2020 GPA Fall Virtual Conference

September 23 – 25, 2020

While the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented us from having our annual in-person gathering, we’ve accepted the challenge and pivoted to organize a virtual conference. Join us for an interactive online experience, via Zoom Webinar, where you will be able to learn and connect with colleagues and attend educational sessions, fun social events, and networking opportunities.

We are bringing together a wealth of experience and expertise with a number of speakers offering diverse perspectives on planning issues on topics pertaining to transportation, community and economic development, and much more. The keynote address, Dismantling Exclusion by Design, will be given by Suzanne Burnes and Dwayne Patterson from Partnership for Southern Equity.

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All the info you need for the virtual conference including schedule and session descriptions and more.

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Keynote Address: Dismantling Exclusion by Design

This presentation is rooted in the belief that land use policy is a reflection of the values of people in power. In the American South, your zip code shapes your opportunities, health and life expectancy – a consequence of land use policy. As the planning profession more deeply understands social determinants of health and embraces sustainable design principles, how does it reconcile with its legacy of policies that have excluded generations of communities of color from the basic building blocks for success? How does it weave value for Black lives into land use policy and practice today? We must begin with an equity analysis if we plan to transform the hearts and minds of the people for change, and build the courage to create systems that reflect our values today. Together we prosper!

Meet the Keynote Speakers

Dwayne Patterson

Dwayne Patterson brings over 22 years of experience working directly with community leaders across the nation with a focus in the American South. He has maintained a stellar track record in developing strategy, leading community engagement activities, organizational change initiatives and serving as management within the corporate, non-profit and philanthropic sectors.

As the Vice President of Strategy and Engagement for The Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE), he focuses on growing the equity movement with a focus on developing community-based outcomes to achieve equity and inclusion in the American South. In this role, Dwayne’s primary responsibilities included organizational and programmatic strategy, planning and implementation. He provides leadership through the management and coordination of all program and management staff, strategy development, alliance building, and relationship management.

 

Suzanne Burnes

Suzanne Burnes is a long-time change agent in metro Atlanta, who brings more than 27 years of experience in sustainability, community development and environmental justice to her leadership of the Just Growth Portfolio for PSE. Suzanne’s passions are focused on the pursuit of an equitable, green and resilient world, and her strengths are in building relationships among diverse voices for community and ecosystem benefit.

Her career has included EPA consulting around toxic site clean-up; founding an Atlanta community development corporation; leading Georgia state government’s efforts to create public-private sustainability partnerships; serving as executive director of local NGO Sustainable Atlanta; and founding Collective Wisdom Group, an Atlanta-based firm serving NGO, local government, higher education and philanthropic clients in their creation of cross-sector sustainability partnerships. Her current work outside of PSE finds her advising local governments across the Southeastern US on their sustainability efforts, particularly around partnership development and integration of equity into their climate resilience and green infrastructure projects.

Conference Schedule

Wednesday, Sept 23

Track: Community / Economic Development & Transportation
1:00 PM – 1:45 PM Setting the Stage for Community Revitalization: A Case Study of Memorial Drive
1:45 PM – 2:00 PM Break
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM Transportation Planning in the Era of Smart Cities
2:45 PM – 3:00 PM Break
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM The ARTP: Our Regional Transit Vision
3:45 PM – 4:00 PM Break
4:00 PM – 4:45 PM Georgia Statewide Transit Plan: Improving Mobility Across Rural & Urban Communities
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Networking Hour with Sponsors (Virtual Event)

