Webinar Archive



“Preparing to Plan for Climate Change—What Tools Do We Need?”

1.0 AICP CM (live viewing only)

Tuesday, July 28, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET & Thursday, August 6, 2:00-3:00 PM ET

Local governments are increasingly on the front line in taking climate action.  Cities and counties are adopting climate plans and climate goals at an accelerating rate.  As a result, planners are asked to incorporate new issues in long-term planning, to develop and implement new standards for private development and new designs for infrastructure, and to create new processes that incorporate carbon reduction actions and resilience needs.

  • How does planning and development review change when carbon emission become part of meeting local policy?
  • Do planners have the tools for addressing climate goals?
  • What new tools, templates, or data are needed to enable realization of local climate goals?

APA’s Sustainable Communities (SCD) and Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (ENRE) Divisions decided to ask planners how prepared they were to face the climate crisis.  Over 300 Division members responded to a survey on how planners address climate action in their jobs, how their jobs are changing due to climate policy, and what assistance, training, or tools planners they need.This webinar will present the survey results, place the Sustainable Communities “climate champions” programs in the context of pending new climate policy initiatives and research by APA, and engage webinar participants to contribute to the ongoing effort to build the planning toolkit to meet these new challenges.

  • Brian Ross, AICP
  • Jessi Wyatt
  • Jim Riordan, AICP, LEED AP
  • Matt Bucchin, AICP, LEED Green Associate


APA-SCD WEBINAR #26: “Award-winning Sustainability 2019 (Part 2)”

Friday, December 6, 2019, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET


Presentation Slides: PDF

Presentation Recording: Forthcoming

Part 2 of our award-winning projects webinars will take place on December 6, as part of the Planning Webcast Series.
For this webinar, speakers representing three of the 2019 SCD award winners will demonstrate how their projects used innovative methods to tackle a variety of challenges and needs related to sustainability, across the country.
Speakers will represent Building a Better Norfolk: A Zoning Ordinance for the 21st Century (Winning Category: Sustainable Policy, Law, or Tool), the Los Angeles County Master Plan for Sustainable Parks and Recreation, Phase I (Winning Category: Sustainable Park, Recreation, or Open Space Plan or Project), and the Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) Program (Winning Category: Leadership in Sustainability).
  • Joel Mills (Senior Director, American Institute of Architects Center for Communities by Design)
  • Erin Simmons (Senior Director of Design Assistance, American Institute of Architects Center for Communities by Design)
  • Clement Lau, AICP (Departmental Facilities Planner, County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation)
  • George M Homewood, FAICP, CFM (Planning Director, City of Norfolk, VA)
  • Jeremy Sharp (Principal Planner, City of Norfolk, VA)

APA-SCD WEBINAR #25: “Award-winning Sustainability 2019 (Part 1)”

Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 1:00 – 1:45 PM ET


Presentation Slides: PDF

Presentation Recording: YouTube

The SCD’s annual Awards for Excellence in Sustainability honors projects, plans, policies, individuals, and organizations whose work is dedicated to supporting and growing sustainable communities. This webinar will kick off with an overview of the 2020 awards process. (Stay tuned to the awards page for an awards kick-off announcement in early November!)

Following the introduction, representatives from the 2018 Cleveland Climate Action Plan team (winner in the Community Sustainability or Resilience Plan category) will provide an overview of their project.

  • Matt Gray (Chief of Sustainability, City of Cleveland)
  • Nicholas B. Rajkovich, PhD, AIA (Assistant Professor of Architecture, University at Buffalo)

APA-SCD Webinar #24: “Regenerative Urban Developments Are Changing Planning”

Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 3:00 – 4:30 pm ET

Presentation slides (PDF)
Webinar recording (YouTube)

With cities and the built environment being the spatial dimension of our economy, the way the built environment is planned and designed fundamentally determines urban sustainability performance levels for the next 50 to 100 years, before replacement at the end of the useful life.

Regenerative urbanism plays a formative role in creating a circular economy of inclusive abundance that is the necessary material basis for sustainable and equitable cities and society. Our routine approach to sustainability only slows the rate of impact with net-negative mitigation.

Regenerative urbanism eliminates impacts at their source and produces inclusive abundance. This is accomplished with ongoing innovation focused on achieving the imperatives of sustainable regenerative systems performance.

The session panelists share and discuss their research and studies on projects in San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Canada, and other cities. These multiple projects are pursuing certifications such as Living Community Challenge (Sacramento Valley Station Master Plan), One Planet (Zibi Community, Ottawa, Canada), San Francisco Ecodistrict, etc., to inform and establish the absolutely necessary game-changing rules of 21st century urbanism.

