Tag Archives: American Planning Association

APA sets principles for federal infrastructure investments

road06-800pxEverybody’s talking about infrastructure. The Michigan Association of Planning has made it a focus of their policy planning for the past two years. Governor Rick Snyder’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission said the state needs to spend $4 billion a year more than it currently does just to reach the national average of infrastructure spending.

The American Planning Association has reacted to President Trump’s desire to improve the country’s infrastructure by establishing nine principles to guide the efforts of Congress and the administration. A new federal infrastructure program should:

  • Serve multiple modes and types of infrastructure
  • Be driven by local visions and strong regional planning
  • Address long-term funding sustainability
  • Harness private sector investment and creativity to advance and protect the public interest
  • Consider key factors of location and leverage
  • Promote access
  • Advance opportunity for all
  • Embrace and support innovation
  • Make communities safer and more resilient

Are you using all the benefits of your APA and MAP membership?

By Ben Carlisle and Paul Montagno

3 past MAP presidents -- DIck Carlisle, Paul Montagno and Dave Scurto, with MAP executive director Andrea Brown.

3 past MAP presidents — DIck Carlisle, Paul Montagno and Dave Scurto — with MAP executive director Andrea Brown.

Many of our readers are members of the American Planning Association (APA) and its state chapter, the Michigan Association of Planning (MAP). Carlisle/Wortman Associates’ commitment to these two organizations runs deep. We have three former MAP presidents on our staff * and Ben Carlisle is an elected member of the national AICP Commission, which oversees the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Naturally, then, we encourage you to join or maintain your memberships in both organizations. But don’t just take our word for it – the benefits are real and speak for themselves.

As planners, we’re keenly interested in new ideas and fresh approaches. APA delivers with its valuable monthly magazine, Planning, and 21 divisions which you can join, offering themes as diverse as hazard mitigation, regional planning, housing and new urbanism. APA has a library of reference papers and books and offer free photos taken by planners that you can use in presentations, proposals and publications. Check out their communications training guide.

Certification through APA has tangible benefits. The most recent APA/AICP survey shows that certified planners earn more than noncertified planners, even when experience and responsibility are considered. Certification also puts planners on equal footing with the architects, engineers, and other credentialed professionals with whom they work and compete.

If you’re a professional planner and a member of APA, you automatically belong to MAP. MAP also offers communities group memberships for their planning commissioners and elected officials. Anyone can join MAP for $60 per year.

Do your planning commissioners or zoning board members know what they need to know to keep your community out of trouble? MAP brings the training to you. MAP also has a planning library, publishes a regular newsletter and an e-newsletter. Learn at the annual conference in Kalamazoo, October 26-29, both in the conference sessions and a generous set of peer to peer networking opportunities. AICPs can earn continuing education credits at MAP conference sessions.

You can enhance the long-term benefits of membership if you give back a little to your profession. Teaching children about planning today will give tomorrow’s planners a supportive, knowledgeable constituency.

Join APA’s planners advocacy network or legislative action center to learn to influence federal and state officials and agencies.

Association membership is like a gym membership. It only works if you use it. Both APA and MAP offer an array of benefits you can use to improve yourself and your community.

CWA staff includes three past presidents of the Michigan Association of Planning

Group-small-shadowCarlisle/Wortman Associates is home to three past presidents of the Michigan Association of Planning: Dick Carlisle, Dave Scurto and Paul Montagno.

CWA President Dick Carlisle served on the MAP board from 1995 to 2002 and as president in 2000 and 2001. During that time, the Michigan Society of Planning Officials (MSPO), an organization of citizen planners — planning commissioners and zoning board members – merged with the Michigan chapter of the American Planning Association, which represented professional planners.

“I was vice president during the merger negotiations then became the first president of the newly merged organization, facing the challenges of that blended board,” Carlisle said.

Dave Scurto was on the board from 2004 to 2011, serving as president in 2009-2010.

“The merged organizations had remarkable resources,” Scurto said. “We had 5,000 dues-paying members. We had a full time executive director and other staff. We were and are one of the largest chapters of the American Planning Association, which has helped give us a greater voice with APA.” During Scurto’s tenure, the MAP board extended its outreach, including a multi-day member event in Sault Ste. Marie and the creation of a social equity committee to encourage communities to make sure their plans are fair and just for all.

Paul Montago began his service to MAP prior to joining Carlisle/Wortman this year. He’s been on the board since 2010 and was president in 2013-2014.

“MAP establishes land use policies that members can use to inform and guide their plans,” Montagno said. “During my tenure on the board we worked hard to close the loop between MAP policies and our legislative advocacy. We also dove deep into the often fractious relationship between planners and real estate developers, resulting in some valuable sessions at MAP’s spring and fall conferences.”

“No other Michigan planning firm has three MAP past presidents on staff,” said the organization’s executive director, Andrea Brown, “But Carlisle/Wortman’s service to our organization goes far beyond this unique record. They are an elevated corporate member of the association, sponsoring our events and providing training and conference speakers and editorial content for our publications. We deeply appreciate all they do for the organization.”