2020 Program


8:30 A.M. TO 8:45 A.M.

SNEAPA 2020 @ A Distance Welcome by our SNEAPA Committee

8:45 A.M. TO 9:45 A.M.

A: Virtual Engagement Strategies and Insights from COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis required planners to adapt their in-person public outreach and engagement strategies to virtual formats. The lessons learned from these experiences can inform and improve future community engagement efforts, even when in-person meetings are possible. Participants at this workshop will hear about successes and challenges from the perspective of a local municipality, state agency, watershed association, and consultant. Accessibility and equity will be primary themes as the panelists discuss three stages of outreach: spreading the word, asking for input, and sharing your findings. CM: 1.0


Adria Boynton, Weston & Sampson

Katherine Moses, City of Lowell Department of Planning & Development

Pallavi Mande, Charles River Watershed Association

Kara Runsten, MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs


10:00 A.M. TO 11:30 A.M.

Keynote Speaker- Elizabeth Rush


11:30 A.M. TO 12:00 P.M - BREAK - Check out the conference app for networking opportunities!


12:00 P.M. TO 1:00 P.M.

B: Are Your Small Businesses Prepared for a Changing Climate?

Resiliency means building the ability to “bounce back” after some sort of a disastrous event. The RI Division of Statewide Planning recently led a project to support the resilience efforts of Rhode Island’s small businesses to survive and thrive in a changing climate with more frequent extreme weather events. Many Rhode Island small businesses are in areas vulnerable to the effects of extreme weather such as high winds, hurricanes, nor’easters, and other weather-related events. Small businesses are also subject to unexpected temporary shutdowns associated with wind damage, power outages, infrastructure/transportation damage, and extreme winter weather. Nationally, forty percent of businesses affected by a disaster never reopen; ninety percent of businesses fail within two years of being struck by a disaster; 99% of all businesses in RI are small businesses (2015 data). The devastating impact of Covid-19 on business around the country have made resiliency strategies even more important for the continued survival of our Main Street small businesses.

With a multi-disciplinary steering committee available for consultation, the project team interviewed over one hundred small business owners in four high-risk, diverse, and vulnerable areas of Rhode Island. We found that business owners are generally aware of risks, and work to increase resiliency to the best of their ability. Businesses are typically self-reliant and believe they could sustain a temporary shut-down; however, very few have all the tools and extra cash they need. Disasters have impacted multiple facets of businesses, including access to property and clients, lost time while making claims, and operation interruptions.

The project resulted in risk prevention guides for different types of small businesses that include potential vulnerabilities and strengths; a checklist with business specific elements; risk reduction strategies; insurance and flood insurance questions-and-answers; and additional State resources and actionable recommendations for state and local agencies to support small business resilience. CM: 1.0


Roberta Groch, AICP, Assistant Chief, RI Division of Statewide Planning

Gabrielle McGrath, Sr. Scientist/Sr. Project Manager, RPS Group

Keri Cronin, Small business owner and Town Council President, Warren, RI


1:00 P.M. TO 2:30 P.M.

C: Land Use Law – Pandemic and Precedents

Leading land use lawyers from each of the three southern New England states will address the cutting edge issues brought on by the pandemic, including the due process challenges of remote and hybrid meetings, all in the context of national developments in the law over the last year, including court decisions, legislation, administrative regulations and interpretations of existing law. The session meets the requirements of current planning law for the AICP Certification Maintenance. CM: 1.5 LAW


Dwight H. Merriam, FAICP, Attorney at Law (Moderator)

John M. Boehnert, Esq., Law Offices of John M. Boehnert LTD

Pamela J. Brown, FAICP, Brown & Brown PC

Gregor I. McGregor, Esq., McGregor & Legere, P.C.

Kathleen M. O’Donnell, Esq.

Marjorie Shansky, Attorney at Law


2:30 P.M. TO 2:45 P.M - BREAK - Check out the conference app for networking opportunities!

