If it’s true what they say, ‘children are our future,’ then we have some very smart cities to look forward to! On Saturday January 21, thirty-six middle schools from southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware competed in the 2017 Philadelphia Future City Competition held at Archbishop John Carroll High School in Radnor.
Archive for Recent Events
Over 200 curious young visitors stopped by the APAPA-SE activity booth at Temple University’s EarthFest 2016 on April 22nd. An annual event at the Ambler Campus, EarthFest promotes environmental awareness to elementary and middle school students from across the region. Continuing a multi-year tradition, APAPA-SE hosted a booth to support the effort. This year, our four volunteers engaged students in two planning activities – one related to transportation and the other land use – to give them a very basic idea of what planners do on a regular basis.
The transportation-related activity had students placing stickers to indicate whether they walk, bike, drive, or take the bus to get to school, visit friends/family, visit park/playgrounds, and go shopping. While not exactly scientific, this informal survey had over 230 responses and provided some interesting results (see the tally we put together and feel free to draw your own conclusions). Overall, the kids were really excited about the activity – especially the stickers – and it got them thinking about the pros and cons of how they travel, both for their own personal health and the health of the environment.
“If you could do whatever you wanted with this lot, what would you do and why?” David, age 9, responded, “I would plan a kingdom so that I could be king.” If only we could all have the visionary powers to dream up a kingdom like David (and if only it were that easy)! Along with David, hundreds of curious young visitors stopped by the APAPA-SE activity booth at Temple University’s EarthFest 2015 at the Ambler Campus on Friday, April 24th. They each were prompted to respond to that same question we asked David.
Thanks to all those who attended or contributed to APAPA SE’s Annual Event on Thursday, November 7th at Lansdowne’s beautiful 20th Century Club. It was a great event for learning, networking, and connecting with fellow planners!
For those who were unable to attend, or for those who did attend but would like more information on the material presented, below are some of the links used in the presentations about the great work being done in Lansdowne:
It was a picture-perfect, cool and sunny spring morning when dozens of cyclists left their cars at home and rode their bikes to work in Media instead in celebration of Bike to Work Day.
On Friday, May 17, the Delaware County Transportation Management Association (DCTMA) and the Delaware County Planning Department partnered up for Bike to Work Day, drawing County employees and other bicyclists from as far away as Upper Darby. Cyclists enjoyed refreshments during the morning celebration held outside the County Courthouse. Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union was the main sponsor with Wawa, Trader Joe’s, and Main Line Water providing water, orange juice, and fresh fruit. Participants also entered into a special raffle for prizes donated by local businesses.
Thanks to all those who attended LGBT-Friendly Senior Housing in Philadelphia: Creating the John C. Anderson Apartments. The session PowerPoint presentations are linked to in the program description below and are all available from this download folder. Thanks again for coming and we thank you for your feedback. We will be releasing a recording of this session as well, which will be advertised from this blog.
On Friday, April 5 the APAPASE Mentoring Program held a professional roundtable discussion at PennDesign focused on Environmental Careers. Professional guests included Kathleen Grady, Director of Sustainability at Temple University, Chris Linn, Senior Environmental Planner at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and Emily Linn, Environmental Protection Specialist at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The informal discussion was moderated Jeannette Brugger, Pedestrian, Bicycle and Open Space Planner at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.
The Erie Eleven: How 11 Planners Survived 16 Hours in a 15-Passenger Van to and from the APAPA Conference in Erie, PA
The Erie Eleven
Eleven planners from the Southeast section decided to carpool to the APAPA conference in Erie, PA between October 14 and 16, 2012. We arranged to meet at the West Conshohocken Park and Ride lot at 6:30 am on Sunday morning. We loaded our belonging into the 15-passenger rental van, and headed out on the road. Although it was still dark out, the mood was jovial and the conversation flowed as people got to know each other.
There was a quick stop for coffee at a rest-stop on I-476, as well as another quick stop at the Snow Shoe rest-stop along I-80. The Snow Shoe rest-stop is in the Pennsylvania Wilds. The PA Wilds is a strategic effort by a multitude of organizations to grow the nature and heritage tourism industry in 12 ½ rural counties in the northern-central portion of Pennsylvania. The goal is to create jobs, diversify local economies, and improve quality of life while inspiring a stewardship ethic in residents and visitors.
By midday, we had made it to Clarion, Pennsylvania. We decided to pull off the highway and eat lunch. Faced with a plethora of fast food options, we chose Eat’nPark, which advertised that its salad bar included 10% local produce.
We arrived in Erie at approximately 2:30pm–eight hours after we started our journey on the outskirts of Philadelphia. Our first stop was checking in at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, a 200-room hotel that is the area’s first waterfront hotel. The northern side of the hotel offered views of Presque Isle, while the southern side offered views of the marina and downtown Erie. The hotel was connected via a skybridge to the Bayfront Convention Center.
Due to our long journey, we had missed the first session of the conference, but we got there in time for the second session. On Sunday evening, there was a reception at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center. While enjoying hors d’oeuvres, we were able to view the interactive exhibits about Presque Isle’s unique ecosystem. Although it was already fairly dark when we arrived, many planners made the trip up the observation tower to see the view of Lake Erie. There was also a good view of the parking lot, which included many stormwater management features.
On Monday, we attended educational sessions at the conference, including a keynote by Tony Hiss, author of The Experience of Place and In Motion. On Monday evening, we enjoyed dinner on our own in downtown Erie. We ended up at a restaurant called Pufferbelly, which is in a converted fire station. Several planners enjoyed a game of Monopoly in the hotel lobby after dinner.
On Tuesday, there were additional educational sessions, as well as the Awards Luncheon. Multiple members of our van won raffle baskets as part of a fundraiser for the Pitkin and Spaulding Scholarship Funds. At 2:30pm, we headed back to our van for the trip back to Philadelphia. The weather was bright and sunny, allowing us to marvel at the fall foliage in the Allegheny Mountains. We stopped at the Twilight Diner in Loganton, PA for dinner.
Overall, the trip was a lot of fun and very cost-effective (only $39.14 per person, after a $300 subsidy from the APAPASE chapter). We got to know each other better and learned a great deal as well.