This session was originally organized for, and completed at, NPC 2019 in San Francisco.


  • Learn about the collaboration, buy-in, and political leadership required to make the transformational change beyond sustainability to regenerative urbanism.
  • Discover programs, initiatives, and pilot projects that are underway, and define the policy changes needed for 21st century regenerative cities.
  • Examine the challenges and aspirations of different rating systems, such as Living Community Challenge, One Planet, Biophilic Cities, San Francisco’s Ecodistrict, and Well.


  • Scott Edmondson, AICP, is a Senior Planner-Economist at SF Planning (long-range division) with over 33-years of leadership providing complex strategic decision support to senior management. His current work advances the emerging practice of integrative urban systems planning and its two components: (1) the long-range planning information system needed for 21st century challenges; (2) a regenerative strategic approach to sustainability planning. In 1997, he was an advisor and economy co-lead on the San Francisco Sustainability Plan. In 2011, he was the founding Director of the local APA Sustainability Committee. In 2015, he was a first-cohort sustainability champion of the APA Sustainable Communities Division. At SF Planning he leads initiatives in strategic sustainability, regenerative urbanism, and biophilic city planning. In 2015, he completed a report entitled “Living Community Patterns–exploratory strategies for a sustainable San Francisco, which won a local APA Merit Award in the category of innovation in green community planning. In April 2018, he initiated and completed a consultant report–Regenerative City San Francisco–that tested the difference a regenerative approach can make. He now leads the development of a modern long-range planning information system. He has an MA from UCLA (Urban Planning) and a BA from UCB (Development Studies).
  • Kirstin Weeks is a Building Ecology Specialist at Arup with more than 15 years of experience in sustainability consulting. She champions the San Francisco office’s Net Positive Design initiative, and specializes in integration of ecological function in the built environment. Kirstin works with interdisciplinary teams to create built environments that work like ecosystems, eliminating waste as a concept and supporting biophilic wellness, biodiversity, regeneration and reliance on renewable resources. Her project experience extends from sustainability leadership on mixed use and corporate master plans, arts, civic, academic, and industrial projects to policy and plan development, research and cost-benefit studies.
  • Geeti Silwal, AICP, leads the western region Cities+Sites discipline of Perkins+Will with a strong belief in the role of urban designers/planners as advocates of healthy cities to inspire integrated, multi-purpose solutions of innovation and beauty in regenerative urban environments that promote healthy living. In her position as the chair of the Water Lab of Perkins+Will, she is passionately engaged in developing zero-waste solutions at building, district and city scale. Her original research called the ‘Resource Infinity Loop’, address multiple global issues of water scarcity, food security, climate change and social equity through the reuse of urban wastewater for urban agriculture.
  • Greg Taylor has been instrumental in many projects shaping the development of the Sacramento Central City. Over a 5-year period he was responsible for three urban design documents totaling more than 1,200 acres of central city redevelopment. The River District Specific Plan & Design Guidelines were recognized with the 2011 APA California Comprehensive Planning Award and the 2011 Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) Blueprint Excellence Award. His leadership on the award winning Sacramento Valley Station building renovation and the subsequent Master Plan which has the project registered for what could be one of the first Living Community Challenge master plan projects in the nation.


APA-SCD Webinar #23: “SCD Student Webinar Series, Park 1: Introduction”

Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

Presentation slides (PDF)
Webinar recording (YouTube)

As one of the fastest growing APA divisions with over 3,500 student members, the Sustainable Communities Division will be launching a webinar series focused on providing opportunities for new and current student members across the nation to both meet with their APA-SCD Student Representatives, and to discuss career next steps and objectives with established planning professionals.

APA-SCD Student Representatives Fiona Coughlan and Kate Poppel will provide an overview of student opportunities. Matt Bucchin, AICP, LEED Green Associate, and Scott Turner, PE, AICP, LEED AP ND, who are the current and former Division chairs, respectively, will provide some insight related to their professional paths. All speakers will be available to answer questions about the Division, academia, career paths, and much more!


APA-SCD Webinar #22: “Re-shaping Urban Environments for Disruptive Transport”

Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

Presentation slides (PDF)
Webinar recording (YouTube)

What will be the future of our city streets and landscapes in an era of disruptive transport? We have seen the rise of new transportation technologies–from shared and networked vehicles to dockless bikes and scooters and the emergence of autonomous vehicles–but how should cities be re-designed to accommodate this change? There are clear opportunities to harness transportation innovations and implement specific strategies and techniques for improved outcomes. Now is the time to creatively re-think, adapt, and improve our city spaces to prioritize human contact and health and advance sustainability and resiliency, while minimizing potential negative impacts. Join this important discussion on the future of the city public realm in an era of disruptive transportation. 1.0 AICP CM, for live viewing only.

