm.
2.  What planning and urban design techniques create great places and build value - and more importantly, where these fundamental principles are city-building are being undermined by special interests and misguided priorities.
3.  How to navigate complex discussions and filter the perspectives and expertise of other professions dealing with investments in the public realm.


Tammy Sufi

Confirmed Speaker


Matt Wetli

Confirmed Speaker

Matt is a Principal at Development Strategies, where he pursues his passion for identifying, visualizing, and helping communities act on opportunities to create great places-- with an emphasis on urban redevelopment and new town centers. His focus has been in understanding the economic conditions (i.e., market and financial) and ... Read More

Robert Whitman, AICP

Confirmed Speaker


Graham Smith, AICP

Confirmed Speaker


Contact Info

Bonnie Johnson, bojojohn@ku.edu