Archive for General
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 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.
APA has launched a new video series, Voices of Equity in Planning.
Equity is a guiding principle for all who participate in the process of planning as advisors, advocates, and decision makers. In this video series, we are proud to lift the voices of planners who have been centering equity in their work to correct racial injustice, mitigate disparity, and improve the quality of life for marginalized people in all communities.
Videos were made possible by the generous gift of time from members of APA’s Social Equity Task Force, appointed in 2018 by then-President Cynthia Bowen, FAICP.
*This information originally appeared in an APA newsletter*
|Unpacking federal relief legislation
The federal government finished its work late last week on the third phase of coronavirus economic relief for the country — and the first (but likely not the last) for communities.
$150 billion in relief funding for states and localities, $25 billion in emergency funding for public transportation agencies, $5 billion in new CDBG funding and $4 billion in homeless assistance grants, and support for the municipal bond market are among the provisions included in the CARES Act that will provide critical support to planners as you respond to and recover immediate challenges.
APA Policy Director Jason Jordan detailed these provisions, answered your questions, and outlined the legislative and regulatory road ahead in this rapid response briefing.
|Examining the states’ responses to COVID-19
Federal action gives states an important role in the flow of resources to local communities. Amidst the federal activity, governors and legislators are continuing to respond to COVID-19 through a series of executive orders and proposed legislation.
What are states doing to ensure that communities – and planners – have what they need to weather and adapt to this rapidly changing environment? APA Senior State Government Affairs Associate Catherine Hinshaw outlines the state of the states.
APA has put together a list of tools for planners on planning.org.
Tools available include:
APA PA SE will be having a section council meeting at 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM on March 12.
The call in number is:
Proposals are being accepted online only via the Chapter website. The deadline to submit a presentation proposal is Friday, March 6.The conference committee is seeking traditional and non-traditional sessions. For complete details see the Call for Presenters
If you have any questions, please email Kim Gusic at
Community Conservation Partnership Program Grants
More Information: https://www.brcgrants.dcnr.pa.gov/
Deadline: April 22, 2020
DCNR is accepting applications for its Community Conservation Partnerships Program grants. The 2020 grant application round opened January 15 and will close April 22. Funds can support projects such as:
- Planning, acquisition, and development of public parks
- Trail planning and construction
- River conservation and access
- Open space conservation
- Streamside tree planting
Applicants should contact their Bureau of Recreation and Conservation Regional Advisor to discuss project ideas and application requirements prior to submitting. To apply for a grant, please use the DCNR Grants Customer Service Portal.
Food Recovery Infrastructure Grant
Application deadline: April 24, 2020
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-787-7382
These grants of up to $200,000 provide assistance to eligible nonprofit organizations such as shelters and food banks for proper food management. “Access to fresh food in underserved communities is a public health and quality of life issue, but it’s also an environmental justice issue. While traveling across the state, my staff and I often hear from underserved communities that access to fresh food is a significant concern, so we wanted to do our part to address this issue in a meaningful, environmentally focused way,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. The grant application deadline is April 24, 2020.
Economic Impact Initiative Grants
Economic Impact Initiative Grants provide funding to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural communities that have extreme unemployment and severe economic depression.
An essential community facility is one that provides an essential service to the local community, is needed for the orderly development of the community, serves a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial, or business undertakings.
Examples of essential community facilities include:
- Healthcare: hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities
- Public Facilities: city/town/village halls, courthouses, airport hangers, street improvements
- Community Support Services: child care centers, community centers, fairgrounds, transitional housing
- and more
Public bodies, federally-recognized tribes, and nonprofit organizations in eligible rural areas may apply.
Eligible rural areas must meet specific criteria:
- Cities, villages, townships, and federally-recognized tribal lands with no more than 20,000 residents
- Unemployment rate for the service area is greater than 19.5%
Median household income of the service area is below 90% of the state non-metropolitan median household income