Thursday, November 7, 2013

What is Planning?


By analyzing the areas of expertise and interests of 851 undergraduate and graduate planning faculty members, Tom Sanchez investigates what planning is, what it is not, and what it could be.  Read more…

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mon Oct 21 SPIA Roundtable on Leadership & Administration: The Inclusiveness of Cities

Roundtable on Leadership and Administration: The Inclusiveness of Cities…Through the Lens of the Seasoned Public Administrator

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs

Monday, October 21, 2013

Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs
1021 Prince Street, Alexandria

A lively discussion with two seasoned Public Administrators, Regina V. K. Williams and Calvin Jamison. Both served as Administrators for large urban cities in Virginia. They will discuss the challenges and rewards of managing a complex City government. If you work in government as a public administrator, the discussion will include the competencies needed to be successful.


Calvin Jamison. Ph.D.
Jamison is Vice President for Administration with the University of Texas at Dallas. He previously served as Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Hampton University and as CEO/City Manager of Richmond, Virginia. Prior to serving as City Manager of Richmond, Jamison spent 14 years in higher education with faculty and administrative roles at Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech, including a position as Assistant to the President at Virginia Tech. He is also a former “Cadmus Leader in Residence” at the University of Richmond. He received Virginia Tech’s Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 2006 for his many years of service and leadership to Virginia Tech and to the university’s Black Alumni Organization. Jamison earned his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate degree from Virginia Tech.

Regina V.K. Williams, Executive Director, National Forum of Black Public AdministratorsWilliams is the former City Manager, City of Norfolk, Virginia. Previously she was City Manager and Assistant City Manager for the City of San Jose, California, and Senior Deputy City Manager and Chief of Staff, City of Richmond, Virginia. Williams also served as Director of Personnel and Training for the Commonwealth of Virginia and as Director of Personnel for the City of Richmond, Virginia. She earned her MPA from Virginia Commonwealth University and a bachelor of science degree in English and sociology from Eastern Michigan University.

Moderated by Cheryl Orr, Adjunct Professor, Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration and Policy, and Director of Human Resources, Prince William County, VirginiaCheryl Orr, SPR, IPMA-CP, is Director of Human Resources at Prince William County Government, Virginia. She also is an adjunct professor with the Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration and Policy in Alexandria, Virginia. Previously Orr was Director of Human Resources at the City of Alexandria. She has 25 years of experience in Public Administration with local governments in Virginia, including Arlington County, the City of Norfolk, Fairfax County and the City of Alexandria. In those positions, Orr demonstrated her skill in implementing departmental reorganizations, HR strategic plans, and classification and compensation plans. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Rutgers University.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Wed Oct 9 Info Session about Grad Studies in Urban Planning, Public Admin, International Affairs at VT in OT Alexandria

Please share this info with friends and colleagues you know who may be interested in our programs.

Info Session about Graduate Studies in Urban Planning, Public Administration, International Affairs at VT in Old Town Alexandria, VA

Join us on Wednesday, October 9 to learn about graduate studies that are offered by Virginia Tech's School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) in Old Town Alexandria, Va.

When: Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The information session for the Masters programs begins at 6 p.m. and at 7 p.m. for the Ph.D. programs.

Where: Virginia Tech's School of Public and International Affairs, 1021 Prince Street, Alexandria, Va. 22314
Metro: Blue/Yellow Line.  Bike rack parking available and we are a block away from Capital Bikeshare.

We offer five graduate degree programs at this location:

      Masters of Public and International Affairs
      Masters of Public Administration
      Masters of Urban and Regional Planning
      Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy
      Ph.D. in Planning, Governance and Globalization

Our programs feature outstanding faculty, small classes, and full- and part-time evening studies.

Thurs Oct 17 MI+SPIA Lecture, Navigating Contentious Planning and Policy Decisions: Lessons and Insights on Civic Engagement and Community Consensus Building from Public Policy Mediators and Social Justice Advocates

Hosted by the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs, The Metropolitan Institute and the Urban Affairs and Planning program

Join us as we welcome two nationally known land use and public policy mediators, Donna Silverberg and Don Edwards, for the 2013 Fall MI+SPIA Lecture Series #2: “Navigating Contentious Planning and Policy Decisions: Lessons and Insights on Civic Engagement and Community Consensus Building from Public Policy Mediators and Social Justice Advocates,” on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 6:30 PM.

Increasingly, local residents, community leaders and public officials must seek consensus-based solutions to often contentious land use and environmental issues. What were once standard actions, such as infrastructure improvements and zoning changes, often get delayed by community opposition. Some residents may resist change while other voices and perspectives may be left out. Larger and more controversial issues, such as how to develop in light of increasing changes to our climate present even more difficulties in building mutual understanding and crafting collaborative solutions that benefit all members of our communities. How can policy makers and planners better deal with confusing, often contradictory civic input within a restrictive regulatory framework and sometimes hostile political climate? What techniques and tools can be harnessed that could lead to sustainable and widely supported public policy decisions?

