Monday, October 8, 2012


APA’s Economic Development Division is a member of the Planning Webcast Series, a co-op comprised of APA Chapters and Divisions that provides cost-free webcasts to a national audience.  The Series is currently soliciting topics for the 2013 calendar year. Examples of past Economic Development Division webinars can be found on the APA EDD webpage at

If you or your organization has a topic that can reach a national audience, please e-mail BOTH Dustin Akers at and Andy Struckhoff at Your topic proposal shall include your name, title and contact information, organization or company, a topic summary not to exceed 500 words, and if/where you have presented in the past. APA EDD webinars may be eligible for CM credits pending approval. Deadline for topic submission is October 31, 2012.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Upcoming Webinar:

A Tale of Three City Pairs: Regional Economic Growth and Rail Transit Investments

Friday, October 19, 2012 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT

Do transportation investments, particularly rail transit investments, facilitate long-term city and regional economic growth?  If yes, what is the signficiance of the role of rail transit, versus other factors, in regional economic growth? In this webinar Bill Lee, Executive Vice President of AECOM Economics, will provide an extensive data-based review of three city pairs, each representing two cities that once had similar profile, but with one city that invested in regional rail transit and the other that did not.  Data that was used in this analysis included historical office construction data for comparable central business districts.  The three city pairs that will be discussed include: San Francisco, California and Los Angeles, California (1970 -1990), Portland, Oregon and Memphis, Tennessee (1980 – 2000), and San Diego, California and St. Petersburg, Florida (1980 – 2000).

Click HERE to register for this FREE webinar!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Linkage Between Planning and Economic Recovery

In June 2012 the American Planning Association (APA) released a comprehensive national survey to “objectively determine what the general public wants from community planning and what perceptions exist.”1 This research was precipitated by Tea Party and anti-Agenda 21 activists who have systematically attempted to constrict or eliminate local and state planning laws throughout the country, and more specifically in Virginia. In Arlington (VA) we have long held that we, Arlington, are planning our way to prosperity. One need look no further than our urban villages to see that a very small portion of our geography provides a huge portion of our tax revenues and that it is a direct outgrowth of a deliberate plan.
Of the APA survey respondents, “most do not feel that enough planning for economic growth is happening in their local communities and do not believe that ‘market forces’ alone will lift the economic situation out of crisis.” Some 67% believe that “community planning is important to economic recovery.” The highest priority for community planners should be job creation according to respondents. Very interestingly, the survey indicated that one of the key features of an “ideal” community is the proximity of locally owned businesses. Of course it is partly a function of the recession, but planning is seen by most to be an essential element of economic success.
I have long believed that planning and economic development are irretrievably linked. Arlington may even be a national poster child for linking the two. There can be no question that our plans have reflected market realities, after all, the private sector builds the buildings and private tenants (largely) fill them. However, Arlington planners’ understanding of real estate economics has enabled us to ensure that plans will be implemented by using market forces as a guide to what is achievable. We have been moving up-market, planning for higher grade development that is more expensive and higher yielding from a tax standpoint. Good planning has changed our market position itself, enabling the development of a better quality environment.
Arlingtonians want the same things as other Americans – a high quality of life with great amenities. Only great planning can provide these. When we look at a specific issue such as local retailers, we can be proud that 77% of the retail tenants in Clarendon and other parts of the County are local or regional and not chains or franchises. We need both, who would want to live without the Apple Store after all, but we are not Everywhere USA, we have our own local character that differentiates us from other places. That too is a function of our emphasis on urban retail with less reliance on shopping centers and malls that depend largely on national retailers, which is something we planned. A few years ago Clarendon was awarded the APA designation as one of America’s Great Places for both its community quality and its economic success, the result of good planning.
I really don’t need to point out the obvious to Arlingtonians – that planning yields a great community. But not every locality has the same planning culture that we do. As I talk to planners and economic developers from around the country and the world, Arlington’s commitment to planning and its linkage to economic development are rare and enviable. As planners we are doing the right things well as evidenced by our success at building both community character and economic prosperity. It is incumbent on all of us to be ambassadors for planning and to make sure that we continue to provide a legislative environment that allows us to successfully plan for prosperity.

Terry Holzheimer, FAICP
Director, Arlington Economic Development

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

EDD Activities in LA - National APA Conference 2012

We are looking forward to seeing you at the 2012 APA National Conference in LA!  Please join with your fellow Economic Development Division members at the following activities:

MONDAY MORNING: Economic Development Division Session
April 16, 9:00-10:15am
Revitalization and Redevelopment Strategies and Tools (Session S536) [CM 1.25]
Join us for the Economic Development sponsored session to explore issues often overlooked in commercial district revitalization and planning. Learn why conventional solutions don’t always lead to less vacancy, better businesses, or more tax revenues. Hear from superstars of economic development about different elements of revitalization success. Presenters are William R. Anderson, FAICP; Della G. Rucker, AICP; Jill Griffin; and Julie Herlands, AICP.

