Growing Older—and Designing Smarter

by Laura Poskin

This is the first installment in a three-part series on designing age-friendly communities.

Communities should work for everyone.

Our parks and sidewalks should suit young moms and dads, as well as their kids, parents, grandparents and—as we live longer— great grandparents. Likewise, everyone should be able to enjoy environments that make a community feel like home and provide opportunities to learn, to make a difference, and to connect with friends, old and new.

But if we pause to look around, our cities and towns aren’t built for us to fully engage with life throughout our lives. Crossing the street or finding a part-time job, for example, may be exponentially more difficult for an 82-year-old than a 28-year-old.

That’s where the age-friendly movement comes in. Started by the World Health Organization and led by AARP in the United States, it inspires us to see this inequality as a social justice and sustainability issue, and rethink how to welcome every generation into the fold.

Read more

March 22: Breaking Ground: Transforming a Region Together (AICP CM credits requested)

Thursday, March 22, 2018

7:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Loews Philadelphia Hotel
1200 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Breaking Ground 2018: Transforming a Region Together is a day-long conference that aims highlights the principles and goals of Connections 2045 Long-Range Plan for Greater Philadelphia []. While our region is made up of 352 local governments, we will be better-positioned and more economically competitive if we move forward together, as a region. This year’s conference celebrates regional cooperation and government efficiency. The keynote speaker—Brian Elms—is an expert in management and government performance. All attendees will receive a copy of Brian Elms’ book, PeakPerformance: How Denver’s Peak Academy is saving millions of dollars, boosting morale, and just maybe changing the world.

Concurrent sessions will feature government transparency, sustainable environmental practices, collaboration between businesses and government, the use of data and metrics, and a celebration of diversity age-friendly communities. Breaking Ground 2018 is expanding to include a Learning Lounge, which will feature businesses and tech companies that assist municipal governments in better serving their citizens.

Read more

APA and AARP Partnering on Aging and Livable Communities Initiative

APA’s International Division has received a grant to partner with AARP International to implement the Divisions’ Council initiative, Aging and Livable Communities. The initiative seeks to educate planners regarding awareness building techniques, tools and best practices for planners from the US-focused research of APA’s earlier efforts under the initiative to those that can be gleaned from researching internationally.

APA’s LGBTQ & Planning Division is participating in the project to learn from existing initiatives that may provide insight on how best to plan for LGBTQ seniors and their needs and also to provide information to the project team regarding issues that LGBTQ persons encounter as they age.

Read more

2018 Farm Bill: What Does It Mean for Planners and Public Health Professionals?

What is the Farm Bill?

The farm bill is a comprehensive, multi-year federal law that authorizes most federal policies governing food and agriculture.  The most recent farm bill—The Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79), commonly referred to as the 2014 Farm Bill—has 12 titles that encompass a range of issues and programs including farm commodities and income supports, nutrition programs like the Supplementation Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), farmland and environmental conservation, crop insurance, and rural development.  Nutrition programs constitute the majority of the farm bill, accounting for 80 percent of the funds historically and projected to be spent on farm bill programs.  Farm commodity supports, crop insurance, and conservation programs comprise 8 percent, 7 percent, and 5 percent, respectively.[1]

The 2014 Farm Bill, which was signed into law in February 2014, is set to expire on September 30, 2018.  Since Congress debates, updates, and reauthorizes the farm bill approximately every five years, discussions about the next farm bill are already happening, both in Congress and across the country.

Read more

APA-DE Seeking Conference Proposals

The Delaware Chapter of the American Planning Association is now accepting proposals for presentations at their 2018 Regional Conference to be held in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  The conference is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday October 23-24, 2018.   The proposal submission deadline is January 15, 2018.  Please click through to their Call for Presentations for more information.

Read more

Future City Philadelphia Looking for Mentors and Others

Future City Philadelphia is a competition designed to provide a fun and exciting educational program for middle school students to present their vision of a city of the future. Philadelphia’s program is one of 39 regional programs conducted throughout the country. The Philadelphia Regional Competition draws schools from Philadelphia and surrounding counties including the Lehigh Valley, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware. Students from middle schools and after school programs in the region form teams consisting of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students who work with a teacher and a mentor from September to January. The program is looking for Virtual City Judges, City Essay judges, mentors, and other volunteers. Learn more at:

Complete a South Philly SEPTA Survey

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) in partnership with SEPTA and the City of Philadelphia will be examining the feasibility of creating a new transportation center in the vicinity of Pier 70/Whitman Plaza/Columbus Boulevard.
Currently, there is no SEPTA-owned or controlled property for the numerous bus routes that end trips in this vicinity. The routes G, 7, 25, 29, 47, 47M, 64 and 79 layover on private property, where there is little guarantee that SEPTA operations can continue either for the long-term or short-term.  Therefore, SEPTA operations and customers would benefit from a new central location, such as a transportation center.
This study will investigate potential site locations for a South Philadelphia Transportation Center. Staff will complete research and analysis to assess impacts to existing SEPTA routes and the potential for new and realigned routes with the addition of a new facility. A site plan concept will also be prepared.
You can access the survey using this link:

Join DVRPC’s Public Participation Task Force

Want to represent your community and engage in the regional planning and decision-making process? Apply to be a member of DVRPC’s Public Participation Task Force (PPTF) today!

The mission of DVRPC’s PPTF is to provide access to the planning process, to make a platform to discuss timely issues, to serve as a conduit for DVRPC information to organizations and communities across the region, to assist the Commission in implementing public outreach strategies, and to empower citizens to be a part of the planning process. For more details about the PPTF, visit

Applications will be open through January 8th, 2018. The application is online here: If you have any questions, please contact Shoshana Akins, Public Participation Planner, at 215-238-2817 or

Curious but want to know more? Interested citizens are invited to attend the PPTF meeting on the evening of December 14th starting with dinner at 5:30 PM. Come network with current members and learn more about how the PPTF works. To RSVP, please email by December 12th.

Dec. 18: Queer Urbanist Exchange (QUE) Quizzo Night

Queer Urbanist Exchange (QUE) is invites you to join our monthly meet up at Tavern at 243 S. Camac St. (Downstairs at Tavern on Camac) at 8:00 pm on Monday, December 18. Note we will be starting later than usual and meeting downstairs to join long time (maybe founding?) member Simone for her birthday Quizzo at 8:30pm, so stay for a drink or bring your trivia knowledge.


Read more

Nov. 30: Heart & Soul Talks: How Transformational Philanthropy Leads to Big Impact

Increasingly, philanthropic organizations are thinking more broadly about how to support systemic change in local communities. On this call, you’ll hear how three foundations are investing in long-term transformation using Community Heart & Soul®, the Orton Family Foundation’s community development model.  Community Heart & Soul is active in PA currently, with potential for future opportunities.

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 from 1-2 p.m. Eastern
Register Now!