Friday Sessions


9:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M.


Chapter Breakfasts

  • Rhode Island Chapter

  • Massachusetts Chapter

  • Connecticut Chapter


10:15 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.


D1:     Solving for Feasibility: Noodling It Out (CM: 1.25)

Inevitably, every plan, project, concept, and vision, encounters a set of feasibility questions: How much will it cost? How will it be paid for? Will it be successful? Is it sustainable? Approaching these and other important questions by “solving for feasibility” involves a holistic process, and the outcomes can surprise. We will demonstrate how feasibility analysis can be used as a tool in planning and provide an outline of the core methodology involved. Examples of successful projects will provide context for the discussion, but the session will also feature real-time evaluations of projects described by attendees.  

The basic methodology to be discussed includes a foundation of site understanding, developer-style market analysis, cash flow analysis, conceptual project modeling, and adaptive funding and finance strategies. This approach helps to determine an outcome including, but not limited to: What may be feasible and under what circumstances, or, how to make a desired project feasible. Future projects undertaken by attendees may benefit from an understanding of the economic perspective and assist them in achieving successful implementation and tangible results for their endeavors. 

Ernest Bleinberger, Principal, Strategy 5

D2:    Why Old Dogs Might Want Some New Tricks: How the emerging fields of sustainability and resiliency planning can energize planning and public engagement (CM: 1.25)

Planners have always worked to make our communities sustainable and resilient.  Recently, there is a lot of energy and resources devoted specifically to addressing climate change impacts, focusing on sustainability and resiliency.  This emerging field is growing quickly and there are now a lot of resources devoted to assisting communities to address the impacts of climate change.  We see an incredible opportunity to connect the more traditional planning methods and practitioners to this emerging field.  Planning around climate change can energize and engage communities in a way that traditional planning may struggle with. The goal of this session is to talk about the tools and approaches used in resiliency planning and to demonstrate how they can be leveraged in more traditional planning practices to make our communities more sustainable and resilient.  Our purpose will be to highlight the intersection of more traditional planning with the emerging planning focus on climate change impacts. Our panelists will talk about the specific challenges around resiliency planning in rural communities, how resiliency planning relates to equity and how to use language and metaphor to effectively engage the community.  We will end with a lively discussion about the challenges of true collaborative discussions at the local level. 

Susan Mara, AICP, Project Manager, Weston & Sampson
Jen West, Coastal Training Program Coordinator, Narragansett Bay Research Reserve
Joanna Nadeau, AICP, Resiliency Project Planner, Weston & Sampson
Andrew Smith, AICP, Greater CT River Valley Regional Coordinator, Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program, MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

D3:     Ending the Racist Legacy of Zoning (CM: 1.25)

This session will provide participants with an introduction to the history of zoning practice and contemporary planning tools touching on the federal policies and programs that had a direct impact on racial segregation and how that has translated into our current day New England communities with real world examples. Lastly, we will discuss new equitable zoning policies and practices, with examples of real implementation, including the comprehensive engagement processes that help to create the ground swell necessary to real, significant zoning changes and reforms. The speaker will utilize her piece Ending Zoning’s Racist Legacy as published in the January 2022 issue of the American Planning Association’s Zoning Practice.

Jennifer Raitt, Executive Director, Northern Middlesex Council of Governments

D4:     Go Bus Go - A Toolkit for Advancing Faster and More Reliable Bus Service (CM: 1.25)

Over the past few years, the humble bus has been getting more recognition as the workhorse of transit systems. However, many bus routes face slow travel speeds and unreliability, which makes travel difficult for those reliant on the bus and is discouraging for transit choice riders.

With support from local partners, many of whom are planners, the MBTA has been a national leader in extensive implementation of enhancements along bus corridors to improve travel speeds and reliability for 255,000+ bus riders. The MBTA is in the final stages of completing its Transit Priority Toolkit, which provides a menu of treatments to prioritize bus service across many different operating environments.

This session will focus on engaging the community and local stakeholders to identify needs and gain support for transit priority projects, the development of the Toolkit, and advancing transit priority from an idea to a constructed project. The MBTA will discuss community engagement and obtaining local buy-in. Project consultant team members will discuss components of the Toolkit and best practices for implementation.

The Transit Priority Toolkit is widely applicable to communities across Southern New England who would like to improve the operations of, and experience taking, their local bus service.