Learning Objectives 

  • Review the concept design of streets in an autonomous future
  • Examine implications for intersections and districts
  • Consider opportunities for policy, public and private action


  • William (Billy) Riggs, Ph.D., AICP, LEED AP is a global expert and thought leader in the areas of future mobility and smart transportation, economics, design and urban development. He is a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Management, and a consultant and advisor to multiple companies and start-ups on technology, smart mobility and urban development. This follows two decades of experience working as a planner, economist, and engineer. He has over 100 publications, featured in multiple global media outlets such as the Economist, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Atlantic, and is the author of the book Disruptive Transport: Driverless Cars, Transport Innovation and the Sustainable City of Tomorrow. Dr. Riggs has been both a fellow with the National Science Foundation fellow and the University of California Transportation Center, is the founder of ReStreet.com(app.restreet.com)—an online tool for democratizing street design. Dr. Riggs sits on the City of Palo Alto’s Planning and Transportation Commission and is a member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Transportation Economics and the Standing Committee on Policy and Law.
  • Michael V. Johnson, PLA, ASLA, is Director of Urban Design at SmithGroup. Michael’s ability to understand and distill complex urban challenges spans catalytic landscape architecture and urban design projects in major American cities, innovative campus plans for top urban research universities and Fortune 500 companies, and international large-scale mixed-use development efforts. Michael serves on the Board of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), where he advances the measurable role that placemaking and urban design can play in fostering healthy cities and supporting landscape and streetscape performance. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Ball State University, and a Master’s in Urban Design from the University of Michigan.



APA-SCD Webinar #21: “Award-Winning Sustainability 2018”

Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 1:00 – 2:30 pm ET

Presentation slides (PDF)*
Webinar recording (YouTube)

The SCD’s annual Awards for Excellence in Sustainability honors projects, plans, policies, individuals, and organizations whose work is dedicated to supporting and growing sustainable communities. Speakers will demonstrate a multitude of ideas for tackling a variety of challenges and needs. The webinar will also kick off with a description of the 2019 Awards process. 1.5 AICP CM, for live viewing only.

Speakers will represent four of the 2018 award winners:

  • Thurston Climate Adaptation Plan (Winning Category: State or Regional Sustainability or Resilience Plan)
  • Meriden 2020: A Comprehensive Plan for Downtown Meriden (Sustainable Urban Design Plan or Development Project)
  • Metro Expo Line Phase 2 (Sustainable Transportation Project)
  • The Environmental Compliance & Sustainability Department at LACMTA (Leadership in Sustainability).


  • Michael Burnham, Senior Planner, Thurston Regional Planning Council
  • Dr. Cris B. Liban, P.E., Executive Officer, Environmental Compliance and Sustainability, LA Metro
  • Juliet Burdelski, Director of Economic Development, City of Meriden, CT
  • Robert Seale, AICP, Director of Development and Enforcement, City of Meriden, CT
  • Woo Kim, AICP, Principal, WRT


*Please note that the correct link for the Resilience Toolkit noted on slide 26 is www.trpc.org/586/Resilience-Toolkit.


APA-SCD Webinar #20: “At the Planning Corner of Land-Use and Water: Texas Edition”

Monday, October 15, 2018, 12:00 – 1:00 pm CT (1:00 – 2:00 pm ET)

Presentation slides (PDF)
Webinar recording (YouTube)

The Water and Planning Network was recently launched by the American Planning Association as an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and planning methods to develop an integrated approach to water management, known as “One Water” management, through land use, land development, and urban design. This webinar is the first of a series which focuses on the interaction of land use and water management planning in various areas of the country. The initial webinar will focus on the One Water efforts in Texas, as well as how the cities of Georgetown and Austin have, and will, integrate water and planning. 1.0 CM, for live viewing only.


  • Jennifer Walker – Senior Program Manager – Water Programs, National Wildlife Foundation
  • James Foutz – Marketing and Conservation Manager, City of Georgetown
  • Teresa Lutes, P.E. – Managing Engineer, Austin Water

APA-SCD Webinar #19: “Planning for a Clean Energy Future with Cities-LEAP”

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Presentation slides (PDF)
Webinar recording (YouTube)

Explore new data on energy use in every U.S. city from the Department of Energy’s Cities Leading through Energy Analysis and Planning (Cities-LEAP) project. Clean energy planners from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will demonstrate how cities can access this data on the State and Local Energy Data (SLED) site and apply it to energy planning using the newly published Data to Decisions series to make more strategic energy decisions.


