Friday, June 29, 2012

Inaugural Issue of VT Institute for Policy and Governance Newsletter Now Available

The Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance has a new quarterly newsletter; click here to read the inaugural issue:

Also, VTIPG has a new listserv through which future newsletters and news will be sent. If you’re interested in joining send the following information to "subscribe VTIPG (first name) (last name).  Example: "subscribe Joe Smith".

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Derek Hyra elected to governing council of Community and Urban Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association

by Barbara Micale

Derek Hyra, Ph.D.
"Derek Hyra, associate professor,  Urban Affairs and Planning, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, was recently elected to a three-year term on the council of the Community and Urban Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association."   

CNU DC June 30 Walking Tour Series: The Wharf

From CNU DC:

"Walking Tour Series: The Wharf,
Saturday, June 30, 2012
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Please join CNU DC for a tour and discussion of the city's largest waterfront redevelopment project, The Wharf. The tour will be led by Elinor Bacon, owner of E.R. Bacon Development, and a partner in Hoffman-Madison Waterfront, the developer selected to redevelop the Waterfront.
The Wharf covers 27 acres of land and about the same area of harbor, on the Washington Channel, at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. This mixed-use redevelopment will add three million square feet of retail, residential, hotel, office, and cultural amenities, such as parks, piers, a music hall, and convention space, to the city.
The walking tour will feature a discussion of the wharf's history, it's development process, design techniques, and guiding urban development principles.  A hallmark of the project is its seamless integration with the city's Modernist Southwest  neighborhood. Learn how the project will incorporate water taxis along the rivers, a waterfront promenade, a planned pedestrian-oriented bridge towards the National Mall, and blend with neighboring buildings and the Arena Stage. 

This tour is limited to the first 25 registrants.
Tour fee: $10 members, students and seniors, $20 nonmember. RSVP to Lee Sobel by email or call 202-489-8812 (cell).


By Metro: Take the Green Line to the Waterfront Metro Station. Take M Street SW, and head east until it becomes Maine Avenue SW. Go northeast to 7th Street SW, and make a left at The Wharf. Or take the Green or Yellow Line to L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station. Follow 7th Street SW into The Wharf. Meet at the trailer office located at 690 Water Street, SW.

By Capital Bikeshare: There is a docking station at 7th & Water Street SW. Meet at the trailer office located at 690 Water Street, SW.

By carClick here for a map of the neighborhood and driving directions. Meet at the trailer office located at 690 Water Street, SW."

June 22 Webinar and July 19 Public Mtg on Creating the SW Ecodistrict

From the National Capital Planning Commission:

"NCPC is in the final stages of drafting the SW Ecodistrict Plan, an innovative effort to transform Washington’s SW Rectangle into a sustainable and livable neighborhood that efficiently uses federal land and natural resources and contributes to the city’s economic vitality and environmental health.

Two upcoming events provide the public with opportunities to learn more about the plan’s environmental and revitalization strategies. On June 22 at 1:00 p.m. the American Planning Association will host an online webinar. On July 12 the draft plan will be released for a 60 day public comment period. You can review the plan and comment online, or attend a public meeting on Thursday, July 19 and provide your feedback in person. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at the DC Office of Planning in Southwest Washington.
June 22 APA Webinar >>
July 19 Public Meeting >>"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

CAUS Icon Competition

ICON COMPETITION | CAUS 50th Anniversary Celebration
The College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS) at Virginia Tech is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014 and is sponsoring a competition for the design of an icon and a poster to commemorate the occasion.
First Prize - $5,000 | Honorable Mentions - $500/each
September 1 - Registration deadline
September 2 - Electronic submissions due
September 24 - Finalists' printed posters due

Sagi Haviv - Chermayeff and Geismar
Lisa Mahar - Kid O
Rocco Piscatello - Piscatello Design Centre

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Free June 27 PolicyLink Webinar on Regional Equity Networks

From PolicyLink:

The Power of Regional Equity Networks
 Wednesday, June 27, 2012
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (PST) / 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (EDT)

Regional Equity networks and coalitions are taking the lead in shaping the implementation of equity-focused public policies that build and sustain communities of opportunity across America.

This webinar will explore the formation and sustainment of effective regional equity networks and coalitions. Whether you are thinking about forming, developing, or strengthening an equity network/coalition, join this webinar to gain valuable strategies to catalyze your work by:
  • Building successful cross-sector partnerships
  • Governance and management
  • Developing a shared policy agenda
  • Building support to win local, state and federal investments for equity
To register now click here. 
Join regional equity leaders working on Sustainable Communities, strong economies, transportation equity, regional fair housing, and healthy communities. 