Wes Edwards, Assistant General Manager of Service Development, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
ndra Clarey, Senior Project Manager and Regional Service Lead - Transit, McMahon, A Bowman Company
Theresa Carr, AICP, Senior Principal, Nelson/Nygaard


11:45 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.


E1: Doing Right by Doing Good (CM: 1.00)

This year's "AICP Case of the Year" is a series of ethical scenarios based on real-life planning issues from the past year. It was developed by the national AICP Ethics Committee and former AICP Ethics Officer, Jim Peters. The five ethics topics discussed are: misrepresentation of public review, conflict of interest, equity and inclusion, planning competence, and planner/real estate agent.  This session will highlight recent updates to the AICP Code of Ethics. It includes interactive audience participation to help you learn how to do right by your clients. the public and yourself.

Debbie Lawlor, FAICP, PP, Discipline Leader, Planning, Colliers Engineering
Dwight Merriam, Attorney at Law

E2:      Increasing & Diversifying Housing Production Through Strategic Tools & Policies (CM: 1.25)

This session will provide an overview of recent efforts across MA, CT, and RI to pursue state legislation to reform land use regulations that will increase the opportunities for production of a more diverse housing stock. A key component of these efforts include the mapping of residential zoning and densities to provide insights into where and how to pinpoint these strategies. These technical analyses are leading to recently passed and proposed legislative approaches across the region. In MA, new legislation requires zoning for multifamily by right near transit stops; while such legislation did not yet achieve passage in CT, other achievements include Accessory Dwelling Units by Right and limited parking requirements. In RI, a raft of housing legislation just passed related to zoning reform to increase production of Accessory Dwelling Units and changes to its existing low- and moderate-income housing law to incentivize multifamily homes. Each of the panelists will reflect on the opportunities and challenges at state and local levels related to increasing housing production of diverse housing types and the use of technical tools to get there.

Annette Bourne, Research & Policy Director, HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University
Brenda Clement, Director, HousingWorks RI
Pete Harrison, Director, Desegregate CT
Clark Ziegler, Executive Director, Massachusetts Housing Partnership
elina Lodge, Executive Director, Housing Network of Rhode Island

E3:  Managing the Curb - "Delivering" Efficiency for Deliveries and Multimodal Access (CM: 1.25)

Street curbs are prime real estate in many cities and towns. Curb competition includes on-street parking, transit stops, bus lanes, bike corrals and bike docks, shuttles, frequent e-commerce deliveries, truck deliveries, ride-hail and taxis, and outdoor dining. The first part of the session will discuss how municipalities can measure the curb, an essential step in understanding curb usage, and what tools are being used to collect, share, and analyze curb data. The presentation will include examples from both New England and elsewhere in the US. The second part of the session will present new research on the how the use of apps to order meals from restaurants, convenience store items and same-day packages from e-commerce has seen explosive growth in the last few years. The research suggests that the number of food deliveries may be equal to the number of ride-hailing trips, with similar impacts on streets. To sustainably manage the growth and impacts of these deliveries, both the public and private sectors can collaborate in areas such as data sharing, incentives for efficient delivery methods and better curb management, minimizing impacts on small businesses, and encouraging non-auto deliveries (e.g., bicycles).

Travis Pollack, Senior Transportation Planner, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
Alison Felix, Principal Planner & Emerging Technology Specialist, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
Jason Schrieber, Senior Principal, Stantec’s Urban Places Initiative

E4:  Rapid Recovery - One Year Later and What Comes Next (CM: 1.25)

How to effectively allocate COVID funds, develop capital plans, efficiently collect data, and procure vendors. Learn from the Rapid Recovery Program, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ $9.5 million rapid reaction to the economic fallout of COVID-19 that provided over one-third of the state (125 communities) with individual recovery Plans outlining actionable projects to overcome economic challenges in their downtowns. More than a planning effort, RRP standardized local data collection statewide to be able to demonstrate COVID-19 impacts comprehensively. The State directly distributed consultants’ technical assistance with plan facilitators and subject matter experts in a range of topics, including branding & marketing, transportation & infrastructure, placemaking & urban design, storefront design, and district formation. Session speakers played various roles in the program, from program administration to community recipients to technical assistants, and they will focus on successes, tangible outcomes, and valuable lessons for these and other related topics that can help other Main Street communities scale-up their planning and economic recovery efforts and act collaboratively to fully benefit from Federal stimulus resources.