Donna Silverberg, Portland, Oregon, and DC-based civic engagement and social justice adviser Don Edwards—will offer their thoughts on how the field and practice of dispute resolution and conflict management can help answer these and other important policy challenges. These two practitioners will share some of their dispute resolution tools and techniques when guiding public policy and civic engagement processes related to land use, sustainability, social equity, and smart growth recommendations and decisions.  The session will be moderated by Kathryn McCarty, the Administrative Services Chief with Arlington County Environmental Services and Professor of Practice for VT’s Urban Affairs and Planning Program.

Thursday, October 17th
6:30 to 7:30 pm (presentation); 7:30-8:00 (discussion)
Virginia Tech Research Center
900 N. Glebe Road
East/West Falls Church Room
Arlington, VA

Monday, September 23, 2013

October 1 Info Session for Washington Semester 2014

Washington Semester 2014

We are very pleased to announce the upcoming session of the Washington Semester, Extended Summer Session 2014

Our first Information Session will be held in Room 200 of the Architecture Annex as follows:
Tuesday, October 1, 12:30p-1:30p

Washington Semester is open to all Virginia Tech students, regardless of major, who have earned a minimum of 60 credits and are in good academic standing.  Enrollment is limited to 18 participants.

Application deadline (early decision) is December 2, 2013.
Final application deadline is February 3, 2014.

Please visit our website and Facebook pages for more information:

Updates to the website will be made as the information becomes available.

Located in Old Town Alexandria, the Washington Semester is an eleven-week summer program that provides students the opportunity to acquire professional experience in a governmental agency or other relevant enterprise in the private or nonprofit sector. Washington Semester Fellows will attend seminars that enable them to understand their internship from a range of analytical perspectives. While the program is open to all majors, it is of special relevance for students with career interests in politics, public management, public policy, law, or the nonprofit or for-profit sectors. Students receive twelve hours of academic credit for the program.

All students are placed in an internship with a public or nonprofit organization that requires 30 hours of work per week. Placements are based on each student’s interests and professional goals. The internship experience provides a platform for linking seminar discussions and readings to broader issues of management and policy. The emphasis placed on incorporating both theory and practice sets the Virginia Tech Washington Semester program apart from other Washington internship programs.

Examples of previous internship placements include:
U.S. House of Representatives
Alexandria Economic Development Partnership
U.S. Information Agency
City of Alexandria, Department of Planning
National Institutes of Health
Catholic Charities, U.S.A.
U.S. Marshal’s Office
U.S. Agency for International Development
Arlington County Planning Office
American Red Cross
Human Rights Watch
Campagna Center
Street Law
Government Accountability Office
World Resources Institute

Students enroll for all courses for the 1st summer session.  This 12-hour program is an overload for 1st summer session. Each student must get permission from his/her Dean’s office in order to add the overload hours (we will help you with that).

PSCI 4314 - Senior Seminar in Political Institutions
UAP/PSCI 4624 - The Washington Semester: Seminar in Politics and Public Policy
UAP/PSCI 4644 - The Washington Semester: Politics, Policy and Administration in a Democracy
UAP 4964 - Field Study - OR - PSCI 4754 – Internship

Tuition, housing and other costs will be forthcoming (since this program is held in Alexandria, you will not pay on-campus comprehensive fees).

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Thurs Sept 19 Pgm, Power Lines and Parking Spaces: Impacts on Housing Affordability

Cosponsored by the Alliance for Housing Solutions, Arlington County Housing Division (CPHD) and the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs. 

Power Lines and Parking Spaces: Impacts on Housing Affordability

Thurs Sept 19, 6:45–9 pm
GMU Founder’s Hall, 3351 Fairfax Drive

6:45–7:30 pm Check in and refreshments
7:30–9 pm Program


Michael Manville, Assistant Professor, Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University
Michael Manville has two primary areas of interest: the relationship between transportation and land use, and local public finance. He studies the willingness of people and communities to finance different government services, and also studies the tendency of local governments to hide the costs of transportation in the property market. He is particularly interested in how land use restrictions intended to fight traffic congestion can influence the supply and price of housing. His research has been published in a variety of transportation and planning journals, including the Journal of the American Planning Association, the Journal of Planning Education and Research, Urban Studies, and Transport Policy. In addition, Manville has advised local, state, and federal officials about transportation policy, and has consulted with both developers and environmental organizations about land use regulation. He holds a Ph.D. in urban planning from the University of California–Los Angeles.

