2018 National Planning Conference

Smart Tools for Recreation Planning

Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 4:15 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. CDT

Location: R03

CM | 1.25

Cost: Included in Registration

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC188215


  • A new web tool to simplify master planning and regulatory review of residential and mixed-use development with respect to recreational amenities and public open space
  • How to identify potential sites and conditions for open space and recreational amenities based on community needs and resources within an integrated public-private system of planning and development
  • How to identify opportunities for inclusionary recreation for citizens of all age groups and abilities, and how to plan for them through innovative tools


Recreation is now recognized as a critical need for healthy, fulfilling lifestyles in cities and suburbs. Recreational opportunities offering physical activity, social connection, passive contemplation, and universal inclusion are necessary components of master planning and regulatory review. Recognizing the importance of these opportunities, the Montgomery County (Maryland) Planning Department developed recreation guidelines, implemented through an automated tool, to expand recreation options in urban centers for a range of age groups. Through the jurisdiction’s recent experiences, participants will learn how to provide recreation facilities in an inclusionary, targeted way, responding to changing demographics and urban growth. Learn how the Montgomery County zoning ordinance requires private-sector developers to provide recreation facilities for residential projects to fulfill demand created by these projects. The new guidelines introduce new digital web tools, innovative recreation-facility solutions based on supply and demand, and a method to simplify the process of determining recreational solutions. Learn how these new tools encourage more economical, sustainable land use and foster more efficient use of recreation resources. And explore innovative tools for considering facility type, limited land area, changing demographics, and walkable distances in determining supply and demand for recreation facilities.

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This session has been identified and peer-reviewed as significantly pertaining to inclusiveness and social justice.
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This session has been identified as a great opportunity to learn about the local Louisiana/Mississippi gulf coast region.
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Session Speakers

Pamela T. Zorich
Silver Spring, MD

Grace Fielder, AICP
Grace E. Fielder & Associates, Chartered
Fulton, MD

Christopher McGovern
Silver Spring, MD

Mary Beth O'Quinn
Silver Spring, MD

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