  • Megan Day, AICP – Project Leader at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Alison Holm – Project Leader at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

APA-SCD Webinar #18: “Solar Planning and Zoning: From the Rooftop to the Solar Farm”

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Solar energy is a rapidly growing industry with over one million installations nationwide and over 260,000 domestic solar energy jobs. Municipalities and counties are increasingly faced with the need to address solar development as development costs decline and technologies for capturing solar energy value evolve.

The webinar will present best-practice guidance and real-life experiences to help planners integrate solar development into their communities. Megan Day, AICP, a renewable energy planner from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Brian Ross, AICP, Senior Program Director at Great Plains Institute, will provide an overview of planning and zoning best practices to help planners take thoughtful approaches to integrating solar into local plans and ordinances. The discussion will specifically cover addressing solar energy at both the large and small scale, and discuss perceived and real issues with solar development, such as glare, aesthetics, fire safety, and land use opportunity costs. James Schroll, an Arlington County Planning Commissioner who helps manage technical assistance to local governments through the national SolSmart certification program, will provide an overview of the SolSmart program, which provides no-cost technical assistance opportunities to local governments, specifically planning departments.

Attendees will learn about:

  • Plan-level policy issues that planners should be prepared to address as the solar development market grows and evolves.
  • The most recent national zoning best practices for different types of solar development.
  • Examples of zoning dilemmas and successes from communities in different states.
  • National SolSmart local government certification program and the technical assistance available to planners across the nation.
  • Resources and models available to planners across the country for addressing solar development in their community.’


  • Megan Day, AICP, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Brian Ross, AICP, LEED Green Associate, Great Plains Institute
  • James Schroll, The Solar Foundation

APA-SCD Webinar #17: “EcoDistricts Certified: A New Standard for Community Development”

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

This introduction includes an overview of the EcoDistricts Protocol and Certification, which are based on 1) equity, resilience, and climate protection imperatives; 2) formation of a governance structure; 3) development of a roadmap; and 4) ongoing performance reporting. Learn about the exemplary projects pursuing this new standard and understand how to apply EcoDistricts in your community. The webinar will include time for questions.

Attendees will learn about:

  • Strategies and standards described in the EcoDistricts Protocol, a free tool for fostering neighborhood- and district-scale sustainability.
  • Case studies that describe projects utilizing the EcoDistricts Protocol.
  • How they might be able to utilize the Protocol in their own community.


  • Naomi Cole, EcoDistricts AP, LEED AP-BD+C

APA-SCD Webinar #16: “Enhancing Social Engagement to Achieve Sustainability in Transportation Planning”

Friday, January 19, 2018

This webinar will focus on the importance of enhancing social engagement in order to achieve sustainability. Speakers will present examples from different social settings addressing a diverse group of urban and rural populations. Age, race, ethnicity, and immigration status are among the most challenging factors impacting one’s level of participation in policy making. The outcomes of this webinar will inform professional planners about fine lines between active and passive public engagement methods/techniques. The webinar is a collaboration between Planning Communities, APA Sustainable Communities Division, and APA Technology Division.

 Attendees will learn about:
  • Public engagement tools/techniques and best practices in different social settings
  • How different planning entities interact to meet diverse needs of urban population while promoting social cohesion/inclusion
  • Tools from professionals working under the umbrella of social sustainability


Mehri Mohebbi (Mehrsa), Senior Urban Planner and Social Sustainability Strategist, Planning Communities, Raleigh, North Carolina  (Twitter: @mohebbmi) 

  • “Religious Social Capital to Promote Religious Minorities’ Engagement in Planning Practices”

Jana Lynott, AICP, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, Public Policy Institute, AARP, Washington, DC (Twitter: @JanaLynott)

  • “Transportation Planning: A Tool to link Social Engagement & Health”

Angela Van der Kloof, Mobility Consultant, Mobycon, Delft, Netherlands (Twitter: @AngelavdKloof)

  • “Social Power of Bicycle Projects for Refugees and Immigrants in the Netherlands”

Nader Afzalan, Ph.D., Chair, APA Technology Division (Twitter: @naderafzalan)

  • “Does Digital Divide Still Matter? Equity Considerations of Using Participatory Tools In Transportation Planning”


