Celebrate Labor Day … and Let’s Commit to an Important Journey this Fall

As we close out summer vacations and move into our Fall work plan, CCAPA wishes all of our members a happy and safe Labor Day weekend.

I am pleased to report our progress on a number of important planning initiatives, including collaborations with the Regional Plan Association on the 4th Regional Plan; with CEDAS on our end-of-summer social at Dunkin Donuts Park; and our forthcoming workshop with the Connecticut Bar Association’s Land Use Division.

APA / RPA Roundtable Discussion, July 31, 2017

This important work, however, is clearly overshadowed by the events of the day from Charlottesville last month to the still-unfolding situation with Hurricane Harvey in eastern Texas.  Here at home, the budget situation is truly affecting our ability to carry-out important work and the local and regional level.

All of this suggests a role for the Connecticut planning community.  Our social compass, technical skill and ability to bring people together is needed here and elsewhere.  I encourage your attendance and participation at the Fall Chapter Meeting on October 27 in Providence.  This will be important opportunity to come together and work through a coordinated, planning-driven journey for 2018 and beyond.

In the meantime, here is what we can do together:

Support the Texas Chapter of APA.  Once the situation is stabilized for the people in the affected communities, we know that a sustainable and resilient reconstruction will need to happen.  Let’s support the Texas planning community by making a donation and learning more about their planning and relief efforts.  See https://www.txplanning.org/apa-texas-hurricane-harvey-recovery-efforts/ for details.

Advocate at the Federal Level.  Support APA’s legislative policy agenda by reaching out to your federal delegation in September.  As Congress takes up legislation which may impact housing, transportation and community development, lend your perspective as a practicing planner who understands the value of place-based programs.  APA’s Planners’ Day on Capitol Hill will be held on September 26, 2017.  CCAPA members are going and we need you to join us in Washington.  To learn more, please visit, https://www.planning.org/policy/conference/plannersday/.

Participate in Community Planning Month.  October is Community Planning Month.  CCAPA will use this opportunity to feature important work happening around Connecticut.  APA has made available a toolbox of resources to assist us.  Emily Hultquist will be following up with details about the toolbox and ways to share an idea for a social media post and/or event.  Please reach out to Emily at (ehultquist@crcog.org) to coordinate an October activity.

Share Ideas on the 2018 Policy Platform.  As discussed at Hot Topics in June, CCAPA continues work on its 2018 policy platform.  This will be discussed in some detail at SNEAPA.  To share research, insights and ideas for the platform, please reach out to our Government Relations co-chairs, Amanda Kennedy (akennedy@seccog.org) and John Guszkowski (jguszkowski@cmeengineering.com).

Thank you and have a great holiday weekend,

Michael Piscitelli, AICP

City of New Haven


SNEAPA 2017 Registration Now Open!

On-line registration for SNEAPA 2017 to be held in Providence, RI October 26 – 27, 2017 is now officially open! On-line registration will be available until October 17, 2017.

Also, SNEAPA has reserved a block of rooms at the Courtyard by Marriot – Downtown Providence under “Southern New England Planning” for a rate of $135/night. Further information can be found on the SNEAPA website here.



2017 CCAPA Awards Nominations Open!

Each year, the Chapter invites nominations for its annual Planning Awards to showcase outstanding projects, people and places.

New this year is a simplified nominating process.

All you have to do is e-mail the Committee a paragraph about your nomination with contact information by October 6th. Check out the Call for Nominations for further details.


Updated APA Membership Welcomes the Next Generation of Planners

by Monica Groh, APA’s Director of Emerging Professionals

Big changes are coming to the American Planning Association!  Beginning on July 11, APA student membership will be free to any full- or part-time student actively matriculated in any university or college degree program. APA also will offer two years of reduced dues to help bridge the gap between university and professional life.  First-time members will enjoy discounted introductory rates as well.

Student Membership

Under the new student membership program1, any student can be a member of APA, a local chapter, and up to five divisions at no cost. This applies to all students, regardless of current or previous APA membership, seeking a degree at any level (undergraduate, masters, PhD), who are actively matriculated in a college or university degree program.2 Students do not have to be in a planning program and we welcome individuals in allied programs like geography and urban studies who are interested in planning. After completing their studies, students can transition into a two-year membership program that offers discounted introductory dues.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Great! This will make it easier for more students to join APA and strengthen the student community!” You also might be asking, “What will keep them once they join?”