Thursday, Sept 24

Track: Public Involvement & Comprehensive Planning
9:00 AM – 9:45 AM Next Generation of Public Involvement: Creative Techniques Leading the Field
9:45 AM – 10:00 AM Break
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM Effective Planning in Diverse Communities
10:45 AM – 11:00 AM Break
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM Innovative Public Engagement: Transcending the Open House
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Annual Membership Meeting and Keynote Address: “Dismantling Exclusion by Design” by Suzanne Burnes and Dwayne Patterson, Partnership for Southern Equity
1:45 PM – 2:00 pm Break
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM Navigating Combining a Comprehensive Plan Update with the Development of a New UDO – How Norcross did Both in 12 Months
2:45 PM – 3:00 PM Break
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM Project 08-122: MPO Strategies for Future Success
3:45 PM – 4:00 PM Break
4:00 PM – 4:45 PM Balancing Preservation and Growth in Historic Roswell
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM EPG Social / Trivia Night Happy Hour (Virtual Event)

Friday, Sept 25

Track: Policy & Legislation
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM 2019 Ethics Cases of the Year
10:00 AM – 10:15 AM Break
10:15 AM – 11:00 AM 2020 Legislative Update
11:00 AM – 11:15 AM Break
11:15 PM – 12:45 PM Law and Affordable Housing

Sessions Descriptions

Wednesday, Sept 23
Track: Community / Economic Development & Transportation

CM 0.75

Over the course of 2019, the DeKalb County Department of Planning and Sustainability facilitated an effort to revitalize Memorial Drive. This session will cover the community-driven planning process to identify a future vision for the corridor and identify steps to achieve that vision.

Speakers: Eric Lusher, AICP, Pond; Larry Washington, URP, DeKalb County Department of Planning and Sustainability; Jen Price, AICP, Sycamore Consulting; Jonathan Gelber, AICP, Bleakly Advisory Group; Cedric Hudson, DeKalb County Department of Planning and Zoning

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Panel discussion of recent transportation planning efforts that help jurisdictions prepare for smart cities technologies, from developing fiber networks to deploying connected vehicle applications. Includes best practices for communicating technical information to the public and public officials.

Speakers: Caitlin Shankle, AICP, City of Sandy Springs; Andrew Heath, GDOT; Maria Roell, Atlanta Regional Commission; Tom Sever, Gwinnett County; Natalie Smusz-Mengelkoch, Kimley Horn

CM 0.75

This session will discuss the process and outcomes of the 2019 Atlanta-Region Transit Plan (ARTP) development as and the 2020 ARTP update.

Speakers: Kirsten Mote, AICP, Modern Mobility Planners; Leslie Langley, AECOM; Aileen Daney, Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority

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The Statewide Transit Plan documents the need for public transit across the state. Analysis includes: quantifying rural trip demand, visualizing rural transit trip data, performance measures, and robust outreach. Session will conclude with recommendations and estimated cost of implementation.

Speakers: Kaycee Mertz, AICP, GDOT-Intermodal Division; Brian Smart, AECOM

Thursday, Sept 24
Track: Public Involvement & Comprehensive Planning

CM 0.75

The session will present the three-fold community engagement plan associated with ARC’s just-adopted RTP. The outreach techniques were creative and new, as well as very effective, incorporating community-led dinner discussions, pop-up events at local arts venues, and an interactive “choose your own future” style survey – all aimed at knowing what the year 2050 might bring.

Speakers: Elizabeth Sanford, AICP, Atlanta Regional Commission; Melissa Roberts, Atlanta Regional Commission

CM 0.75

This session will examine the historic challenges and legacy of planning in majority minority communities in metro Atlanta area. Drawing upon the experiences of practicing planners, this session provides practical lessons in how to effectively work in racially and culturally diverse communities.

Speakers: Jim Summerbell, AICP, Jacobs; Marilyn Hall, AICP, Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities Department; Michelle Alexander, The Collaborative Firm; Geilia Taylor, The Collaborative Firm

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Are you tired of hosting the same open houses with the habitual meeting attendees, only to receive minimal input to guide the content of your planning efforts? Learn about some award-winning techniques being used to improve participation and better engage meaningful input.

