Opens Oct. 22: The Hartbeat of Main Street Grant Program

The National Main Street Center announces the second round of the HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program. The application opens Thursday, Oct. 22 at 9am PT.

In partnership with The Hartford, the program will continue to fund solutions that help small business owners respond and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also help to revitalize and strengthen older and historic downtown commercial districts.

A link to the application will be posted on NMSC’s program webpage as soon as the application opens. In the meantime, you can review a PDF version of the application here.   A few important things to note:

  • Applications will open on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 9am PT and must be submitted by Thursday, Oct. 29 at 4:59pm PT. 
  • All Round 1 grant applicants have been notified about the status of their submissions, and grant recipients will be publicly announced on Oct. 21.
  • Please review the program website and FAQ before completing an application.


National Community Planning Month

October is National Community Planning Month!

Planners work to improve the well-being of all people living in our communities by taking a comprehensive perspective. This approach leads to safer, resilient, more equitable, and more prosperous communities. We celebrate the role that planning plays in creating great communities each October with National Community Planning Month.

Planning is more important than ever as communities continue to navigate the disruptive changes brought about by the pandemic.

This year’s theme — Planning Is Essential to Recovery — highlights how planning and planners can lead communities to equitable, resilient, and long-lasting recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Join the conversation with #planningmonth.

COVID Alert PA App

COVID Alert PA is the official mobile app by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) that uses the Exposure Notification System (ENS) provided by Apple and Google.

Download the App

Add your phone to the fight against COVID-19 by going to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store and downloading the free COVID Alert PA app to your smartphone. The app runs on iPhones that support iOS 13.5 and higher, and Android phones running Android 6.0 and higher. The app is not intended to be used by people under 18 years of age.

Apple app store


Due Nov. 9 – America Walks Community Change Grants

America Walks’s annual Community Change Grants are now open for applications. This beloved program aims to provide support to our growing network of advocates, grassroots organizers, organizations, and agencies using innovative, engaging, and inclusive programs and projects to create tangible change at the community level.

America Walks is looking to fund projects that:

  • Increase physical activity and active transportation in a specific community
  • Work to cross engage people and organizations newer to the efforts of walking and moving and walkability
  • Demonstrate a culture of antiracism and inclusive health and design
  • Support and cultivate connected, active and deeply engaged communities

Learn more and apply at https://americawalks.org/community-change-grants/

Oct. 12: In Search of Our Mother’s Urbanism: A Womanist Call for Spatial Reparations

Monday, October 12, 2020 6:30pm

Register via Zoom

for Spatial Reparations” on Monday, October 12th at 6:30pm.   Please register with the link above.

Dr. Destiny Thomas is a change agent. She is the founder and CEO of Thrivance Group, a multi-regional, socially responsible, for-profit firm that works to make public spaces and public services more safe, more healthy and more accessible, especially for Black, Indigneous, and transgender people, and those with disabilities. 

An anthropologist planner hailing from Oakland, CA, Dr. Thomas has a combined 15 years of experience in nonprofit management and project management within government agencies, including the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the City of Los Angeles. In addition, Dr. Thomas has led advancements in statewide racial equity initiatives for over a decade. Her focus has been urban planning, policy writing, and organizational development in communities most impacted by racial inequities.

For more information or to register visit UPenn’s event page.

Oct. 19-20: APA Pennsylvania Annual Conference

It isn’t too late to register for the Pennsylvania Chapter of APA’s first virtual conference from October 19 through 20!

Nov. 12: APAPASE Annual Event – Registration is Live!

Registration is now live for APAPASE’s annual event on Thursday, November 12th at 5 PM!
Local experts at the intersection of planning, epidemiology & disaster planning, climate change, public health, and education will speak on how the events of 2020 (global pandemic, fight for racial justice and equity, changing economy, extreme weather events) are adjusting their approach to planning to address these challenges.
This event is sponsored by Connect the Dots and Kennedy & Associates. See the full list of speakers and register online here!

Deadline Oct. 8: RFQ for Concept Design Services

RFQ for Concept Design Services to Demonstrate Adaptable and New Uses for Downtown Business Districts Designing for Distance

Deadline to submit a response

Thursday, October 8, 2020 by 11:59 PM EST

The Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) is seeking expressions of interest from architecture, landscape architecture, planning, and other interested design professionals who would like to participate in a series of small-scale design projects related to the implementation of social distancing in historic communities.

Selected firms will help the communities of Easton, Erie, Lewisburg, and Reading develop design-based solutions to specific social distancing-related challenges affecting the public realm. Recognizing that sometimes a picture speaks a thousand words, the goal of the Designing for Distance program is to provide municipal leaders and the community revitalization organizations with practical design and planning solutions and accompanying implementation strategies to help their businesses adapt to the difficult circumstances created by COVID-19.

This demonstration project is a partnership between the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) and Pennsylvania Downtown Center, Inc. (PDC), the state coordinator with the National Main Street Center/Main Street America and the technical assistance and education partner with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Keystone Main Street and Keystone Elm Street programs.

Firms responding to this RFQ will be evaluated based on their credentials and experience as described below. A short list of firms who best meet the desired qualifications will be reviewed by PDC, the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office, and representatives from the communities. One firm/team will be selected to work with each community based on the fit with the project and proximity.

Deliverables and to submit

Oct. 14: The State of Environmental Justice in Pennsylvania

The State of Environmental Justice in Pennsylvania

Livestream on Youtube at: https://youtu.be/KRWTjqft6hA


Saleem Chapman, City of Philadelphia
Veronica Coptis, Center for Coalfield Justice
Adam Cutler, Fox Rothschild, LLP
Horace Strand, Chester Environmental Partnership
Heather Bedi (moderator), Dickinson College

Environmental justice aspires for all people- regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, or socioeconomic background – to have equal access to a healthy environment, including avenues to participate meaningfully in decisions regarding their environment. Environmental injustice examines which communities and places are disproportionately exposed to environmental health risks from industrial, municipal, commercial operations, or government policies. Research in the field of environmental justice has shown that people living in poverty, as well as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and their communities, are disproportionately impacted by environmental degradation and pollution.  This panel will focus on environmental justice work occurring in Pennsylvania, bringing together community representatives and members of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Environmental Justice Advisory Board to discuss progress and challenges to achieve environmental justice in the Keystone state. Panelists will reflect on the diversity of activism and legal actions taken to achieve environmental justice. Presenters will highlight contemporary and future efforts to ensure that all Pennsylvanians enjoy a healthy and safe environment.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the department of environmental studies and the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity. The program is organized in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Nov. 12 – APAPASE’s Annual Event

Mark your calendars for APAPASE’s annual event on Thursday, November 12th at 5 PM!

Local experts will speak on the events of 2020 and how they are adjusting their approach to planning to address these challenges. Stay tuned for registration details.