Thursday Session Descriptions
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Receptions and Awards Presentation included in conference registration.
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Thursday, May 26
8:30 - 9:45 a.m. - PLENARY: Climate Change and its Impacts in Wisconsin
- Fulfills 1 CM Resilience & Sustainability Requirement
- Steve Vavrus - Senior Scientist, Nelson Institute Center for Climate Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Rob Montgomery - Professor of Practice at the UW-Madison Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
Leaders from the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) network will provide an overview of WICCI’s recently released 2021 assessment report, Wisconsin’s Changing Climate: Impacts and Solutions for a Warmer Climate. This report showcases how the climate has continued to change since the 2011 assessment report and how new data and insight are leading to adaptation, mitigation, and solutions in Wisconsin. Led by the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, WICCI is a nationally recognized collaboration of scientists and stakeholders working together to help Wisconsin policymakers and residents understand and address the impacts of climate change. This presentation will emphasize two WICCI subject areas of relevance for community planners: climate trends and infrastructure. Steve Vavrus, WICCI Co-Director and member of its Climate Working Group, will share information on how Wisconsin’s climate has been changing and what climate changes are expected in the future around the state. Rob Montgomery, Chair of WICCI’s Infrastructure Working Group, will present on how to make Wisconsin’s infrastructure more resilient to these climatic shifts (adaptation strategies) and describe adjustments that could be made to the design of the built environment to reduce its carbon footprint (mitigation strategies)
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Be an Economic Development Hero Through P-5 Partnerships and Planning Strategies That Attract Development Your Community Wants - A4
- Jason Gilman, AICP - Planning Group Leader, ISG
- Danyelle Pierquet - Landscape Architect PLA, ISG
- Barbara Koldos - Vice President, Business Development, NEW North
- Danielle Propst, AICP - Planner, ISG
- Marvin Wanders - 360 Real Estate
In an economy where cities are competing not only with neighboring communities but at times on a global scale, how can you attract new, valuable economic development opportunities to your community? How can you make sure a developments reflects your plan vision and move forward once it is ready? Comprehensive plans and certified sites are often required steps towards spurring new development. All too often, plans become stagnant, and citizens are unaware of the vison until there is significant impact to property. In addition, certified sites can be cost prohibitive, resulting in stalled or lost development opportunities. In this session, learn from experienced economic development strategists, planners, and urban designers from ISG, 360 Real Estate, and The New North in a highly interactive presentation format. You’ll walk away with actionable steps you can apply to creating a thriving community today and for the future. Drawing on planning and economic development experience throughout the Midwest and the New North Region, this session will include a 20-minute presentation and 30-minute panel discussion with Q&A. Panelists will break down the steps towards certifying available sites and the benefits of an inter-disciplinary team when creating a plan that will reflect your community’s vision and spur development. In addition, learn what developers are looking for now and how to make sure you are on their radar.
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Planning for Housing at the Intersection of Data, Policy and Collective Impact - A2
- Fulfills 1 CM Equity Credit (option 2 of 2)
- Sam Leichtling, AICP - HDFP; City Planning Manager, City of Milwaukee
- Joe Peterangelo - Senior Researcher, Wisconsin Policy Forum
- Cordella Jones - FUSE Executive Fellow, City of Milwaukee
There has been no shortage of research and articles about the growing challenges associated with ensuring every Wisconsin household has a safe and financially attainable place to call home. This session will describe how stakeholders in Milwaukee used housing data, analysis, and planning to create program and policy change and launch a collective impact approach to address key housing goals. In 2021, the Community Development Alliance, an affiliation of affordable housing funders and stakeholders, released Milwaukee’s Collective Affordable Housing Plan, which set a goal of advancing racial equity by providing a quality affordable home for every Milwaukeean. The Plan used a racial equity analysis model to propose systems to address racial disparities in homeownership by supporting 32,000 Blacks and Latino homeowners and to increase the number of rental homes accessible to households with incomes below $31,000 per year by 32,000. Panelists will describe the findings of recent Wisconsin Policy Forum research on affordable housing, as well as the City of Milwaukee’s unique approach to developing its State mandated Housing Affordability Report, and how those past efforts created a foundation for this bold new plan. Panelists will also discuss the evolution of the public-private partnership structure utilized to develop the Collective Affordable Housing Plan and how the City of Milwaukee is advancing the recommendations of the Collective Affordable Housing Plan through its affordable housing initiatives.