2:45 P.M. TO 3:45 P.M.

D: Peril and Promise: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Streetscapes of Today’s Cities and

Towns and the Promise of Social Infrastructure

Inspired by the recent changes to municipal streets - such as pop-up bike lanes, open streets, and outdoor dining - this session explores how tomorrow’s streetscapes can look different, healthier, and more accessible for all community residents. Following a summer of real-time research on the impact of COVID-19 to urban streetscapes, this session shares the most interesting findings of this project by UMass Amherst in collaboration with MassINC and WalkBoston. The session will discuss insights gained from: 1) a review of media sources and professional guidelines regarding the impact of COVID-19 on streetscapes with specific attention to pedestrians, cyclists, and aspects of access and equity, 2) a collection of 70+ global, U.S., and Massachusetts examples of how cities and towns redesigned streetscapes during the different phases of the pandemic and, 3) a discussion of social infrastructure and a checklist that can help further grant writing and the implementation of design opportunities in local communities. The session introduces the transit-oriented Union Station district in Springfield (MA) as a way to discuss design opportunities offered by COVID-19 and how to translate these opportunities to a local context. CM: 1.0


Jacobien F. (Corien) Kuiper, Doctoral student, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Michael Di Pasquale, AIA, AICP, Extension Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Stacey Beuttell, AICP, Walk Boston

Alicia F. Coleman, Doctoral student, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, University of Massachusetts Amherst


3:45 P.M. TO 4:45 P.M.

E: Striking the Right Balance in Planning and Economic Development

Many community planners are asked to take on an additional economic development role as part of their job requirements but lack formal training and experience in municipal economic development. In this session, a team of planners and local economic developers will cover several economic development basics, including:

• Understanding local and state tax abatements

• How to use economic demographic data

• Navigating “doing business” in CT

• Balancing between business retention and attraction

• The role of economic development in the local land-use regulatory process

• What companies are really looking for in a community

• Ensuring your community is ready for a desired development project

• Why and how to say NO to a development proposal

• How to strike the right balance between zoning enforcement (which sometimes means saying

no to business) while simultaneously encouraging the right kind of projects for your community CM: 1.0


Sadie Colcord, AdvanceCT

Courtney Hendricson, AdvanceCT

John Guszkowski, CHA

Michael D'Amato, CHA


4:45 P.M. TO 5:45 P.M.

F: Advancing resilience in coastal communities through equitable engagement and multi-

benefit solutions

Climate Resilience can be understood as a means of adapting to climate change while also reducing greenhouse gases and better serving community needs before, during, and after disruptions. The two communities of Beverly and Salem recently embarked on a joint Climate Action Plan – Resilient Together. COVID-19 has already illuminated systemic inequities and chronic stressors our communities face — stressors that are exacerbated by the impacts of climate change. Beverly and Salem’s joint planning effort is engaging with diverse populations to identify and address such stressors in order to enhance social, economic, and physical resilience.

Using Resilient Together and other coastal municipal case studies from Massachusetts, we will show how resilience strategies such as increased access to open spaces along the waterfront, additional modes of transportation, and waterfront protection in the form of green and gray infrastructure result in multiple benefits and can gain buy-in from the community.

Our interactive session will also highlight unique equitable engagement and communication tactics and feature insight from City leaders. We will utilize fun and innovative tools during the session to demonstrate how we can best engage stakeholders during this “new normal” in order to advance the Cities’ overall climate action goals. CM: 1.0


Isabel Kaubisch, Nitsch Engineering

Emily Hutchings, AICP, City of Beverly

Esmeralda Bisono, City of Salem, MA

Kari Hewitt, LEED AP, CEM, ENV SP, Kim Lundgren Associates



8:30 A.M. TO 9:30 A.M.