APA-SCD Webinar #14 and #15: “Award-Winning Sustainability 2017” – Parts 1 and 2

  • Part 1: November 14, 2017
  • Part 2: December 6, 2017

The Sustainable Communities Division’s annual awards program – the Awards for Excellence in Sustainability – honors projects, plans, policies, individuals, and organizations whose work is dedicated to supporting and growing sustainable communities. In these sessions, speakers representing winners of SCD’s 2017 Awards for Excellence in Sustainability will demonstrate a wide variety of ways that communities can function more sustainably. Our speakers will showcase different types of projects that provide a multitude of ideas for tackling challenges and thinking about sustainability at all scales and in very different locations. For those who may be interested in applying for this year’s awards, Part 1 will kick off with a description of the 2018 Awards for Excellence in Sustainability process. There will be a Q&A session following speakers for both webinars.

Part 1:

  • Representatives from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Division of Neighborhood Revitalization (DHCD/NR) discuss successes, innovations, and lessons learned from their Sustainable Communities Program, through which DHCD/NR has led collaborations among various state agencies, facilitated sustainability planning among local governments, and invested in capital projects that support sustainable development.
  • Representatives from the Lindsay Street Park project (Atlanta, Georgia) winner in the Sustainable Park, Recreation, or Open Space Project category, discuss how their community-driven process emphasized the importance of local knowledge and the needs of those that have been traditionally the most affected by environmental degradation and injustices. From stormwater mitigation, to job training, to safe places to run and play, this project provides numerous benefits to the local community and has become a model for park development.

Part 2:  

Presentation slides (forthcoming)
  • Representatives from the Austin, Texas, South Central Waterfront Vision Framework Plan team will provide an overview of their process for completing a visionary yet financially feasible roadmap for transforming a 118 acre district into a new model for sustainable urban redevelopment. Innovations include a unique financial framework that led to the implementable vision.
  • Members of the Millvale Ecodistrict Pivot Plan team will discuss how the process and plan integrates placemaking and sustainability priorities for a town striving to make its Ecodistrict status part of its identity and culture, not just its infrastructure. The plan provide implementable solutions, as evidenced by actions already being taken to realize the vision.

Note: The Kansas City (MO) Streetcar project was originally scheduled to be included in this webinar. However, the project representative is no longer available due to unexpected circumstances.

APA-SCD Webinar #13: “Measuring the Benefits of Trees: The Green Streets Lawrence Health Impact Assessment”

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The physical environment in which we live is an important determinant of human health. Green infrastructure elements such as street trees can play an important role in the mental health, physical activity, and social interaction of residents. In 2016, Massachusetts planners and members of the American Planning Association’s Sustainable Communities Division partnered with Groundwork Lawrence on a volunteer service project to measure the health benefits of the Green Streets Program. This program’s goal is to plant 2,400 trees throughout the City of Lawrence over a 3-year period. To promote the program and achieve this goal, APA-SCD worked collaboratively with Groundwork Lawrence and residents in Lawrence to conduct a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to analyze the potential health benefits of street tree planting in the City. Throughout the project, the APA-SCD team documented their steps to ensure this process could be replicated by planners in any community around the country. The result was a comprehensive assessment and evaluation of the physical, environmental, and social impacts of street tree planting in Lawrence. Speakers will provide an overview of the Green Streets Program HIA process, and a summary of findings, recommendations, and the resources that were developed by the APA-SCD team to achieve the Green Streets Program goals. This webinar is co-presented by the American Planning Association Massachusetts Chapter (APA-MA). You can find the full HIA report here.

  • Angela Vincent, AICP
  • Neil Angus, AICP CEP, LEED AP BD+C & ND
  • Brad Buschur

APA-SCD Webinar #12: “Making Communities More Resilient Through Local Mitigation Planning”

Friday, July 21, 2017

This webinar seeks to strengthen the ties between hazard mitigation planning and other local planning and regulatory land-use processes. It introduces hazard mitigation as a vital area of practice for planners and provides practical steps on how to integrate hazard mitigation strategies into local plans, including comprehensive and functional plans. It also shows where hazard mitigation can fit into zoning and subdivision codes. Best practices and practical applications, including the APA Safe Growth Audit, are provided. The presenters have valuable experience at both the national and local levels and can offer a variety of effective strategies and methods on incorporating mitigation into local plans.