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Connecting Through Green Infrastructure: The Development of the City of La Crosse's King Street Greenway - A1
- Darren Fortney, AICP - Project Manager, Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc.
- Jack Zabrowski - Community Development Specialist, La Crosse County Planning
In 2021, SEH was hired by the City of La Crosse to work with the community to envision a continuation of the City’s first neighborhood greenway, King Street Greenway, which goes from 7th Street west through the downtown and connects with a multi-use trail and arts district along the Mississippi River. The project team facilitated a downtown business owner workshop, two public design workshops, an online survey, and walking tour. Innovative QR code engagement tools were also utilized via dozens of sidewalk stickers and yard signs to increase participation in new and creative ways. The project team developed four design alternatives for the redesign of the corridor, which balanced the needs of businesses and residents along with vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian users. Engagement with City staff, the business community, residents, and corridor users led to one consensus-based design with innovative green infrastructure, for which engineering plans and cost estimates were prepared.
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Zoning Code Update in the Suburbs: How to deregulate and still achieve a better community - A3
- Robin Palm, AICP - Planner II, Village of Mount Pleasant
- Samuel Schultz, AICP, CNU-A - Community Development Director, Village of Mount Pleasant
- David Driver - Chair, Mount Pleasant Plan Commission
Learn how a Wisconsin suburb, that you may have seen in the news, managed to completely overhaul its zoning code during COVID-19, and manage not to make any news in doing so. The presenters will share their strategies in creating the zoning code by effective deregulation in order to further the principles of good planning. The village’s planning staff will speak on their arguments and tactics to pass 50 years worth of zoning changes in a “purple” political environment with a long history of typical suburban development. The Chair of Mount Pleasant’s Plan Commission will give some feedback on what the effective arguments were and how staff won the trust of the community. Finally, the consultant on the project will provide some input as to what enabled such a drastic change to go smoothly and what other communities can do to accomplish the same things.
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Green Bay's Bay Beach Amusement Park and Wildlife Sanctuary TOUR
- David Buck, AICP - Principal Planner, City of Green Bay
- James Andersen - Green Bay Assistant Director of the Green Bay Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department
- Kaurie Mihm - Park Planner, Design and Development Division of Green Bay's Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department
- Jason Arnoldi - Superintendent at Bay Beach Amusement Park
- Steve Lakatos - Superintendent at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary
- Bay Beach Amusement Park is one of only a few municipally owned amusement parks and currently the ninth oldest in the country. The park is a regional family attraction with scenic Green Bay views, concessions, historic pavilion, and classic amusement park rides. The adjacent Wildlife Sanctuary is a 600-acre urban wildlife refuge that is home to the second largest wildlife rehabilitation program in Wisconsin. The sanctuary includes observation buildings, a nature center, lagoons, habitat exhibits and miles of trails. These unique municipal owned urban amenities are exemplary of how long-term investment in quality of life can act as a social and economic anchor for the community. Take the trolley with Green Bay Planners and Park Personnel for a tour of the amusement park and/or sanctuary, and hear the story behind the facilities and exciting improvements planned for the next few years. Following the tour, get ready for some thrill rides at the park, take in live animal exhibits and a leisurely stroll on the many trails.
