I recently attended the Piedmont Triad Tomorrow Summit, an event in Winston-Salem bringing together local and regional planners from a 12-county area in central North Carolina. Featuring a wide array of topics - and lots of advice for sparking economic growth - the summit was an opportunity for planners to meet, mingle, and learn. The event was sponsored by the Piedmont Triad Regional Council (PTRC), one of North Carolina’s 16 regional councils, and structured to help the council’s member governments confront economic development challenges and get tips on kick-starting and strengthening their local economies.
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This year’s conference in Jacksonville, Florida will feature Renaissance’s Whit Blanton and Frank Kalpakis, presenting on topics within their areas of practice, as well as specific project experience in Florida. Whit will be hosting a break-out session: “Starting Out for Start-Ups- Setting the Framework for as High-tech Economy” on Thursday, September 4th. During this session he will explore approaches to successful economic growth, using the Mount Dora & Lake County Employment Center Master Plan – branded as the Wolf Branch Innovation District -as a prime example, and then comparing it to ongoing work to develop a vision and new redevelopment plan for Downtown Orlando. This talk will examine the need for creating great places with multimodal transportation accessibility as a prerequisite for start-up communities and the responsibility of planners to address changes in demographic and economic patterns accordingly.
In addition to this session, Whit will be joining others discussing Florida’s iconic great places by participating in an 8-minute Pecha Kucha (a fast-paced presentation) on some noteworthy public spaces titled: “Placemaking Express: Great Places in Florida,” where he will be discussing how 130 years of planning and development has shaped Park Avenue in Winter Park. This event kicks off APA Florida’s “Great Places in Florida” recognition program.
Frank Kalpakis will be contributing to a session on Friday, September 5th:“Freight, Florida, & the Future – What is the Value Proposition for Our State?” This topic will explore the value of the freight industry in the state of Florida and how it can be further propelled and integrated as an economic asset. Applying his extensive experience with FDOT, Frank will be presenting an overview of some of the key freight planning initiatives for FDOT District Seven including the Tampa Bay Regional Strategic Freight Plan, Comprehensive Freight Improvement Database, and Freight Roadway Design Considerations.
The 2014 APA Florida Annual Conference Brochure is available here.