  • Shannon Burke, MSUS
  • Lawrence Frank, MRP, CFM
  • Allison Hardin, CFM

APA-SCD Webinar #11: “A Dozen Tools for Accelerating Local Sustainability Leadership”

Friday, March 17, 2017

Over half of the world’s population now lives in cities, where built environment decisions endure for decades, impacting social and economic prospects for generations. In response, a new class of sustainability appraisal tools has emerged that gauge equity, resiliency, and resource efficiency at neighborhood, city, and urban component scales. These tools can provide stakeholders with inclusive and transparent systems that support and accelerate local leadership on critical issues of sustainability. In the face of a faltering national commitment, the use and advocacy of these tools by communities takes on even greater significance and urgency.

The webinar will examine major U.S. tools for assessing the sustainability of neighborhoods, cities, and their components, including: 2030 Districts, APA Sustaining Places, EcoDistricts Protocol, Enterprise Green Communities, Envision for infrastructure, LEED for Neighborhoods, LEED for Cities & Communities, Living Community Challenge, STAR Community, Sustainable SITES, and WELL District. Each tool will be reviewed in terms of assessment scope, intended users, rating procedure, costs, and output. And a set of evaluation criteria will be presented for judging and selecting the best tools for community and neighborhood needs.

  • Eliot Allen, LEED AP-ND, EcoDistricts AP – Instructor at Transformative Tools

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understanding the value of urban sustainability assessment
  2. Recognizing the qualities of an appraisal tool
  3. Learning the range of available tools
  4. Knowing how to select a tool

APA-SCD Webinar #10: “Division Overview and Opportunities to Get Involved”

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Curious about what SCD does, and how you can be more involved? Join us for a webinar to learn about ongoing and upcoming APA Sustainable Communities Division activities. Division Chair Scott Turner, Sustainability Champions Coordinator Anne Miller, and others will provide an overview of initiatives, discuss leadership/volunteer opportunities, and answer your questions!

  •  Scott Turner, SCD Chair
  • Anne Miller, Sustainability Champions Coordinator
  • Scott Southall, Sustainability Champion from Kentucky
  • Stephanie Weigel, SCD E-Bulletin Coordinator
  • Jenny Koch, Past Secretary-Treasurer


APA-SCD Webinar #9: “Living Communities”

November 17, 2016

In this webinar, we will explore The Living Community Challenge (LCC), a new design framework developed by the International Living Future Institute (the Institute), which seeks to lead the transformation toward communities that are socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. The LCC is a certification program, as well as a planning and design philosophy that starts by raising the question, “What does good look like?”

The LCC is applicable to new or existing communities, whether new master plans or existing neighborhoods. We will also explore the LCC companion tool—Living Community Patterns (PDF) that arose in part from the research partnership with the San Francisco Planning Department (Living Community Patterns – Exploratory Strategies for a Sustainable San Francisco). An audience Q&A will conclude the webinar.


  • Alicia Daniels Uhlig – Living Community Challenge + Policy Director
  • Scott T. Edmondson, AICP – Strategic Sustainability Planner-Economist, Information & Analysis / Citywide Planning Group, San Fransisco Planning Department

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the Living Community Challenge sustainability principles
  2. Describe each design performance area
  3. Explore the power of the “Patterns” approach to planning and designing Living Communities
  4. Discuss how the Living Community Challenge and Patterns may be used in practice

Audience: Whether you are a Planner, Project Manager, Sustainability Consultant, part of a Neighborhood Association/Development Authority, or work for a Chamber of Commerce or municipality you will gain an understanding of how to adapt this enhanced understanding of sustainable community planning to your own practice and neighborhood-scale projects.

Webinar recording (YouTube)

Presentation slides are unavailable for this webinar.

APA-SCD Webinar #8: “Regenerative Urbanism Rising: Next-Generation Practice”

July 15, 2016

This webcast characterizes the current sustainability challenge as a necessary pivot from ad-hoc greening and net negative mitigation to net positive, regenerative urban planning across multiple scales. These new places will form a fundamental, operational part of a new ecological (sustainable) economy, which further underlines their importance. This pivot is already “in play” through innovation occurring across the planning, design, and build professions. Two practice cases will illustrate this pivot. Participants will gain the understanding and resources needed to begin exploring the potential and advance the innovation and practice of next-generation regenerative urban planning in their own cities. The first case is the innovative, turnkey, revenue-generating, integrated utility system (IUS) which is one method of implementing the Restorative City Standard (RCS). The RCS is a whole systems framework used to formulate strategies to achieve city goals that go beyond ad-hoc or net zero sustainability—that would achieve the systems performance imperatives of restorative, net positive, urban sustainability. This approach illustrates the higher value arising from a whole systems approach to engineering and urban planning. This breakthrough innovation will be described further with a study prepared for San Francisco’s Central SoMa Area Plan and EcoDistrict. The second case is that of planning and designing high-performance places across multiple scales, from the building, to the district, to the city and region. This case will illustrate a “toolkit” of old, new, and emerging concepts and practices. The presentation will illustrate how a range of the familiar components of good urbanism and the ecological city, including green infrastructure, can be integrated in an approach that creates higher economic value and placemaking quality that could not be realized otherwise, and that is cost neutral and therefore financially feasible. The toolkit will be illustrated with EcoDistrict projects in Portland (OR), the U.S., and Japan.