We think our expanded set of benefits will persuade them. Students have told us that they need tools and resources to network, explore career paths and opportunities, and build real-world skills. They also want opportunities to showcase their work and creativity. Finally, they seek a community that shares their passion for making vibrant communities and a better future.

Here are some of the ways APA’s new student membership programs responds to their needs:

  • Free digital access to the latest industry research and trends as reported in Planning magazine, the Journal of the American Planning Association, Zoning Practice, a new E-book Collection and Research KnowledgeBase, e-newsletters, as well as by APA’s renowned Planning Advisory Service.
  • Career services and support through mentoring, Career Reality Webinars, and skills training.
  • Awards, scholarships, and competitions recognizing student excellence.
  • Financial support for conference attendance and student organization activities.
  • Leadership and volunteer opportunities at the national, chapter, division, and university levels.
  • Free membership in up to five APA divisions – communities of planning specialties, populations, and interest areas.
  • Out-of-classroom learning at the National Planning Conference and other in-person and online sessions, webinars, and events.

There is more! Later this year, APA will launch the AICP Candidate Pilot Program, including a dedicated mentoring component, aimed at helping qualified participants become certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners. Ambitious students who attain certification while seeking a degree will benefit from free AICP membership until they complete their studies.

Two-Year Introductory Rates

New members3 will benefit from an introductory rate of $95/year ($75 APA/$20 chapter) for two consecutive years, before entering APA’s salary based dues structure. In addition to all benefits of APA membership, this introductory period includes discounts on AICP and division memberships, and savings on Zoning Practice and JAPA.

We look forward to working with the entire APA community — including leaders, chapters, divisions, and student groups — as well as key partners like the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, the Planning Accreditation Board, and individual colleges and universities, to continue exploring ways to make APA a stronger and more inclusive community for the next generation. Please encourage students, recent graduates, and other colleagues you know to join, renew, and participate in APA, and let us know how we can support your efforts.

Visit planning.org/membership for more information.

Please also refer to the Fact Sheet about APA’s Student and New Member Program available here.


1These changes replace APA’s 5-Year Early Career Membership Program. Did you join the ECMP as a student member on October 1, 2012 or later?  APA will help you transition into the new structure. Email studentmembership@planning.org if you have questions.

 2Active degree status is defined by each university or college. 

3This offer applies to first-time individual members and students transitioning out of student status. It excludes international and group membership programs.


2017 CCAPA Member Survey Results Available

The Member Services Committee has issued final results of CCAPA’s survey of “professional” members, conducted in February. Thanks to Alan Weiner, Demian Sorrentino and Jonathan Reiner for developing the survey, to John Guszkowski for his assistance with the distribution of the survey, and to all Chapter members who took the time to complete the survey. Questions or comments can be directed to Alan Weiner.

CCAPA Call for Nominations and Chapter Business Activities

As we move into the summer months, June is a great time to catch up with CCAPA on planning activities across Connecticut.  We recently posted on a recap of Chapter activities at the National Planning Conference, held last month in New York and we are now looking forward to another great Southern New England Planning Conference to be held in Providence, RI October 26 – 27, 2017.  In the meantime, CCAPA will be working with you on Chapter business and strategic initiatives over the course of the summer.

Chapter Officer Call for Nominations:  An e-mail was sent to members that serves as the Call for Nominations for Chapter elections.  The Nominating and Elections Committee shall recommend a slate of candidates for election of a new President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer.  Candidates for Officer positions must be regular members in good standing and candidates for President-elect shall also have served a minimum of one two-year term as a member of the Executive Board.  To submit a nomination, please email Emily Hultquist, Committee Chair by June 27, 2017.  The certified list of nominations will then be provided to all Chapter members on June 30, 2017, together with a call for any petition candidates.  The Chapter vote will be held August 15 – September 15, 2017.

Chapter Elections and Vote Process:  We have posted the complete schedule for the Call for Nominations and election cycle.  Please note that we are about one month behind the schedule laid out in the Chapter bylaws.  The Executive Committee voted to adjust the timetable to account for the delay and still provide a sufficient amount of time to identify candidates and have the month-long voting period.  As part of the Chapter vote, members will be asked to adopt APA’s “annual” election cycle so that chapter-level leaders take office January 1, 2018 as opposed to October 1, 2017.  APA is making efforts to train new leaders in a coordinated fashion and the bylaw amendment would make our election cycle consistent with the APA’s Chapter Performance Criteria.

