March 19 land-use webinar to highlight information sources for community leaders

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A Web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension will focus on sources of information that can be used by community leaders to help make land-use decisions.

"Understanding Data for Community Leaders," which will be offered from noon to 1:15 p.m. on March 19, will feature Timothy Kelsey, professor of agricultural economics and co-director of the Penn State Center for Economic and Community Development, and Jeff Himes, Penn State Extension community development educator.

Local officials, leaders, planners and others need good information to make effective decisions, noted Kelsey. "This webinar will highlight important free, Web-based sources of secondary data that can be very useful for understanding Pennsylvania communities, such as information on population, housing, jobs and income, real property tax base, and local government and school district revenues and spending," he said.

One of a series of online land-use workshops, the webinar will emphasize lesser-known, but useful, data sources that should be of interest to local planners and leaders. The session will include a discussion of how the data from these sources can be used.

Webinars in the series, which all start at noon and are recorded for future viewing, include the following:

-- Feb. 19: "Transit-Oriented and Walkable Communities," presented by Angela Murray, of the Lower Merion Township planning department, and Patrick Roberts, a planner with the city of Pittsburgh.

-- March 19: "Understanding Data for Community Leaders," presented by Tim Kelsey, Penn State professor of agricultural economics, and Jeff Himes, Penn State Extension community development educator.

-- 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 Corporation, and Tom Buck, Northcentral Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission and the North Central Greenways Program.

-- 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.

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 March 12, 2014