  • Scott T. Edmondson, AICP – Strategic Sustainability Planner-Economist, Information & Analysis / Citywide Planning Group, San Fransisco Planning Department
  • Joshua Foss – President, The Ecala Group
  • Charles Kelley, AIA – Associate Partner, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP

Presentation slides (PDF)

Webinar recording (YouTube)

APA-SCD Webinar #7: “Local Government Sustainability: Practices and Promises”

May 13, 2016

We all say we want sustainability, but what is actually being done on the ground? The recently released results of the 2015 Local Government Sustainability Practices Survey tell us about priorities, policies, and drivers of local sustainability across all three dimensions – environmental protection, social equity, and economic development. It looks at who is working on these issues and the barriers they face. The survey (which collected 1,899 responses) is a joint project of ICMA, the Sustainable Communities and Small Town and Rural Planning Divisions of the American Planning Association, Binghamton University, and Cornell University. This webinar will give an overview of the results of the survey and will begin to elaborate on how the results could influence how we plan. Representatives from two local governments will reflect on their own experiences with sustainability and discuss how they have moved their communities forward. Tompkins County, NY, has just released an Energy Road Map to achieve a lower carbon footprint. The City of Tucson, AZ, has a Sustainability Program that works to advance the core priorities of livability and resilience, fiscal stewardship, and good governance. Join the webinar to share ideas and learn more about the current state of the practice!


  • Dr. Mildred E. Warner – Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Dr. George C. Homsy, AICP – Department of Public Administration, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
  • Ed Marx, AICP – Commissioner of Planning, Tompkins County, New York
  • Leslie Ethen – Director, Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development, City of Tucson, Arizona

Presentation slides (PDF)

Webinar recording (YouTube)

APA-SCD Webinar #6: “Award Winning Sustainability”

February 26, 2016

Winning isn’t everything, but we can often learn a lot from plans, programs, and projects that have been deemed worthy of an award. In this session, speakers representing four winners of SCD’s 2015 Awards for Excellence in Sustainability will demonstrate how communities can function more sustainably. Our speakers will showcase four very different projects. Neil Angus will discuss the Devens Sustainable Housing Pilot Project, a completed project that won the Sustainable Development Project Award. Rhonda Fast will discuss the Crystal Springs Creek Habitat Restoration Projects, which won the Sustainable Parks, Recreation and Open Space Project award. Justin Golbabai will give an overview of the City of Austin Neighborhood Partnering Program, the Leadership in Sustainability winner. John Zeanah will discuss the Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan, the winner of the Sustainable Law, Policy or Plan award. From completed projects to examples of community partnerships and plans, these case studies will give you some ideas of innovative thinking about sustainability at all scales and in very different locations.


  • Neil Angus – Environmental Planner, Devens Enterprise Commission
  • Ronda Fast – Environmental Program Coordinator, City of Portland Environmental Services
  • Justin Golbabai, MPA, AICP, CNU-A – Neighborhood Partnering Program Manager, City of Austin Public Works Department
  • John Zeanah, AICP – Administrator, Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability

Presentation slides (PDF)

Webinar recording (YouTube)


APA-SCD Webinar #5: “APA Sustainable Communities Division – Division Overview and Volunteer Opportunities”

December 14, 2015

Curious about what SCD does, and how you can be more involved? Check out this webinar to learn about ongoing and upcoming Sustainable Communities Division activities. Division Chair Scott Turner and Secretary-Treasurer Jenny Koch provide an overview of Division efforts, discuss volunteer opportunities, and answer questions!


