Feb. 19 land-use webinar to focus on 'transit-oriented/walkable' communities

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A new series of Web-based seminars focusing on land use, offered by Penn State Extension, will kick off at noon Feb. 19 with a presentation about transit-oriented communities.

Transit-oriented development is a fast growing trend to create vibrant, livable communities that are compact and walkable, and center on high-quality train systems or bus terminals, according to extension educator Neal Fogle, who will moderate the webinar.

"This makes it possible to live a higher-quality life without complete dependence on a car for mobility and survival," he explained. "Transit-oriented development is a major solution to the serious and growing problems of peak oil and climate change by creating dense, walkable communities connected to a train line or bus line that greatly reduces the need for driving and the burning of fossil fuels."

Transit centers function best when nearby real estate has successful residential, commercial or retail uses to serve and be served by the transit service, Fogle noted.

Titled "Transit-Oriented & Walkable Communities," the Feb. 19 webinar will feature Angela Murray, of the Lower Merion Township planning department, and Patrick Roberts, a planner with the city of Pittsburgh.

They will discuss the role of transit-oriented development as a tool to spur economic development, strengthen existing neighborhood assets, improve the public realm, enhance safety and encourage community building around transit centers.

Webinars in the series, which all start at noon, include the following:

--March 19: "Understanding Data for Community Leaders," presented by Tim Kelsey, Penn State professor of agricultural economics.

--April 16: "Landscapes and Greenways in Pennsylvania -- What is the meaning of these terms, and what are their implications for Pennsylvania Communities?" presented by Brad Clemenson, Laurel Highlands Conservation Landscape; Jane Sheffield, Allegheny Ridge Corp.; and Jim Weaver, Tioga County Planning Commission.

--May 21: "Pennsylvania Housing Research Center's Subdivision and Land Development Guidelines: A Tool for Better Design in Pennsylvania," presented by Kate Blansett, associate director, Pennsylvania Housing Research Center.

--June 18: "Easements Made Easy -- Applying Conservation Easements on the Landscapes and Greenways of Pennsylvania's Communities," presented by Andrew Loza, executive director of the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association, and Ronald Bailey, executive director of the Chester County Planning Commission.

The cost of the webinar series is $30 for all five webinars and $60 for all five webinars for those who want to receive certification maintenance credits from the American Planning Association. All presentations will be recorded and available for future viewing.

For more information, contact Jeff Himes at 570-724-9120 or by email at jjh149@psu.edu, or visit the website to register for the webinars.

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Last Updated February 07, 2014