Speakers: Rebecca Keefer, AICP, CPL; Matt Dickison, AICP, CPL

CM 0.75

This presentation is rooted in the belief that land use policy is a reflection of the values of people in power. In the American South, your zip code shapes your opportunities, health and life expectancy – a consequence of land use policy. As the planning profession more deeply understands social determinants of health and embraces sustainable design principles, how does it reconcile with its legacy of policies that have excluded generations of communities of color from the basic building blocks for success? How does it weave value for Black lives into land use policy and practice today? We must begin with an equity analysis if we plan to transform the hearts and minds of the people for change, and build the courage to create systems that reflect our values today. Together we prosper!

Speakers: Suzanne Burnes, Just Growth Director, The Partnership for Southern Equity; Dwayne Patterson, VP of Strategy and Engagement, The Partnership for Southern Equity

Join us virtually for our Annual GPA Membership Meeting. Immediately following will be the Keynote Address.

Speakers: Daniel Studdard, AICP, Sidney E. Douse, AICP, Jim Summerbell, AICP, and Adam Hazell, AICP

View the Agenda View the meeting minutes

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The session is meant to be a snapshot of how one jurisdiction took the time to align their development regulations with the vision outlined in their Comprehensive Plan in light of a changing economy and changing public engagement methods.

Speakers: Craig Newton, Norcross Mayor; Tracy Rye, AICP, City of Norcross; Robert Patrick, City of Norcross; Paul Culter, Jacobs

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NCHRP 08-122 explores ways for MPOs to leverage the resources, partnerships, and other factors within their influence, so they can better influence driving forces that remain largely beyond their control. This session will provide an update on the best practices in regional transportation planning.

Speaker: Wade Carroll, AICP, Metro Analytics

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One of the key challenges in growing communities today is finding the right balance between preservation and growth. This session will explore a recent planning process in Roswell that successfully developed a vision, plan, and code for the city’s renowned historic district.

Speakers: Caleb Racicot, TSW; Jackie Deibel, City of Roswell

Friday, Sept 25
Track: Policy & Legislation

CM 1.5 ETHICS

This interactive session will present the latest Ethics Cases of the Year and lead a discussion of how these real scenarios illustrate specific principles of the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Development.

Speakers: Ariel Godwin, AICP, SGRC; Wade Carroll, AICP, Metro Analytics

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Our chapter’s Policy and Advocacy Committee have been tracking the activities of the 2020 Georgia General Assembly and proposed legislation that may impact our profession. Come learn about these proposed laws and how you too can help in these efforts and be an advocate for planning in our state.

Speakers: Jim Summerbell, AICP, Jacobs; Patrick Burns, Arc 3 Communications; Sara Patenaude, Tapestry Development Group, Inc.; Emily Ritzler, WSP

CM 1.5 LAW

We will discuss various barriers and boundaries that exist in Georgia law (Development Impact Fee Act, inclusionary zoning, rent restrictions) and creative tactics to overcome these barriers and work within boundaries to support and encourage affordable housing. We will also discuss tools (new and innovative zoning classifications, tiny houses, container housing and commercial developments, Comprehensive Development Plans) that can be used to create naturally occurring more affordable market rate housing and improve economic growth.

Speakers: Anamaria Hazard, Coleman Talley; Sasan Nematbakhsh, Nemat Law Firm

Networking and Social Events

Networking Hour

Wednesday, September 23, 5:00 PM

Everyone is invited to the Networking Hour with our Sponsors.  You will be able to interact with our Sponsors in their virtual exhibit booths. Sign up at the time of registration.

Lunch, Learn, and Laude

Thursday, September 24, 12:00 – 1:30 PM

Grab your lunch and don’t miss our Annual Membership Meeting during the keynote speaker time slot. The presentation will include an announcement of the winners of the 2020 Chapter Awards.  

EPG Social/Trivia Night

Thursday, September 24, 5:00 – 6:30 PM

Everyone is invited to grab your favorite beverage and join us for the Emerging Planners Group (EPG) Social/Happy Hour and Trivia Night! Limited to 100 participants. Sign up at the time of registration.