MONDAY AFTERNOON: Two Great Sessions ( . . . that happen to be at the same time)
April 16, 2:30-3:45pm
Economics of Corridor Revitalization (Session S559) [CM 1.25]
Bob Lewis, AICP, the out-going chair of the Economic Development Division, will be speaking on the topic of the economics of corridor revitalization.  This two-person panel session is one of five sessions in a short course and webinar series taking place all day Monday on Retrofitting Streets and Corridors.

April 16, 2:30-3:45pm
What is Happening to America? (Session S620) [CM 1.25]
This session will not only look at the trends that will face the next generation of planners, but let you know how to get involved now in shaping the future. This session dovetails with the dinner program “Planning for Prosperity” and is a Divisions Council Initiative. Planning is about prosperity; learn how we can work together to create not only prosperity, but economic sustainability. Presenters include three former chairs of the Economic Development Division—William R. Anderson, FAICP; Terry F. Holzheimer, FAICP; and Rhonda G. Phillips, AICP; and Juli Beth Hinds, AICP.

MONDAY EVENING: EDD Reception and Meeting (X013)
April 16, 7:00-8:30pm
Diamond Salon 2 at JW Marriott
Be sure to attend the Division’s annual get-together!  No CM credits but light food and refreshments (free drinks!) will be served. Come network with colleagues in an intimate setting, celebrate our award winners, thank our outgoing officers, welcome the new ones, and more!

Other noteworthy events: Sunday evening dinner programs (additional fee required) on emerging topics of particular relevance to economic development professionals:

Planning for Prosperity: <>
Megapolitan America Dinner Program <>

Follow us on Twitter @APA_EDD and join the APA Economic Development Division Group <;trk=hb_side_g>  on LinkedIn.

We look forward to seeing you in LA!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Upcoming Economic Development Planning Webinars

Registration is now open for two, free, CM 1.0, upcoming APA Economic Development Division webinars:

Friday, April 27, 2012 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT
Preserving Affordable Housing in a Transit Corridor
Registration Link:

In preparing for introduction of street car service along Columbia Pike, Arlington County is completing a new planning effort for existing multi-family communities. Increasing rents are already pricing out lower-income residents, and those pressures are expected to accelerate with the higher gas prices, highway congestion and that make living in transit communities so attractive. The plan’s goal is to preserve or replace all of the housing serving households with incomes up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and one-half of the housing serving households at 80 percent of AMI. Market and financial analysis is helping to guide the plan so that the density provisions for new units will support financial feasibility, increasing the likelihood that development will occur. The implementation plan incorporates a wide variety of affordable housing tools.

Friday, July 20, 2012 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT
Town Centers: their conditions to success, economic opportunity, and preferences toward inviting, walkable places
Registration Link:

The success of several town center developments during the late 1990’s/early 2000’s dispelled conventional wisdom regarding the superiority of enclosed suburban shopping malls, demonstrating in economically measurable ways a preference by many toward open-air, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented places with attractive public space. What followed was a frenzy of town center and lifestyle center development—including well-conceived projects and poorly-conceived ones—that thrived, met expectations, or failed. Dismissed by some as artificial urban replicas, successful town centers nevertheless serve as value-adding catalysts for other land uses, such as office and hotel, and provide a model for a better-integration of uses than is found at conventional shopping centers and office parks. While typically found at suburban interchange locations, town centers offer valuable lessons for existing retail districts; further, town centers have, in some instances, been successfully integrated into urban environments. This session highlights many of the conditions (with emphasis on market analysis and urban design) that lead to viable town centers, primarily through case study of town centers across the country. Case studies of public/private partnerships will also be provided. The success of the town center strategy, which focuses on the creation of great places to create value premiums, has broad implications for planning, since it has provided market validation of a number of planning and urban design principles. That these successes have occurred, often in the absence of regional policies that support placemaking, could point to a broader cultural shift and future support for place-friendly policies.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Planning for Prosperity Dinner Program @ the 2012 National Planning Conference

Shrinking Communities Division Initiative announces "Planning for Prosperity Dinner Program." Held at 6:00 -8:30 pm on Sunday night of the conference, we invite you to join us for an exploration of how shrinking cities can be regenerated with lessons learned from the U.S. Joe Schilling will present APA’s new PAS Report “Cities in Transition.” Join us for dinner, program and book-signing. Located at Border Grill. Check event #P008 for details.

About the Speaker: Joseph Schilling is the Associate Director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech. He leads the Institute’s Sustainable Communities Initiative that explores the intersection of design, planning and collaboration in the development of sustainable regions, communities and neighborhoods. His field work serves as a living laboratory for research, service learning, and policy change by extracting and disseminating model programs and practices. Through case studies, policy roundtables and planning studios Professor Schilling’s research and technical assistance activities cover diverse topics, such as sustainability planning, vacant property reclamation, urban regeneration, smart growth, active living and zoning code reform. He is also an accomplished public policy facilitator having organized dozens of research, policy, and community forums.