In Chicago for APA National? Check out these sessions…

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Welcome to Chicago! Here’s a quick round up of sessions at APA related to the work and vision of the Open Planning Tools Group.  If you have others, please leave a comment.

Web-Based Fiscal Impact Modeling

Date: Saturday, April 13

Time: 4:00PM – 5:15PM

Incorporating transit into the planning process has typically been an ad hoc activity, constrained by inaccessible and at times non-existent transit and land-use data. Emerging web services and comprehensive datasets provide opportunities to better integrate transit and planning. The purpose of this project is to make complex transit data accessible to planners and decision-makers, and to make use of non-traditional internet sources in planning for transit. This project will result in a web-based tool to visualize transit and land-use characteristics for cities in the United States. The tool combines publicly available sources such as census and transit data along with queries from yelp.com to create a series of visualizations and summary statistics for a user-defined area. This output provides clear and concise information about the transit environment to planners and decision-makers. Moreover, the use of standardized data sources allows conclusions drawn at the local level to be reconsidered comparatively at the regional or national level. The methods identified in this work leverage sophisticated and increasingly available data that the planning profession has yet to fully engage.

Civic Hacking and You

Date: Sunday, April 14

Time: 2:30PM – 3:45PM

What exactly is civic hacking? And how can planners leverage the civic-hacking energy in their communities to address local planning challenges? This panel session will explore the emerging movement of “civic hackers”—programmers and coders eager to find solutions to complex community problems. Learn how this movement can help you overcome tough planning and citizen-engagement problems and forge alliances outside of traditional planning circles.

New Tools for Zoning and Development Visualization

Date: Sunday, April 14

Time: 4:00PM – 5:15PM

Plans almost always include figures and photos to explain concepts and recommendations. Now zoning ordinances, design guidelines, and other regulatory tools are starting to follow suit. Learn about specific tools and techniques you can use to introduce graphics into codes and ordinances to make them more comprehensible. And gain a stronger understanding of how the move towards an online, transparent government has changed who is reading (and using) these documents.

New Visualizations and Metrics in Transit Planning

Date: Monday, April 15

Time: 12:00PM – 2:00PM

Incorporating transit into the planning process has typically been an ad hoc activity, constrained by inaccessible and at times non-existent transit and land-use data. Emerging web services and comprehensive datasets provide opportunities to better integrate transit and planning. The purpose of this project is to make complex transit data accessible to planners and decision-makers, and to make use of non-traditional internet sources in planning for transit. This project will result in a web-based tool to visualize transit and land-use characteristics for cities in the United States. The tool combines publicly available sources such as census and transit data along with queries from yelp.com to create a series of visualizations and summary statistics for a user-defined area. This output provides clear and concise information about the transit environment to planners and decision-makers. Moreover, the use of standardized data sources allows conclusions drawn at the local level to be reconsidered comparatively at the regional or national level. The methods identified in this work leverage sophisticated and increasingly available data that the planning profession has yet to fully engage.

Using Big Data in Planning Practice

Date: Tuesday, April 16

Time: 2:30PM – 3:45PM

Technology continues to grow as an economic sector, is shaping the form and function of cities, and is changing the way citizens engage in civic life. This “intelligent cities” session will highlight the “data layers” of particular projects, including the CAF Digital Model, as well as initiatives in New York. Hear what happens when large data sets are employed in particular planning initiatives.

Big Data, Open Data, and Planning

Date: Tuesday, April 16

Time: 4:00PM – 5:30PM

How can you harness “big data” in the local planning process? Find out during this moderated conversation among planning directors, CIOs, and CTOs.

The Future of the Planning Profession

Date: Wednesday, April 17

Time: 9:00AM – 10:15AM

Demographic shifts, climate change, and emerging technologies are shaping and shifting cities. How should the planning profession respond to these broad trends? Join the discussion on these changes and what it means for the profession. Look at broad trends shaping our world and emerging skills needed to address them.

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