  • Kalima Rose, Director, PolicyLink Center for Infrastructure Equity
  • Sarita Turner, Sustainable Communities Fellow, PolicyLink
  • Heidi Hall, Equity Network Manager, Impact Capital/Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Puget Sound, WA
  • Nathaniel Smith, Partnership for Southern Equity, Director, Partnerships and Research for Equitable Development, Emory Office of University-Community Partnerships, Atlanta, GA
  • Katherine Valenzuela, Coalition on Regional Equity (CORE), Regional Equity Coordinator at Sacramento Housing Alliance Sacramento, CA
Thank You, PolicyLink"

Friday, June 15, 2012

UAP Design Studio Wins VAPA Student Planning Project Award

The UAP 5634 Urban Design Studio class, taught by Professor of Practice Elizabeth Morton, Ph.D., has been recognized by the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association with its 2012 Student Planning Project Award.  The class project was the Tinner Hill/Falls Church African American Audio Tour and the group authored the report, “Giving Voice: African American Heritage Walking Tour Report.”  The award will be presented at the 2012 VAPA Conference in July.  Please join us in congratulating Dr. Morton and the class on their project and the award!

June 27 Public Forum: NCPC Proposed Update to Environment Federal Element of the Comprehensive Plan

"The National Capital Planning Commission is proposing an update to the policies outlined in the Environment Federal Element of the Comprehensive Plan.

Proposed Policy Changes
Proposed Policy Changes with Changes Marked
Draft Narrative
Executive Director's Recommendation 
We encourage you to review the revised element and share any comments or thoughts with us by August 10, 2012.

Public Forum - June 27
We are also hosting a public forum to discuss the proposed changes on June 27. Learn more »"

Elizabeth Morton heads McLean Revitalization Corporation; Working on Underground Utility Project

by Barbara Micale

"Elizabeth Morton, professor-in-practice, Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, currently serves as president of the McLean Revitalization Corporation (MRC), an organization of residents, landowners, businesses, and civic organizations who have joined together to promote the revitalization of the McLean Community Business Center (CBC). “Our group is dedicated to supporting efforts that will enhance the business center’s appearance, make it a more pedestrian friendly center of community activity, and increase its economic vitality,” said Morton."  Read more at

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Scholarships for Bikeway Planning Course Aug 20-24

From Jessica Roberts and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals:

“The Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI) at Portland State University is offering a weeklong intensive course for bikeway planning and design this August 20 - 24. This is similar to past weeklong courses, but this time is focused exclusively on bicycle facilities. More course details here:

Thanks to the Summit Foundation, IBPI is offering ten scholarships to this course, covering full tuition ($995) and a $500 travel stipend. The scholarship is specifically aimed at active professionals employed in local government and nonprofits. The scholarship deadline has been extended to 6/18.” See the scholarship information and how to apply at

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Exploring Evaluation for Public Art: Arlington County as Laboratory

UAP Professor of Practice Elizabeth Morton taught a Spring 2012 class on the topic "Exploring Evaluation for Public Art: Arlington County as Laboratory," which provided a public art studio for VT students and news about the class appears on the website of the national arts advocacy group, American for the Arts.  Read more about the class at

A follow up story written by Arlington County's Angela Adams talks about the benefits that the program has experienced as a result of working with the class.  Read more about it at

Student Alison Spain also wrote about the class in this blog post too, noting how valuable the interdisciplinary mix of students was.  See the article at

Sunday, June 10, 2012

News about McLean Utility Undergrounding Project

UAP Professor of Practice Elizabeth Morton, also President of the McLean Revitalization Corp., sends news about a recent groundbreaking ceremony that MRC held for the McLean Utility Undergrounding Project.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

June 12 Tuesdays at APA: Cycle Tracks and Other Innovations to Accommodate Increased Levels of Bicycling in Urban Areas

From APA:

"You’re Invited!
Tuesdays at APA-DC
June 12 @ 5:30pm

Cycle Tracks and Other Innovations to Accommodate Increased Levels of Bicycling in Urban Areas

Speakers: Jennifer Toole, AICP
Bill Schultheiss
& Dan Goodman, AICP
Toole Design Group

Cities across the U.S. are planning, designing, and implementing protected bicycle facilities, or cycle tracks, to accommodate increasing levels of bicycling, and to encourage more people to choose to bike for transportation. However, guidance on when and where cycle tracks are appropriate is currently limited.

This presentation will highlight trends and innovations in bicycle-friendly communities throughout the U.S. It will include a discussion of design and safety considerations for cycle track facilities, which are bikeways that are physically separated from motor traffic and distinct from the sidewalk. The presentation will conclude with lessons learned in designing and implementing cycle tracks as well as observations on the role of bicycling, and more broadly complete streets, in creating sustaining places.

Explore the benefits and shortcomings of cycle tracks compared with other on-road bike facilities such as bike boulevards and bike lanes. Other emerging planning and design treatments to improve bicycle conditions in urban areas will also be highlighted, and the presentation will conclude with observations on the role of bicycling, and more broadly complete streets, in sustaining places.

CM | 1.0

RSVP for June 12 Tuesdays at APA

Learn more about this event and upcoming events on the APA website

Tuesdays at APA–DC
Join APA in Washington, D.C., each month for this after-work lecture and discussion series. Practicing planners, researchers, and professionals from allied fields discuss innovative ideas and concepts or present their latest projects.

