LPI’s Wyckoff and Madill shared expertise at the 2015 Michigan Association of Planning Conference

posted on November 4, 2015 10:53am

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The Michigan Association of Planning (MAP) hosted their Annual Conference Oct. 7-9, 2015, in Detroit. Planning Michigan 2015 celebrated Community Planning Month with inspirational national speakers and industry experts in the largest city in Michigan. Mark Wyckoff, FAICP, senior associate director of the MSU Land Policy Institute and director of the Planning & Zoning Center at MSU; and Holly Madill, outreach specialist for LPI were on hand to make presentations during the conference.

On Wednesday, Oct. 7, Madill taught the Introduction to Planning and Zoning session of the MSU Extension Michigan Citizen Planner Program, while Wyckoff taught the second session on the Legal Foundations of Planning and Zoning to about 30 interested citizen planners from across the state.

On Thursday, Oct. 8, Madill co-presented the breakout session on Finding Common Ground: Planners and Public Health Officials Working toward Resiliency. This interactive session explored the intersection of community planning and local public health, the cross-over issues that decision makers from both disciplines will likely face in the future resulting from climate change, processes and tools that exist for collaboratively facing those challenges, and how the community benefits. Other co-presenters included Aaron Ferguson from the Michigan Department of Community Health, and Claire Karner from the Land Information Access Association.

One of the session goals was to model adult learning practices that honor different learning styles, both passive and active. For more on learning styles, visit Active Learning by Study Guides and StrategiesFacilitating Adult Learning How to Teach so People Learn, and Different Learning Styles. Madill led the facilitation activities, which included a family feud-style game (social/kinesthetic) to identify broad topics where public health and planning overlap in relation to resiliency. Although time was cut short, other activities planned included using a sticky wall exercise (kinesthetic/personal) to develop best practices within those broad topics, and a worksheet (personal) to develop a plan for incorporating local public health in traditional community development processes to reduce the gap in information sharing and planning.

Later that same day, Wyckoff presented and moderated the session Ideas to Action: Strategies for Building Missing Middle Housing Locally. Other panelists included Jim Tischler, AICP, director of Community Development at the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA); Sharon Woods, CRE, LandUse|USA; and Daniel Parolek, AIA of Opticos Design, Inc. in California.

This session immediately followed the luncheon keynote by Parolek, who is a national thought leader in New Urbanism and originated the name “Missing Middle” housing. During his keynote, he described what Missing Middle housing is, why it is important and the important role that it can play in providing expanded housing choices in communities.

Wyckoff opened the session with a summary of the results of the recent Missing Middle design competition, co-sponsored by MSHDA, LPI, the Michigan Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and other sponsors. Five winning designs provide concrete examples that communities can follow to build Missing Middle housing in their communities. Wyckoff reviewed some additional demographic data that shows growth among Millennials’ and Baby Boomers’ preferences for wider housing and transportation choices.

Woods provided a good overview of Target Market Analysis that breaks down potential demand for different housing types based on very refined demographic characteristics. Wyckoff identified a number of local planning and zoning barriers to Missing Middle housing and some measures that local governments can take to provide more of it. Tischler explained the specific tasks that local governments need to complete in order to have a successful program of attracting developers to build Missing Middle housing. All four panelists answered questions from the audience on breaking down barriers to getting Missing Middle housing built in their communities.