Upcoming events: Two technology and planning roundtables at Metropolitan Planning Council


Gabriel Metcalf, executive director of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), speaking at the value capture event. Photo by Ryan Griffin-Stegink of MPC. 

The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) hosts roundtables each month about different planning topics. Many are centered on economic or transportation initiatives. Two in October will focus on technology. The first, on Tuesday, October 9, is “Plugging in to Placemaking: Technology’s Role in Community Planning”, and the second, on Thursday, October 11, is “State-of-the-Smart: Maximizing Capacity with Intelligent Transportation Systems”.

For these events, MPC brings in guest speakers from around the country to share their expertise with an audience of professional workers, scholars, and community organizers. I’ve been to several and written about one of them: replacing the gas tax with distance-based charging. They are good for staying abreast of current events, academic work, and best practices. Students will find them a good networking opportunity and a break from university-oriented programming.

Both events are at 140 S Dearborn, Suite 1400, and will be live streamed for free. They have a fee of $15 for MPC donors, $30 for everyone else.

Plugging in to Placemaking: Technology’s Role in Community Planning

October 9, 2012, 12–1:30 pm

Imagine a busy Dad who spends his days at the office and his evenings shuttling kids to practices and play dates. Or a businesswoman whose work frequently takes her out of town. Consider the night student, the small business owner, the shift worker: These are just a few of people who have something to contribute to local community decisions, but rarely have the time to attend traditional public meetings. Read more. Register here. Watch live stream on YouTube.

State-of-the-Smart: Maximizing Capacity with Intelligent Transportation Systems

October 11, 2012, 12–1:30 pm

Improving transportation infrastructure means more than building roads and bridges. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) use technology to maximize the capacity of existing infrastructure to improve traffic flow, decrease delays, and give riders up-to-the-minute system information for a relatively low cost. The Chicago region has several examples of ITS, such as the Chicago Transit Authority’s bus and train trackers and the Illinois Tollway’s I-PASS electronic tolling system. Still, there is tremendous room for growth. This roundtable will showcase how cities around the world are proving the real potential of ITS by implementing such technologies as congestion pricing, variable priced parking, and smartphone apps. Read moreRegister here. Watch live stream on YouTube.

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