June 16, 2017 – “Hot Topics” and Chapter Meeting:  On June 16, CCAPA will host the annual Hot Topics in Land Use, featuring a summary of recent legal cases and an update on the Connecticut Plan of Conservation and Development.  In addition, we will be presenting the Bruce Hoben Distinguished Service Award to Glenn Chalder, AICP in recognition of Glenn’s many years of exceptional service to the planning community in Connecticut.  CCAPA’s semi-annual Chapter meeting will also be held on the 16th, featuring the findings of the Member Survey and a status report on our legislative initiatives in Hartford.  The event will take place again at the Mark Twain House in Hartford and the registration information will be posted shortly.

Strategic Planning:  CCAPA members continue to be active in strategic planning activities, including the Long Island Sound Blue Plan and the Regional Plan Association’s 4th Regional Plan.  In addition, CCAPA is working on an update to our Chapter’s own strategic plan.  Given the unique and significant role of planning in these important efforts, not to mention the Connecticut’s ongoing budgetary and economic headwinds, we continue to welcome ideas for how planners can help move Connecticut forward.  Please contact me at the email address below or let’s talk at Hot Topics about new ways to get involved as we explore the role of planning in Connecticut’s future.

Thank you and all the best,

Michael Piscitelli, AICP

City of New Haven

Resilient Rural CT Forum

PDF of registration flyer: 2017 CTRCD Annual Meeting and Planning Forum

Connecticut Planners and New APA Initiatives Featured at NPC17

The National Planning Conference (NPC17) earlier this month in New York City attracted over 6,300 planners from around the United States and 30 other countries.  In addition to the incredible planning happening in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs, Connecticut planners were featured in a number of sessions.

If you were not able to attend NPC17 and/or get to one of the Connecticut sessions, look for the following titles which will be posted in the near future under the Certificate Maintenance section at www.planning.org:

  • Urban Enhancements within Highway Preservation Projects (#9110092)
  • Igniting and Guiding Transformative Development (#9110032)
  • Reimagining Distinctive Downtowns in Connecticut’s Largest Cities (#9109484)
  • Small Town and Rural Planning Division Dinner: Let’s Talk Legal (#9107939)
  • Planning for Healthy Rural-Urban Communities (#9109618)
  • Transit-Oriented Development in Connecticut (#9109974)

At NPC17, APA leadership reported progress on a number of ongoing initiatives and introduced some new programs which will provide added value to CCAPA members.  Of note, the APA Library is expanding on-line offerings, with over 100 planning books available for online reading.  APA has an extensive collection of planning publications, including rare primary materials from the early 20th century.  The physical library is located at APA’s Chicago office and is open to members.  Please visit www.planning.org/library/ebooks to have a look at the titles that have now been made available in online format.

CT Planners at the New York Public Library

CT Planners at the New York Public Library

The APA Foundation supports scholarships and other activities which advance our profession.  At NPC17, the Foundation announced a new initiative called FutureShape.  This is an effort to develop a strategic framework of planning and research priorities along with actionable tools to shape the future and focus of planning.  To support FutureShape and the mission of the APA Foundation with a tax-deductible donation, visit www.planning.org/foundation/

APA continues to work on three new Planning Policy Guides: Healthy Communities, Social Equity and Housing.  Of the three, there was considerable discussion about the scope and challenges associated with social equity across any number of planning issues.  If you would like to learn more about the policy guides or provide input on the working document, please email me to learn more.

As mentioned previously, the Local Host Committee for NPC17 was comprised of representatives from the Connecticut, New York Metro and New Jersey Chapters.  Special thanks to David Woods and Susan Westa for handling many of the local host responsibilities.  Special thanks as well to Shipman and Goodwin and Milone & MacBroom, the co-sponsors for the Local Host Committee Reception at the New York Public Library as well as to Robinson & Cole for hosting a reception at the Liberty, 29 West 35th Street.

