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APLA Faculty and Students Present at the American Planning Association Conference

Faculty Present at national conference

APLA faculty and students had a good showing at the 2014 American Planning Association Conference in Atlanta, with six faculty and two students participating in three sessions and three students presenting posters at the April conference.

Landscape Architecture Professor Charlene Lebleu and Community Planning Professor Rebecca Retzlaff, along with Ocean Conservancy Senior Advisor Sandra Whitehouse participated in a session on Marine Spatial Planning. In this session, participants learned how ocean zoning and marine spatial planning can protect ocean resources by focusing on ecosystem function and services. Lebleu’s presentation focused on a case study of the Great Barrier Reef marine spatial planning system in Australia. Retzlaff’s presentation was a case study on how Marine Spatial Planning is done in Rhode Island, and Whitehouse’s presentation gave a national perspective on the current status of marine spatial planning. Retzlaff and Lebleu are also working on a CADC seed grant on marine spatial planning.

Assistant Professor Jay Mittal led a session titled "Adding Real Estate to the Planner’s Toolbox." The session included presentations by Mittal, Landscape Architecture faculty Michael Robinson and David Hill, and Community Planning Students Brandon Cummings and Katherine Martin. With hundreds of people in the audience, the session discussed how planners can better understand economics and the role of the market, and presented a six-step framework for real estate development and how to apply it to viable urban development.

Lebleu, Mittal, and Retzlaff, along with Community Planning Assistant Professor Sweta Byahut also participated in a session on redeveloping the Peacock Place neighborhood in Montgomery, Alabama through a university-community partnership. Byahut provided an overview of the issues associated with university-community partnerships, and the other three faculty members talked about their class outreach projects in the Peacock Place community. Lebleu presented projects from her landscape architecture studio, Retzlaff discussed her historic preservation planning course, and Mittal reviewed his real estate development and urban economics courses.

Community Planning students Tessa Tompkins, Alexander Dukes, and Kenneth Speetjens also presented posters at the conference. Dukes’ presented a poster titled “Redeveloping Columbus, Georgia’s Rail Yard.” Speetjens presented a poster titled “Wastescapes: Environmental Justice.” Tompkins presented a poster titled “Lessons from Jerusalem, Disputed City.”