The events are free and open to APA members and nonmembers.

Please enter on 15th Street and check in with security desk
American Planning Association - Headquarters
1030 15th Street, NW, Suite 750 West
Washington, DC 20005

Metro – Farragut North (red line)
            McPherson Square (orange/blue lines)
Parking available in paid parking lots or on street
Several Capital Bikeshare stations are also nearby

We hope to see you there!"

CGIT job openings - Planning Analyst position for Hazard Mitigation projects

Job Description – posted June 6, 2012
Planning Analyst position for Hazard Mitigation projects

 The Center for Geospatial Information Technology is seeking a qualified individual to assist in updating hazard mitigation plans.  The primary responsibility of this position is to facilitate committee input and cultivate hazard mitigation action items for inclusion in the Virginia Tech hazard mitigation plan.  Familiarity with relevant FEMA guidelines for hazard mitigation plan development is essential, and a background in planning or collaborative decision-making would also be beneficial.  Secondary responsibilities of this position will include data collection, processing, and analysis in a geographic information system, in support of one or more related projects.  Technical writing to summarize planning activities and analyses will also be required.  This is a limited-duration wage position with an hourly rate commensurate with experience.  All skill levels are encouraged to apply.


·       Educational background or experience in planning

·       Knowledge of the hazard mitigation planning process and relevant FEMA guidelines

·       Experience with ESRI ArcGIS Desktop software

·       Ability to communicate with a diverse group of individuals, verbally and in writing

To apply, submit a resume and statement of interest to Peter Sforza ( at the Virginia Tech Center for Geospatial Information Technology before June 18, 2012.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 14 NBM Program on Building in the 21st Century: Designing a Resilient Community

From the National Building Museum:
"Building in the 21st Century: Designing a Resilient Community

Thursday, June 14, 12:30 - 1:30 pm

Henry Green, chief executive officer of the National Institute of Building Sciences, discusses how designing a resilient community requires an understanding of potentially disruptive events that may befall a community, anticipating how the event will impact the community, and designing for a community that can absorb the impact, adapt to, and/or recover from the event. 1.0 LU HSW-SD (AIA) / 1.0 CM (AICP) / 1.0 LA CES (ASLA)


Register now.

Learn more about this series."

Monday, June 4, 2012

June 12 Webinar on Conservation Innovation Forum: Pulling Together for the Chesapeake

From Harvard's Ash Center:

"Conservation Innovation Forum: Pulling Together for the Chesapeake
June 12, 2012 | 11 am - 12 pm EDT

~This is a free, online event. Registration is required.~

Join us on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 11 am EDT for a live, online Webinar with Joel Dunn, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Conservancy, and John Maounis, National Park Service Superintendent of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historical Trail.

Dunn and Maounis will describe their collaborative efforts to pull together public, private, nonprofit, and academic organizations throughout the Chesapeake watershed to achieve lasting conservation outcomes related to recreation, clean water, wildlife habitat conservation, and sustainable resource utilization.

The session will be moderated by James Levitt, Director of the Program on Conservation Innovation at the Harvard Forest, Harvard University, and a Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

There will be ample time to take questions from the audience."

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Information Techology and Local Sustainability Planning

"Kevin Desouza and Joe Schilling co-authored an exploration of local sustainability planning in the PM Magazine of ICMA. The article, available online, provides a preliminary snapshot of local government sustainability plans and discusses ways that information technologies can enhance their design and implementation."  Read more on the Metropolitan Institute blog

Job Oppty: CoastSmart Communities Planner

"The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) invites applications for a CoastSmart Communities Planner who will work on grant-funded programs related to coastal planning in the context of coastal hazards and climate change. The successful candidate will work in partnership with UMCES and Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in their Coastal and Chesapeake Program (CCP). The successful candidate’s office will be in Annapolis, MD.

The focus of the CoastSmart Communities Planner is to: (1) provide technical assistance to communities throughout the coastal zone to support efforts to incorporate coastal hazards, sea level rise adaptation and coastal resource values into local planning and management efforts; (2) develop program objectives and review, evaluate and manage projects to ensure CCP meets strategic Coastal Zone Management Act planning objectives related to local government coastal hazard planning; and (3) work in coordination with other CCP staff and state-wide climate change adaptation planning efforts to translate science, policy and planning information to coastal decision makers, including facilitated training events.

The position requires a strong background in the environmental sciences, particularly as it relates to coastal hazards and climate change adaptation. The ideal candidate will have experience in leading multi-disciplinary efforts and analyzing and/or synthesizing data and reports. The position requires strong communication skills. Applicants should have a Master’s degree or equivalent experience, familiarity with local planning and GIS is encouraged. The successful candidate will be classified in the Faculty Research Assistant ranks entitled to University benefits with a salary based on experience.

Please e-mail a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for three references prior to June 11, 2012 to Dave Nemazie at Search will remain opened until filled.

UMCES is an EEO/AA employer."