APA Launches AICP Candidate Pilot Program in November

Submitted by: Hanna Cockburn, AICP If you are in or have recently graduated from one of North Carolina’s two planning programs accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB), you can join the AICP Candidate Pilot Program, beginning this November. The new AICP Candidate Pilot Program provides a pathway to earn the prestigious AICP Certification in a new format. Planners who join the program have the opportunity to sit for the AICP Certification Exam following graduation – when you’re still in the test-taking mindset – THEN completing the required professional experience. . The criteria to become AICP remain the same, but the order of the steps are different: After passing the Certification Exam, participants may use the “AICP Candidate” designation on their resume, LinkedIn profile, and anywhere else. The designation demonstrates to potential employers your commitment to the mastering of planning skills and the highest standard of ethical practice. Once you’ve earned your requisite professional planning experience, you’ll complete the certification process and secure the AICP credential. While the total cost is the same as the traditional route to AICP credentials, the candidate program spreads the costs associated with becoming AICP out over a longer time period. Enrolling in the program is only $20, followed by the $100 exam fee. The remaining fees are paid AFTER you earn your professional planning experience – when you (or your employer) are in a better position to cover the cost. Program enrollment begins this November. If you’re a recent graduate, you can register for the May 2018 exam in December 2017. Visit the AICP Candidate Pilot Program webpage for additional details, including sample...

Iceland

Submitted by: Roger Bardsley, AICP By now, those of you who read the APA_NC blog section may say this looks like another of Roger’s travelblogs, and that would be correct.  We can learn a lot about what works and what does not work by looking at other communities and countries.  They conduct the experiments and we can benefit from their experiences.  So, this blog is about Iceland. By now, you have probably been to Iceland or know someone who has been there.  Icelandair offers a free stopover of up to seven days on your way to wherever Icelandair flies.  That is a nice offer, but the Icelandair fares are also much cheaper than most other carriers, so the offer is particularly attractive right now.  We were headed to Zurich for a wedding in Switzerland and used Icelandair primarily because they were less expensive, but decided to spend six days there because the opportunity presented itself.  I learned so much in six days that I have had trouble processing it all, but here are the highlights: Be careful what you wish for: Iceland was nearly bankrupt in 2009, primarily because of some risky investments.  They decided to use tourism to bring the economy back, and it has worked extremely well.  Tourism has increased 20% year-over-year for several years and has the Icelanders wondering when it will stop.  The attached picture shows a double-size addition to a hotel at the Keflavik airport.  That is typical – hotels throughout the country are adding rooms.  We stayed in the small town of Höfn on the south coast and ate in a great seafood restaurant. ...

Sign up for the Mentor-Match Program

Author: Nate Baker, Co-chair, Young Planners Group The Young Planners Group is hosting the Mentor-Match program again this year and we need your help in making this important opportunity possible. The program allows young planners or planning students (mentees) to match up with experienced planners or planners who have been in the profession for over two years (mentors). YPG will then continue to facilitate communication through social events and web-based communication. Guidance may include: Professional development, job hunting, learning about career paths, involvement in APA Conference session recommendations, professional networking Learning more about the planning the profession You will have a chance to meet your mentor/mentee face-to-face on Wednesday, September 27th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm during the APA-NC Welcome Reception and on Thursday September 28th at the Membership and Diversity Mixer starting at 6:30pm. We will provide some basic guidance to kick things off and you can also connect at other times for lunch, other sessions, or events. In addition to other social events, YPG will host a March Mentor Meetup in the spring. Please see below for instructions and more details. Mentors Are you a seasoned professional who can provide career advice to the next generation of planners? Do you have advice to share about planning in North Carolina? Are you a veteran of the APA NC Conference and willing to share your expertise and tips? As a mentor you will be matched up with an emerging professional who is attending the conference and has signed up for the program. If you would like to be a mentor apply here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TQYYTGV Mentees Are you new to planning in North...

Denver

Author: Roger Bardsley, AICP I recently visited the city of Denver, CO and came away with a number of favorable impressions.  I worked in the Denver metro area from 1980-1984 and Denver today is not the city I remember.  First, a little background:  The Denver metro area (as defined by the Denver Regional Council of Governments) is made up of nine counties and 47 municipalities with a population of over three million.  The region uses a fairly consistent grid street pattern and addressing system that covers most of the area. No need to get lost if you can read a map.  Second, most of the sewage is treated by the Metro Denver sewage treatment district, with the great majority handled at one plant in Commerce City (don’t ask about water).  Storm sewer is likewise handled on a regional basis.  The metro area is under one MPO and one Regional Council.  Even better, transit is consolidated under a single district known as RTD.  OK, so that gives the Denver region an advantage over most other fragmented and disorganized metropolitan areas, but still, what they have accomplished is remarkable.  Here are the highlights: Light Rail:  When I worked there light rail was being discussed – lots of talk and lines on the map, but nothing concrete.  In roughly the same time that Charlotte built one light rail line, Denver built nine, covering 85 miles, with a connection to the airport and all of the professional sports venues.  That is an exaggeration since the line to the airport just opened last year, but it is still an impressive track record.  Their downtown transit...

Thermal Belt Rail Trail Project Moves Forward

Author: Karyl Fuller, GISP, CZO The Thermal Belt Rail Trail is moving forward and should become a reality in late 2018 as a result of action taken by the RHI Legacy Foundation Board of Trustees. RHI Legacy Board voted to fund construction of the 12-foot wide, 13.36 mile asphalt trail that would connect communities across the county from Forest City to Gilkey.  The grant also includes funding for up to six potential trailheads to provide parking and other amenities at access points for the trail. The grant request was approved for $4,250,000.  Dr. Bobby England, Chairman stated, “The construction of this trail represents a transformational project for the county that combines health and wellness, economic development and neighborhood improvement.  Due to this project’s importance, we prioritized it outside of the Foundation’s normal grant cycle.” In 2016, the Town of Forest City received a $149,000 grant from RHI Legacy Foundation to survey and engineer the trail.  Forest City applied on behalf of Rutherford County, Ruth, Rutherfordton, Spindale as well as itself.  In addition, Forest City received an Appalachian Regional Commission grant for trailhead design and master planning.  McGill and Associates and David Odom Engineering are providing the trail design and engineering.  Keith Webb from McGill  said, “David and I have both worked in the county over 20 years.  By far, this project reflects the highest level of intergovernmental cooperation and common purpose that we have ever seen....

Emily Goldstein Named 2017 Summer Fellow

Emily Goldstein is a native of North Carolina and a rising senior at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she is a Robertson Scholar. She is a geography major with double minors in public policy and city and regional planning. Emily is deeply passionate about social justice and community organizing and is involved in a number of justice related community organizations. As an aspiring urban planner, Emily is interested in the intersections of planning, policy and justice. She is particularly interested in the power of homeownership and economic development to transform households and communities to create a more just and equitable future. In her free time she enjoys biking, gardening, looking at art, and sometimes, attempting to make it. Emily is incredibly excited to spend the summer learning about the work of the NC APA and the planning profession. In addition to the NC APA Fellowship, Emily is interning at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) in Durham, where she is supporting research on rural mortgage lending, GSE reform, and criminal justice debt....