G: ActiveCT - Healthy Transportation for CT Communities

With a grant from the Department of Public Health, funded by the Center for Disease Control, the Capitol Region Council of Governments is managing a statewide effort to encourage active transportation through tactical demonstration projects, planning charrettes, and educational events throughout Connecticut's 169 towns and cities. This new rapid response planning and implementation effort has resulted in dozens of successful projects and is a model for efficient and effective use of public health funding over a broad geography, from urban to rural. Entering into year 3 of the program, the project team consisting of FHI, Streetplans, Toole Design Group, and Transystems will be assisting CRCOG with developing safe street improvements, enhanced transit facilities, trail planning, and an array of planning and educational events throughout CT.Takeaways: The key takeaway is that targeted investment in communities to encourage safe active transportation can be accomplished relatively quickly and inexpensively. This is relevant because funding for these projects is often uncertain and inadequate. Yet the demand for active transportation is growing and an important component of overall mobility and health outcomes. CM: 1.0


Michael Morehouse, PE, Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc.

Sandy Fry, City of Hartford

Kristin Hadjstylianos, Western Connecticut Council of Governments (WestCOG)

Shawna Kitzman, AICP, Fitzgerald  Halliday, Inc. (FHI)

Timothy Malone, Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG)

9:30 A.M. TO 10.00 A.M.

Featured Speaker: Justin Moore

Justin Garrett Moore is an urban designer and the executive director of the New York City Public Design Commission. He has extensive experience in urban planning and design—from large-scale urban systems, policies, and projects to grassroots and community-based planning, design, and arts initiatives. At the Public Design Commission, his work focuses on prioritizing quality and excellence for the public realm and fostering accessibility, diversity, and inclusion in New York's public buildings, landscapes, and art. He is a member of the American Planning Association's AICP Commission, the Urban Design Forum, and BlackSpace. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University and co-founder of Urban Patch.


10:00 A.M. TO 11.30 A.M.

H: Race Matters: How Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Influence Your Work

Presented by the Planners of Color Network, this session explores equity and intersectionality in the planning practice. All of us: planners, community organizers, consultants, board/committee members, and the public bring our perspectives, histories, and yes, even implicit biases to our position. As much good as planners provide our communities, the reality is that our profession is historically created in and built upon the United States' inequitable history. Planning, zoning, and housing institutions have played a significant role in our communities' racial segregation and the unequal distribution of wealth among families by race. Planning and other development professionals now have a role to play in helping dismantle the legacy of institutional racism. Through storytelling, presentation, and discussion, we will provide context and information to help participants recognize the problems that implicit bias, racism, exclusionary practices, and inequity have created and continue to exacerbate. We will help planners, and other participants acknowledge their role in addressing these issues and provide approaches participants can use to dismantle that legacy. While we will not solve the problems of institutional racism, segregation, and inequity in a single session or even a single career, we will set participants on course to help change the future. CM: 1.5 ETHICS


Alison LeFlore, AICP, Stantec

Monica Tibbits-Nutt, AICP, LEED AP BD+C, 128 Business Council

Anabelle Rondon, LivableStreets

Fabiola Alikpokou, Cambridge Redevelopment Authority


11:3O A.M. TO 12:30 P.M.


Not an APA member? Check out the conference app for networking!


12:3O P.M. TO 1:30 P.M.

I: Hustling for Small Businesses During a Pandemic: Advancing Small Business Recovery Through Municipal and Regional Support

These past few months have seen municipalities be responsive and flexible to changing needs of small businesses in the wake of COVID-19. Planners in the region have quickly become small business counselors and technical assistance experts. The City of Quincy and the Town of Arlington led efforts to support small businesses in their communities, through financial assistance, marketing, and responsive licensing and permitting support to facilitate outdoor vending and dining. The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) has been involved in these and other efforts to bring new resources and flexible opportunities to small business owners in uncharted territories. A panel will be moderated by the MAPC Economic Development team, which will present methodology for determining and responding to the needs of small businesses in the region. 1) The City of Quincy will discuss how they leveraged data and recommendations from the Small Business Plan created by MAPC to quickly deliver over $2M to businesses with CARES Act funding. 2) The Town of Arlington will discuss initiatives to address COVID impacts through a marketing campaign, shared streets and licensing support. Panelists will discuss methodology for addressing small business recovery from a municipal perspective and will share lessons learned. CM: 1.0


Elizabeth Manning, Senior Principal Planner, City of Quincy

Jennifer Kaplan, Economic Development Planner, Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Neil McCole, MSF, Finance Director, City of Quincy

Ali Carter, Economic Development Coordinator, Town of Arlington


1:30 P.M. TO 2:30 P.M.

