Mitch Silver speaks about our changing demographics and urban planning

Via e-mail from Chapel Hill 2020 co-chair Rosemary Waldorf:

Recently I heard a presentation by Mitch Silver, Raleigh's planning director and current president of the American Planning Association, on what the new census tells us about our changing demographics and how these changes might influence (in a rational, forward looking way) urban planning. It was an extremely dynamic, thought provoking presentation, and highly relevant to the many issues we are dealing with as part of Chapel Hill 2020. We are thrilled to report that Mitch has agreed to come to Chapel Hill and give this presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 5:30 pm in the Council Chambers. With Q&A, the event will last 60-90 minutes, depending on how many Qs.

Please put this on your calendars. I promise you, it will be very engaging. And Mitch has agreed to do an analysis of Chapel Hill, using latest census info. Staff is working on plans to both advertise and tape the event. Below is Mitch's description of the lecture and his bio.

Rosemary Waldorf

Title of Lecture: What you need to know about the Demographic in the 21st Century 

The demographics trends will have significant implications on how communities across the country plan for the future. This lecture will discuss the demographic trends and emerging issues and how to have a community conversation about what to do now and how to plan for the future.  


Mitchell Silver is president of the American Planning Association (APA). As APA president, he leading the effort to revive planning to be one of the most relevant professions in the 21st Century. Mr. Silver is also the Chief Planning & Economic Development Officer and Planning Director for Raleigh, North Carolina. Mr. Silver is an award-winning planner with over 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors. He is nationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to contemporary planning issues. Mr. Silver is a contributing editor and author of ICMA's "Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice," which was released in February 2009.

Known by his colleagues as a creative thinker, problem-solver and visionary leader, Mitchell has been at the center of many cutting edge trends, innovative solutions and visionary plans.  As planning director in Raleigh, he is led the comprehensive plan update process to create a vibrant 21st century city with a modern transit system, great streets, great places and great neighborhoods. He is now overseeing a rewrite of the City's Development Code.  



Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm


Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill

First Theme Group Meetings Successful, But Need More Input

I would label last night’s meeting generally successful, but reflecting back on what I observed and participated in. Before I get into my reactions, a quick few notes on what actually happened. The meeting took place entirely in small groups. As noted above, I participated in the transportation group. The official title of the theme is:

Getting Around: Transportation: (transportation of all forms, regional assets, partnerships, potential for shared success)

All of the groups basically followed the same format, kicking off with an introduction by the group go-chairs and then moving into the meat of the discussion, which was supposed to touch on four different questions, all with a tilt toward the particular theme’s interest area.

The Work Begins: First 2020 Theme Group Meeting

You may have seen my earlier post that described what theme groups are actually are and what they'll be doing. Tonight, theory will become reality with the first of the four theme group working sessions at Ephesus Elementary School. Here's what on the agenda:

  1. Review the process
  2. Clarify the roles and responsibilities of all members and leaders of the group
  3. Identify the components for the theme based on the community data collected at previous meetings
  4. Identify areas in common with other themes
  5. Identify resources for the group, both in terms of staff and data
  6. Have discussion of decisions in the theme group

CH 2020 Theme Groups: A Summary

So at this point there’s been much discussion as to what a theme is, who will make up a theme working group, what these working group will do and how they will do it. The town has answered these questions in series of blog on the 2020 Buzz site, but there’s a good deal of information to wade through, so I’ve tried to succinctly summarize them below in a Q&A format:

What is a theme? The town calls the themes the building blocks of the plan. They’re not necessarily value-laden; instead they’re areas that the plan will focus on. Currently there are six themes. You can find a list of the current themes here.

2020 Stakeholder Meeting, Part Deux

Tonight residents from across Chapel Hill gathered for the second stakeholder meeting as part of Chapel Hill 2020 planning process. I’m going to structure this post, the same as I did for last one, first I’ll report what happened chronologically and then give my feedback/thoughts. 



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