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Community Building Through Park Planning and Parkland Acquisition - A4
- Ben Rohr, ACIP - Planner, Vandewalle & Associates
- John Traynor - Rock County Parks Manager
- Blake Theisen, PLA - Parkitecture + Planning
Planning proved to be a pivotal tool for Rock County in preparing the community to act quickly when faced with opportunity and leveraging all available funding sources in the face of unpresented obstacles. Two interconnected planning processes yielded tremendous impact to the community in understanding needs, prioritizing key initiatives, engaging the public, and linking planning and analysis with implementation to establish a new park. Rock County completed a rewrite of its Parks, Outdoor Recreation, and Open Space Plan (POROS) in 2020. The timing of this plan proved instrumental during the summer of 2020 when the parks system saw some of its highest attendance records to date, and where several of the tools developed through the plan were utilized by residents including improved online opportunities, interactive online mapping, and engagement of volunteer groups. Further implementation of the plan occurred in 2021 when Rock County was presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity, the potential acquisition of a 180-acre Boy Scouts Camp along the Rock River. The County assembled a multi-disciplinary team to evaluate the possibility of acquiring the property. Using the POROS Plan as the guiding framework, a detailed opportunity analysis report evaluated the potential County acquisition. This report was utilized by Rock County’s elected officials in their decision-making process and the property was acquired, leveraging the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Funds in 2021.
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - La Crosse Downtown - Decades in the Making - A2
- Tim Acklin, AICP - Planning Administrator, City of La Crosse
- Cory Scott, AICP - Senior Partner and Urban Planner, RDG Planning & Design
- Will Kratt, PE, PTOE - Transportation Practice Group Leader, ISG
Since 1992 the City of La Crosse and Downtown Main Street Inc. have worked together to plan for the future of downtown. The previous downtown plan was authored in the early 2000’s and guided the community through market changes, new developments, and economic pressures. Many lessons were learned and have become precedent demonstrations for best practices for the City La Crosse and other communities. The River Point District, a focus area of the 2002 Downtown Plan that sits immediately north of the downtown core, was subject to a series of studies that were ultimately captured in the 2018 US Highway 53 Corridor Study. Today, the project is breaking ground and realizing a vision that’s been in the making for over twenty years. The City campaigned over many years with their partners to revisit the downtown plan and finally mobilized resources to update their downtown plan in 2020. Then the pandemic hit. The process had to adapt significantly to the new dynamic, introducing new approaches to public engagement for the community that resulted in more dialogue with stakeholders than traditional processes. The final plan, Imagine 2040, represents a broad spectrum of recommendations organized around five themes. The plan’s unique design offers an approach that caters to different audiences. www.rdgusa.com/pano/imagine2040
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Addressing Climate Change: WICCI Community Sustainability, Resilience Menu and EVs - A3
- Rob Montgomery - Professor of Practice at the UW-Madison Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
Climate change is one of the top concerns for many of Wisconsin’s communities due to both temperature and precipitation extremes. Communities are dealing with the aftermath of flooding, drought, and extreme hot and cold temperatures. Many communities are starting to take a proactive approach to plan for and manage through these extremes rather than only reacting. Adapting to climate change means reducing risks and considering potential impacts on current and future generations. Communities need to develop policies and practices which consider long-term perspectives, holistic thinking, and a focus on place. The most effective sustainability policies will involve active community input at all stages of their development. The presentation will discuss the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts Community Sustainability section of the new assessment report: Extension’s new Community Resilience Menu, the use of zoning to get ready for EVs. We start broad and narrow down to specific ways that planners can use zoning to address climate change. Each talk will include examples from a few communities that are taking a proactive approach to the changing climate in Wisconsin.
11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. - Are Your Ethics in Jeopardy? - A1
- Fulfills 1.5 CM Ethics Requirement
- Jason Valerius, AICP - Senior Planner, MSA Professional Services
- Kara Homan, AICP - Development & Land Services Director, Outagamie County
Did you know that the AICP Code of Ethics was updated in 2021? We’ll review those changes, talk about the Ethics Cases of the Year, and play a few rounds of Ethics Jeopardy. Expect to participate in some spirited discussion about the gray areas of ethical professional conduct.