  • Scott D. Turner, PE, AICP, LEED AP ND – SCD Chair; Director of Planning, Nitsch Engineering
  • Jenny Koch, AICP – SCD Secretary-Treasurer; Associate Planner, Rhodeside & Harwell

Presentation slides (PDF)

Webinar recording (YouTube)

APA-SCD Webinar #4: “Smart Cities and Decision-Making: The Art of Building a Better Haystack with Data”

October 23, 2015

Cities are built by decisions. Great cities are built by great decision makers. As people who plan, manage and shape the cities we live in, it is vital that we consider where our decisions come from, and what they’re made of. If you think of public data like a building material, the quality of information used to make a decision is reflected in how that decision affects quality of life. With an exponentially-increasing ability to capture data, the excitement swirling around smart cities and open civic data sources has grown to gold rush levels. But, there’s a problem: Turning all that great information into actionable insights takes time and resources that aren’t always available. In this webinar, Nick Bowden, from mySidewalk by MindMixer, and Fred Merril, member of the Sasaki leadership team, with the help of research, case studies and experience, will explore the changing trends in technology, the art of layering community feedback with quantifiable data to tell a story and, most importantly, how to use data to make better, impactful decisions for the future of your community. Joining Nick and Fred will be Rob Kerns, former Chair of the APA Sustainable Communities Division, who will discuss the APA Smart Cities and Sustainability Initiative. The Initiative, collaboration between the Sustainable Communities, Technology, and Transportation Planning Divisions of APA, acknowledges the critical need for planners to understand evolving technologies and innovations and incorporate them into the field in ways that lead to smarter, more sustainable, and more resilient cities.


  • Rob Kerns, AICP – Development Division Chief, City of Alexandria (and former Chair of SCD)
  • Nick Bowden – Chief Engagement Officer, mySidewalk by MindMixer
  • Fred Merrill, FAICP – Principal, Sasaki
  • Ken Goulding – Principal, Sasaki

Presentation slides (PDF) – COMING SOON

Webinar recording (YouTube)

APA-SCD Webinar #3: “Best Practices and Lessons Learned for Sustainable Comprehensive Planning”

August 21, 2015

This webinar will discuss the central role of comprehensive plans in creating sustainable communities and share a set of best practices and experiences with planning at the local level. Drawing from APA’s recent PAS report, “Sustaining Places: Best Practices for Comprehensive Plans,” David Rouse, Managing Director of Research and Advisory Services with APA, will discuss the four years of research that led to this latest publication. He will also give an overview of the report, which defines the comprehensive plan standards for sustaining places, provides a collection of best practices, presents a process for applying the standards, and explores trends affecting the practice of comprehensive planning. Joining David are Patrice Carroll, Senior Planner for the City of Seattle, and Matthew Dugan, Development Services Process Coordinator for the City of Austin. As representatives from communities who helped to develop and test the Sustaining Places comprehensive plan standards and scoring system, they will share their experiences and lessons learned.


  • David Rouse, APA Managing Director of Research and Advisory Services
  • Patrice Carroll, Senior Planner, City of Seattle
  • Matthew Dugan, Development Services Process Coordinator, City of Austin

Presentation slides (PDF)

Webinar recording (YouTube)

APA-SCD Webinar #2: “Smart Growth and Resilience in Coastal Communities”

May 20, 2015

Coastal and waterfront communities are challenged to create environmentally and economically sustainable neighborhoods while minimizing risks from natural hazards. How can planning for smart growth and hazard resilience provide mutual benefits? Representatives from NOAA, as well as local partners, will discuss projects, tools, and resources related to the task of planning for both resilience and smart growth in coastal and waterfront communities.


  • Susan Fox – Project Manager and Training Specialist,  Baldwin Group at NOAA
  • Gavin Smith – Associate Research Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of City and Regional Planning; Executive Director, UNC Center for the Study of Natural Hazards and Disasters; Executive Director, U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence
  • Wendy Goodfriend – Senior Planner, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission

Presentation slides (PDF)

Webinar recording (YouTube)

APA-SCD Webinar #1: “Collaborating for Sustainability Planning”

March 26, 2015

Communities of all types and sizes are interested in increasing the sustainability of their plans and practices. In this free webinar, sponsored by APA’s Sustainable Communities Division, representatives from Rio Verde, Arizona, and Coconut Creek, Florida, will discuss lessons learned from working with their communities to address all aspects of sustainability (from a healthier environment to a better quality of life to economic stability and growth) through participation in Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program.


  • Joanna Nadeau – Director of Community Programs, Audubon International
  • Sheila Rose – Director, Department of Sustainable Development, Coconut Creek, FL
  • Linda Whitman – Senior Planner, Coconut Creek, FL
  • Sal Celona – Chair, Sustainability Community Alliance, Rio Verde, AZ

Presentation slides (PDF)

Webinar recording (YouTube – recording begins 2 minutes into the webinar)