Notes from our April call

Open Source Planning Tools Ecosystem

Agenda and Notes


  1. Introductions (5 min)
    1. Jason Lally (PlaceMatters)
    2. Brad Barnett (PlaceMatters)
    3. C.J. Gabbe (Fregonese Associates)
    4. Doug Walker (Placeways)
    5. Jim Holway (Sonoran)
    6. Eliot Allen (Criterion)
    7. Ethan McMahon (EPA) – Apps for the Environment
    8. Aaron Ogle (OpenPlans)
    9. Ray Quay (ASU)
    10. Tim Moreland (Chattanooga)
    11. Ted Cochin (EPA)
    12. Allen Brookes (EPA)
    13. Additions to Agenda? (2 min)
  2. Tasks from previous meetings (5 min)
    1. NEXT STEP: Ted – Post results of code-a-thon to the Google Group
    2. NEXT STEP: ROB and THOM – Convene the technical working group to talk about this as a very concrete project contributing to the stated goals of the group (include Garlynn and Calthorpe)
    3. NEXT STEP: Follow up with Jim if you want a copy or a number of copies
    4. NEXT STEP: Rob Send around videos from the sessions at GeoDesign
    5. NEXT STEP: Jason, Ray, Jim, Frank Reach out to C4A Brigade (Kevin Curry, and Civic Commons Marketplace (
    6. NEXT STEP: Tim & Jason talk about how to engage remote locations
  3. Scenario Tool and Data Schema Development
    1. Thom visiting with Kevin Ramsey to talk about the project
    2. Progress: Thom interacting with C.J and others, collecting information for the development of the schema
      1. Working with Paul Waddel, Emily Talen , reaching out to Ecotrust for data requirements
      2. Please get a hold of Thom ( if you have additional suggestions for a common data schema, feedback on:
        1. Geographies (scale, scope)
        2. Topical content and subject matter (land use, housing, employment, etc.)
        3. Intent to have the geography nest and be able to be aggregated depending on which of the tools is being used and at what scale
      3. In the data requirements collecting stage (looking for use cases)
      4. Google: Sustainable Places Analytic Tool. The website for the Analytic Tool and broader project:
      5. Let C.J, and Thom know if you want to get involved
      6. If anyone is at APA conference, we can sit down to talk about the schema
  4. Hackathon (10 min)
    1. Local Denver focused hackathon …later extended to the national context using the CfA brigade platform.
    2. NEXT STEP – Federal side of data
    3. NEXT STEP: JASON – Nice if we could get a list of all the app ideas, existing apps, etc.
    4. NEXT STEP – Share the data we have on a local level
    5. Document data so other cities can replicate applications
    6. NEXT STEP – Ted will talk to Census about their data
    7. Ethan’s experience
      1. Held a hackathon with American University, environmental apps that use EPA data (38 submissions) provided recognition
      2. Big name speakers, break out sessions, 24 exhibit booths
      3. American University stepped up to host the event, held on Labor day, had a lot of EPA staff on hand – EPA staff was able to pull down the data immediately and explain the context (need subject matter experts)
      4. On that day, apps were prototyped, used social media and live webcam, real time chats with EPA experts and get answers
      5. Get a critical mass of developers, data owners, designers (take advantage of the app developer list-serv, invite some famous people or important developers)
      6. Seed the conversation with ideas for apps, flesh them out some more from the January event.  Helps establish the audience for the apps.  Collect app ideas early
      7. Make the data available (raw material for the developers).  EPA data finder (as well as other
      8. Promote this a lot! Discussion forums, twitter, etc.
      9. Have a website, to post articles beforehand, show photos of before and after
      10. Demonstrate success immediately after, make this last a couple of months
      11. Don’t hold it on Labor Day (reach them in May if we want to target students)
      12. Couldn’t offer money, looking to partner with other parties who could provide funding for developers  Code for America (Google, Microsoft, etc.)
  5. (15 min)
    1. Check out temporary page now hosted by Sonoran
    2. OpenPlans developing permanent site .. may be up by Friday
    3. work with Frank and Jason to contribute to helping this site meet its potential to assist everyone’s efforts and to facilitate collaboration.
    4. Feed ideas to Jason, Frank and Jim (, (, (
    5. Expanded status of the various actions with contact information
      1. Ted federal contact
    6. NEXT STEP: get the lincoln report up on gov sites?
  6. Policy Focus Report and APA National (15 min)
    1. Congratulations to the authors of the Policy Focus Report!
      1. come by Lincoln Institute booth (Booth 413) during exhibitor open house to celebrate release of the PFR … Saturday 5:30 – 7:00 — wine and cheese and copies of the report.  While you are there come next door to Sonoran Institute booth and check out SCOTie … the Successful Communities On Line Took Kit information exchange of best practices.
    2. Two session on Scenario Planning Tools on Monday
      1. 10:30 Making Scenario Planning Work in Practice (LACC 405)
      2. 2:30  Advancing Scenario Planning Tools (LACC 501 ABC)
    3. Status on implementation of recommendations for action
      1. online platoform – in process
      2. scenario planning curriculum for planning schools
      3. model process for integrating scenario planning into existing planning practice
      4. illustrate use of scenario planning tools
      5. establish data standards
      6. model colaborative project
      7. advance concepts of anticipatory  governance
    4. Monday morning breakfast of this group
  7. Group updates (if time)
    1. Fall 2012 Workshop in Portland
  8. Collaborative tasks and next steps (5 min)
    1. See Next Steps above

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