Jason Schrieber, Senior Principal, Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.
Emmy Hahn, MDI/LRRP Program Coordinator, MA Department of Housing and Community Development
Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director, Salem Main Streets
Lauren Drago, Associate Planning Director, City of Lynn, MA 

2:30 P.M. to 3:45 P.M.


 F1: AICP Prep 

To become a certified planner, entitled to use the AICP designation, American Planning Association (APA) members must meet certain education and experience requirements and pass a written examination. The AICP Certification Exam is given twice each year, in May and November. Prior to taking the exam, members are encouraged to participate in an exam preparation course. The purpose of this session to help you understand what to expect when taking the exam and review eligibility requirements. We’ll also discuss exam preparation materials, review the elements of the exam, the new OnePath to AICP certification process, and provide an overview of the Certification Management program so that you know what to expect once you are certified. If you’re planning to take the exam in one of the upcoming session, please join us!

Jeremy DeCarli, AICP, CT-PDO
Ralph Willmer, FAICP, AICP Ethics Officer MA-PDO
M. James Riordan, AICP, LEED AP, Planning Group Team Leader, Weston & Sampson

F2:      “Nothing Fair about Housing - Tools for Municipal Planners” (CM: 1.25)

Fair Housing practice has evolved greatly since the concepts were first realized in the 1960s, with modern solutions needed to address discrimination in the housing market. As Greater Boston’s Regional Planning Agency, MAPC has a bird’s eye view of what localities are doing, and local governments often do not have the tools required to properly address fair housing concerns. Understanding what direction to take moving forward has proved challenging for many municipalities, and this session will provide thoughts on how to accomplish fair housing goals locally.

John Cruz, Senior Housing and Land Use Planner, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
Kelly Vieira, Director of Investigations & Outreach, Clinical Fellow, Suffolk University Law School
Tim Czerwienski, AICP, Director of Planning & Community Development, Milton, MA
Jillian Harvey, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Director, Arlington, MA

F3: Transit Electrification - Avoiding the Bleeding Edge  (CM: 1.25)

We all want to be on the “leading edge” of technology, but not the “bleeding edge.” Transit agencies around New England are investing heavily in Battery-Electric Buses (BEBs), though the technology is still relatively new and developing. Recognizing and planning for challenges is critical given the amount of new funding in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) supporting fleet transition. This session will provide a candid assessment of lessons learned and successes to be replicated for other agencies, many of which can be extended to municipalities, school districts, universities, employers, or other organizations interested in transitioning their fleet to all-electric vehicles. Each presenter will give a short presentation, but the majority of the session will be a moderated discussion between the panelists and the audience to address issues and opportunities in fleet electrification.

Price Armstrong
Tom Cahir,  Administrator, Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority
Zachary Agush, Principal Planner, Rhode Island Public Transit Authority
Connie Englert, Director of Transit & Technical Operations, Green Mountain Transit
Sati Patel, National Asset Management Lead Cambridge Systematics

F4:  Engaging Communities to Support Transformative Multimodal Safety Projects (CM: 1.25)

How does a historic, vibrant, Cambridge neighborhood preserve its character, yet implement modern treatments to improve safety? This session will provide a peek behind the curtain with experts sharing the lessons learned including the ability to be nimble, balancing the needs of community members with city goals and construction schedules, finding common ground, and reframing a traditional transportation project into a community-oriented improvement project with environmental co-benefits.

The heart of Inman Square, the intersection of Cambridge and Hampshire Streets, was formerly a complex and unusually large crossing with several safety and operational issues between different users, including a State-documented crash hot spot. City staff, residents, and transportation advocates determined that safety improvements were necessary in meeting the city’s Vision Zero commitment. Robust and inclusive participatory planning and design processes produced an innovative new design. It had many co-benefits including plaza improvements, local business support, access to the fire station, climate change resiliency measures, urban forestry recommendations, and bike network improvements. However, the road to get to this solution was not necessarily a smooth one and the lessons learned from the project will significantly serve other planning professionals in the field.

Chris Balerna, AICP, Senior Program Manager, Kleinfelder
Ben Stoddard, PE, Project Manager, Kleinfelder
Christi Apicella, AICP New England Service Lead for Planning & Project Development, McMahon, a Bowman Company
Kaki Martin FASLA, PLA. Partner, Klopfer Martin Design Group