Choose Safe Places: Keeping children healthy in the environments where they grow, learn, and play

The environment plays a large role in children’s health. Did you know that children are more at risk from exposures to harmful substances than adults? Children drink more water and breathe more air relative to their body size than adults do. Additionally, behaviors that are common in children, such as crawling or putting their hands or other objects in their mouths, can expose them to more chemicals. Because children are still growing and developing, exposures to harmful substances can have long-term impacts. Many children spend large amounts of time in child care facilities, making it important to keep these spaces safe from harmful substances. What is Choose Safe Places? The Choose Safe Places (CSP) program is a new initiative to protect children from harmful exposures to chemicals while attending child care centers. The CSP program works with child care providers and others, such as local planners, to ensure child care centers are located in areas free of harmful substances such as lead, arsenic, or volatile organic compounds. CSP considers four key elements when assessing environmentally safe child care locations: 1. Former uses of the site Contaminants can stay on a site long after the activities that caused the contamination have stopped. Knowing what a property was used for in the past will help identify potential contaminants. For example, a building where manufacturing occurred may contain contamination or a property used as a landfill could have a variety of chemicals in soil or water. Just because a property was used for something previously does not mean it is not suitable for a child care center, but these situations should be...

NC-APA Fellowship

The Diversity Committee is a working committee within the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-NC). Our mission is to increase diversity within the planning profession. The Committee actively promotes diversity among planners and planning-related organizations in North Carolina. Recognizing the unique values, ideas and perspectives offered by a diverse workforce, the Committee establishes ongoing networking and education forums to foster awareness and action towards increasing diversity within the planning profession. The Fellowship is open to third and fourth year undergraduate students and first and second year Masters degree students. The Committee will work along with the Fellow to place them with a local government, private, or non-profit organization within the State of North Carolina for an internship in a Planning related field. The $2,000 stipend will be paid to by the Committee to the fellow on a biweekly basis throughout the 10 week period of the fellowship. The fellow is expected to work 20 hours per week with their organization gaining practical planning experience. Biweekly check-ins will occur between and the Committee and the organization. The fellow is expecting to write a brief 300 word statement at the end of the summer as well as have a final evaluation. ELIGIBILITY In 2018, the National American Planning Association (APA) National organization refocused their efforts on what diversity, inclusion, and equity looks like within the Planning profession and within our growingly diverse communities. In addition to being a member of what has been proven as a marginalized group within the Planning profession, the fellowship is available to those who are: Members of one or more of the following...

APA Testimony to US House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development

On March 13th, a member of the APA Legislative and Policy Committee offered written and oral testimony to the US House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD).  During the testimony, APA called upon subcommittee members to increase funding for federal programs, such as CDBG, HOME, BUILD and transit capital grants.  To find out more about this testimony, please check out APA’s blog post here: https://planning.org/blog/blogpost/9173083/.  As a follow-up to this testimony, and since the Chair of the T-HUD Subcommittee is Congressman David Price from North Carolina, APA-NC President Ben Howell sent this letter to Chairman Price in support of APA’s...

2019 Marvin Collins Planning Awards – Call for Entries!

The 2019 Marvin Collins Planning Awards program is the 41st such program of the NC Chapter of the American Planning Association.  The awards recognize agencies and individuals that have completed outstanding plans, programs, and projects, have excelled as planning students, or have made notable contributions to the planning profession.  The awards represent the highest standards of achievement in the planning profession in North Carolina. The nominating period is now open and will close on March 31st, 2019.  Attached is the 2019 Call for Entries form.  Nominations will be reviewed by mid-June and awards will be presented during the 2019 APA NC Conference in Wilmington, October 8-11, 2019.  We look forward to another year of outstanding entries that reflect so positively on the great planning underway in North Carolina. As a special note to the universities, we look forward to these student awards and heightened internship collaborations. Download the form...

The City of Edinburgh, Scotland

Author: Roger Bardsley, AICP It is possible that some of you have been to Edinburgh, Scotland.  It is a beautiful city with loads of wonderful architecture, museums and history.  Edinburgh Castle sits on top of the ridge that runs through the center of town while Arthur’s Seat looks down from the other end.  The Firth of Forth is visible from the top, and the Royal Yacht Britannia is moored at the docks.  Yes, you should go. This blog, however, is not about the sights the tourists see.  It is about things that planners might notice.  I like to write about these sorts of things because you are all planners, and we know we don’t see the world the ways others do. Transit Edinburgh has an impressive bus system that serves much of the metro area with frequent, on-time service.  They have both double-decker and single-deck buses with plenty of capacity.  Unlike in cities in North Carolina, there is no class stigma attached to riding the bus.  A couple of years ago Edinburgh completed a tram from downtown to the airport.  I rode it in from the airport last week and enjoyed the experience.  The alignment, unfortunately, contained tight turns so the tram was not able to maximize its speed capabilities.  The tram was very controversial, over budget and behind schedule.  Sounds like every public project in the U.S.  In spite of the critique, however, I wish the major cities in NC had systems as capable as the one in Edinburgh.  Note:  Most of the buses in Edinburgh are operated by Lothian, a private company in operation since 1919.  It...

2019 Marvin Collins Planning Awards Program

Submitted by APA-NC Awards Committee The nominating period is now open for the 2019 Marvin Collins Planning Awards program. The Call for Entries form is available here, and the deadline is March 30, 2019. Nominations will be reviewed by mid-June and awards will be presented during the 2019 APA-NC Conference in Wilmington, October 8-11, 2019. Entering its 41st year, this awards program recognizes agencies and individuals that have completed outstanding plans, programs, and projects, as well as students and others who have made notable contributions within the planning profession.  The awards represent the highest standards of achievement in the planning profession in North Carolina. We look forward to another year of outstanding entries that reflect so positively on the great planning underway in North Carolina....
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