Mark Silverwood,  President & CEO,  the Silverwood Companies, Reston
Mark Silverwood is President and CEO of Silverwood Associates, Inc., Silverwood Homes, Inc., and Silverwood Management, Inc., affiliated real estate development and management companies based in RestonVirginia. Since founding Silverwood Associates in 1993, Mr. Silverwood has been responsible for the acquisition, renovation, and management of several thousand apartments in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, North Carolina, and West Virginia. Mr. Silverwood has more than 35 years of experience in the real estate industry, building more than 4,000 residential units and one million square feet of commercial space. He serves on the Boards of the Arlington Free Clinic and the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization. A member of the Urban Land Institute’s Washington District Council Advisory Board, Mr. Silverwood also serves on the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s Northern Virginia Advisory Board, the Governor’s Housing Policy Advisory Committee, and the Fairfax County Economic Advisory Commission.

Hon. J. Walter Tejada, Chair, Arlington County Board
J. Walter Tejada, Chairman, was first elected to the Board on March 11, 2003 through a Special Election, and reelected for full terms beginning in January 2004, 2008 and 2012.  He was elected as Vice Chairman in 2007 and 2012, and was elected as Chairman in 2008.  Mr. Tejada has served on many Arlington County citizen advisory groups, including the Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission, the Affordable Housing Task Force, the Sports Commission, the Neighborhood Day Organizing Committee, and the Bicentennial Celebration Task Force.  He is the founding chairman of the Shirlington Employment and Education Center; the founding chairman and a current member of the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations; past Virginia state director and current member of the League of United Latin American Citizens; the founding president of the American Salvadoran Association of Virginia, as well as the founding president of the Latino Democrats of Virginia.  Prior to his election to the Arlington County Board, Mr. Tejada worked professionally as an investigator, a business consultant and as an aide to U.S. Representative Jim Moran.  He studied Government and Communications at George Mason University.

John Lutostanski, Project Liaison, Bowman Consulting
John Lutostanski has 30 years of experience in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area with all aspects of land development. His experience includes municipal, public and private sector projects. He facilitates the approval of the entitlement process by coordinating the efforts of the design team and building consensus between the various disciplines and agencies.  Mr. Lutostanski is responsible for the initial phases of public approval that projects must obtain from local government planning and zoning agencies.  He is a, Registered Landscape Architect in Virginia and he earned his bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University.

Joel Lawson, Associate Director for Development Review, DC Office of Planning
Joel Lawson is the Associate Director for Development Review with the DC Office of Planning.  He holds an undergraduate degree in architecture and a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning. He has worked in both the private and public sectors, at both the local and federal levels.  He has been with the DC Office of Planning since 2002 and the Associate Director for Development Review since 2006.

Moderated by Beth Offenbacker, Ph.D., Associate Director for Social Media and Engagement, Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs, Alexandria, Va.

Special thanks to the Geary-O’Hara Family Foundation
for its generous support of this event

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

2013 Fall MI+SPIA Lecture: 9/12, "Making the National Capitol Region the Next Cycling Capital of the USA: Opportunities and Lessons from Home and Abroad"

Please join us for the kick-off of the 2013 Fall MI+SPIA Lecture Series, hosted by the Virginia Tech Urban Affairs and Planning Program.

Making the National Capitol Region the Next Cycling Capital of the USA: Opportunities and Lessons from Home and Abroad
A Lecture by Professor Ralph Buehler, Thursday, September 12, 2013 (6:30 PM – 8:00PM)

Dr. Ralph Buehler, co-editor of the popular book, City Cycling (2012, The MIT Press), will share his observations about the region’s current cycling boom along with a discussion about the potential for Washington, DC, to become the Bicycling Capital of the USA. He will discuss trends and determinants of cycling in the Washington, DC, region in relation to other successful cycling cities in North America and Europe, and offer an assessment of how Washington, DC, compares in terms of cycling levels, cycling safety, cycling infrastructure, bike parking, the integration of cycling with public transportation, and the promotion of cycling for all groups. Cities seeking to make city cycling feasible, convenient, and safe for commutes to work and school, shopping trips, visits, and other daily transportation will demand the coordination of infrastructure and the promotion of programs, and government policies.

Thursday, September 12th
6:30 to 7:30 pm (presentation); 7:30-8:00 (discussion)
Virginia Tech Research Center
900 N. Glebe Road
East/West Falls Church Room
Arlington, VA

6:00 – 6:30 PM Arrive early to meet Faculty if you have any questions about becoming a graduate student in Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP)
Light refreshments will be served
Limited Bicycle Parking available – please contact Tina Whaley at for reservation.

Hope to see you there!