J: Branching Out: Collaborating for Resilience and Social & Climate Equity

In many New England communities, time and budget constraints limit municipal forestry work to the maintenance and removal of hazard trees, while active municipal forestry planning and tree planting go underfunded. This is especially true in low-income communities. Because of the focus on maintenance and removal, planning around trees is often managed by a part-time tree warden and relegated to public works alone. However, trees are proven, powerful tools in the campaigns for stormwater management, climate adaptation, and public health equity. Therefore, there is reason for many departments, from Health to Conservation and Planning to Economic Development, to support tree planting and involve themselves with municipal forestry planning/management.

This session will highlight successful case studies of, and strategies for, inter-departmental and inter- agency collaboration in planning for and implementing urban forestry and public tree planting plans.

With an emphasis on tree planting for climate and social equity, the presenter panel will also address methods to: identify your community’s unique urban forestry goals and develop plans to achieve them; engage your community to understand residents’ unique needs and secure volunteer support around tree planning and planting; and make the case for tree planning across departmental jurisdictions. CM: 1.0


Corrin Meise-Munns, MS Ecological Design, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

David Bloniarz, Ph.D., USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station

Mathew Cahill, Urban and Community Forestry Program, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation

Lee M. Pouliot, AICP, ASLA, Director of the Department of Planning and Development, City of Chicopee, MA


2:30 P.M. TO 2:45 P.M - BREAK - Check out the conference app for networking opportunities!


2:45 P.M. TO 3:45 P.M.

K: Equitable Street Design: Vision to Reality

The street network is one of the most defining elements of a community, determining access and mobility for residents, workers, and visitors. Proactive streetscape design is an opportunity for suburbs largely dominated by auto-oriented development patterns to expand equitable mobility options for people of all ages and abilities. This session will focus on the regional prioritization and funding process for streetscape design projects, local consensus building and education, and the development of streetscape design guidelines.

Representatives from the Boston Region MPO will discuss the project selection process for the annual Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) focusing on transparency in providing a fair and equal project funding process that empowers municipalities in their execution of multimodal street design.

The Town of Burlington will be used as case study for how communities can build local support for more equitable mobility options and reduce car dependence through developing a vision and policies for street design. McMahon Associates will discuss the development of the Burlington Streetscape Design Guidelines to illustrate how street design can address community goals for expanding equitable mobility. The regional process and methodology used by Burlington can be applied across a wide range of communities in all three states. CM: 1.0


Natalie Raffol, Senior Planner - Community Transportation, McMahon Associates

Kristin Kassner, Planning Director, Town of Burlington

Jonathan Church, Manager of MPO Activities, Boston Region MPO

Matt Genova, TIP Manager, Boston Region MPO


3:45 P.M. TO 4:45 P.M.

L: User-Centered Zoning Codes

Over the past 100 years, zoning regulations have become increasingly complex and sometimes difficult for property owners to understand and interpret. This increasing complexity is making it more difficult for residents to understand their city’s plan for the future and how it will affect their property or neighborhood. The user-centered government movement reflects changing public expectations regarding readability and service delivery of zoning regulations. In this session, we will explore how to write user-centered zoning codes, and how and how to employ user-centered technology that narrows the growing gap between complex zoning regulations and how they are communicated to the public. CM: 1.0


Wayne Childs, Planning Board Member, General Code

Tim Schwecke, AICP, Principal, Civi Tek Consulting and Civic Webware