Trajectory for Livable and Sustainable Regions

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APA member
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CM | 1.25

You'll learn about:

  • Urban and regional experiences advancing livable and sustainable communities programs

  • Benefits and costs of creating a livability or sustainable communities program

  • Potential impact of these programs on future growth patterns 

Over the past 15 years, the United States has made strides in creating more urban, livable, and sustainable communities. These advances have origins in the “new urbanism” and “smart growth” movements that began in the late 1990s, changes in federal transportation funding rules that allowed “livability” programs that support planning and “urban” transportation investments, and, more recently, HUD/DOT/EPA sustainable communities programs.

Has this progress become the new normal for advancing urban places? Or have the impacts been marginal in larger national growth patterns? What will be the impact of livable and sustainable communities programs during the next decade? This session will briefly review progress made through regional livable communities programs, including transit-oriented development and federal programs that support sustainable communities. Learn about the benefits and challenges of these regional approaches as well ways to facilitate more impactful changes to regional investment strategies.



About the Speakers

Mark VanderSchaaf
Mark VanderSchaaf is the chair of APA's Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division, and works as a placemaking consultant for Forecast Public Art, a nonprofit arts organization that connects the energies and talents of artists with the needs and opportunities of communities. Currently his work with Forecast Public Art involves managing an integrated creative placemaking strategy for five municipalities along the next light rail line in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Area. In 2016 Mark retired from a 30-year career as a city and regional planner, serving for 18 years as the economic planner for the City of Saint Paul, and for 12 years as the regional planning director for the Metropolitan Council of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Area. He holds an M.S. in urban and regional planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Iowa. Throughout his career, Mark has sought ways to balance quantitative and qualitative approaches to urban and regional development.

Daniel Reuter
Dan Reuter leads the planning firm Reuter Strategy, Inc. (RSI). RSI undertakes community planning and economic strategies for small to regional planning programs. Dan retired in 2016 as the Manager of the Community Development Division for the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) where he served since 1999. Dan Reuter previously served as an adjunct professor at Georgia Tech City and Regional Planning program. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP), a member of the APA Legislative and Policy Committee, past Chair of the APA Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division (RIPD) and Past President of the Georgia Chapter of APA. Prior to the ARC, Dan Reuter was Director of the Douglas County and Glynn County Planning and Zoning Departments as well as Transportation Planner for the Savannah-Chatham and Athens-Clarke County Planning Departments. Reuter received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business in 1988 and his Master of Science degree from Georgia State University in 1992.

Christa Daniels
For over the past 17 years, Christa Daniels has worked with local governments to foster energy independence, reduce traffic congestion, curb local air pollution, strengthen local economies, and increase their resilience to the changing climate. Mrs. Daniels has facilitated and created innovative participatory stakeholder engagement strategies with towns and regions such as Marin County California, Pittsburgh PA, the Greater Portland Council of Governments, Monadnock region in New Hampshire, NY Department of Conservation, Maplewood NJ, and Bridgeport CT. Christa earned her B.A. in Political Science at Pace University and M.S. in Resource Management and Administration at Antioch Graduate School. Christa’s past experience includes working for the United Nations, NH Department of Environmental Services, Clean Air Cool Planet, and as a city planner for Keene, NH. She currently works for Antioch University New England (AUNE) as the Program Manager for the Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience Center and Climate Access as a research coordinator. Christa is currently a Ph.D candidate completing her dissertation on climate resilience and civic engagement at AUNE.

Eric Hove
Eric Hove is the Regional Plan Implementation Manager at MAPC. His work focuses on land use planning, zoning reform, policy development, project evaluation, and program management. Current Activities Mr. Hove works closely with a number of MAPC’s divisions and external partners on a variety of projects. Under the HUD-funded Sustainable Communities program, he managed project solicitation and selection processes, helped develop and managed state and local policy and planning projects, and was responsible for evaluating, documenting, and disseminating best practices internally and throughout the region. He provides leadership and technical expertise on MAPC’s smart growth campaigns. Mr. Hove conducts outreach to our region’s municipalities, provides analysis and legislative language recommendations, and advocates for the passage of zoning reform legislation and other agency priorities. Past Experience Prior to joining MAPC, Mr. Hove served as the Assistant Director for Land Use Policy at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). While at EEA, he helped establish and implement a wide range of smart growth policies and programs throughout the Commonwealth. He also worked at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission in their Environmental and Land Use section. More recently, Mr. Hove worked on the development and implementation of the award-winning South Coast Rail corridor plan and technical assistance program. He worked with 31 cities and towns in Southeastern Massachusetts on a variety of station area planning, zoning, and open space projects. Education and Professional Affiliations Mr. Hove holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and English from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in regional planning from UMass-Amherst. He is a member of the American Planning Association.