Team Connecticut Featured at #NPC17

Connecticut Planners Making a Difference and Telling our Story at the American Planning Association’s National Planning Conference, May 6 – 9, 2017 in New York City

Later this week, over 6,000 planners will arrive in New York City for the American Planning Association’s 2017 National Planning Conference. The NPC is a signature event for APA and an important opportunity to learn about best practices in planning and significant achievements that support the socio-economic and environmental health of communities from around the nation.

Connecticut Planners Making a Difference

Connecticut planners will be on hand to present important gains in transit-oriented development, public health and urban revitalizations.  We are looking forward to see you in New York if you are attending the NPC. While in town, please be sure to attend and support CCAPA members at the following sessions:

Sunday, May 7, 2017

8:00AM                  Urban Enhancements within Highway Preservation Projects (#9110092) David Sousa, CDM and David Elder, CT DOT

1:00PM                  Igniting and Guiding Transformative Development (#9110032) Dean Mack, City of Bridgeport

Monday, May 8, 2017

 1:30PM                  Connecting Bridgeport to the Region – Poster Session (#9110319) Lynn Haig, City of Bridgeport

2:45PM                  Reimagining Distinctive Downtowns in Connecticut’s Largest Cities (#9109484) David Woods, City of Stamford; David Kooris, CT DOH and Jamie Bratt, City of Hartford and Caroline Vary, Rose Companies

6:30PM                  Small Town and Rural Planning Division Dinner: Let’s Talk Legal (#9107939) Dwight Merriam, Robinson and Cole

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

8:00AM                  Planning for Healthy Rural-Urban Communities (#9109618) Susan Westa, Connecticut Main Streets Center and Linda Painter, Town of Mansfield

9:30AM                  Transit-Oriented Development in Connecticut (#9109974) Robert Seale, City of Meriden; Michael Piscitelli, City of New Haven; Lyle Wray, Capitol Region Council of Governments and Sara Bronin, City of Hartford

In addition, there are a number of programs of interest to Connecticut, including sessions on NEC Future (Northeast Corridor), Transit Access and the Regional Plan Association’s 4th Regional Plan.

In the Exhibit Hall, Lynn Haig will present at the poster session, Connecting Bridgeport to the Region, on Monday, May 8 from 1:30 – 2:30PM.

Visit Stamford on a special mobile workshop, Stamford in the Shadow of Gotham, with the City of Stamford Planning and Economic Development team of David Woods, Ralph Blessing, Robin Stein, Thomas Madden and Vineeta Mathur, on Monday, May 8 from 11:00AM – 5:00PM

Special thanks to Rebecca Reyes-Alicea from the FRA for her extra attention to comments from around Connecticut on the Northeast Corridor EIS; David Elder and Rich Andreski from Connecticut DOT for taking the time to present on transit; and to Melissa Kaplan-Macey of RPA (and CCAPA member) for her ongoing attention to the Connecticut-specific parts of the 4th Regional Plan. Look for all of these sessions through the APA app.

CCAPA in the Exhibit Hall

The Local Host Committee for NPC17 is comprised of representatives from the Connecticut, New York Metro and New Jersey Chapters. We have a booth in the Exhibit Hall (#120).  Please stop by to see our display and meet with members of neighboring chapters. Special thanks to David Woods and Susan Westa for handling many of the local host responsibilities.


 Special thanks to Shipman and Goodwin and Milone & MacBroom, the co-sponsors for the Local Host Committee Reception at the New York Public Library as well as to Robinson & Cole for hosting a reception at the Liberty, 29 West 35th Street. See www.planning.org for additional details.

Thanks to everyone on Team Connecticut and have a great time in New York!

Diana Donald Scholarship-Internship Applications Due May 5, 2017

The Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association is pleased to announce its second round of the Diana Donald Scholarship-Internship program.  In honor of the legacy of Diana Donald, this scholarship-internship program offers the opportunity for organizations and agencies to hire an intern in a planning or planning-related field to work on an identifiable planning initiative within the organization.  Grant funds, in the amount of $3,500, will be provided to one agency or organization on a competitive basis.

Diana Donald, who passed away in 1975, was a Connecticut‐based planner who was recognized nationally for her contributions to the profession. At the time of her passing, at age 40, she was the First Vice President of the American Institute of Planners and was in line to become President. Her status in the association set an historical precedent for women in planning.

2017 program guidelines and applications are now available.  The application deadline is May 5, 2017.

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