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APA Pennsylvania Annual Conference

October 17, 2021 - October 19, 2021

The largest annual gathering of Planners in PA is taking place in Pittsburgh October 17-19, 2021. Included in the admission to the APA Pennsylvania Annual Conference are three plenary sessions, over 40 concurrent sessions, networking opportunities, and mobile workshops.


Join evolveEA at two mobile workshops and two education sessions:


Sunday, October 17, 11:30a–2:30p
M3. Riverfronts for All: Creating an Equitable, Continuous Public Space System Along Pittsburgh’s Rivers*

Since its creation in 1999, Riverlife has worked to realize the vision of a continuous, linked system of parks and trails along Pittsburgh’s riverfronts. Recently, Riverlife underwent an intensive planning and visioning process in partnership with evolve that looked at the organization’s mission, vision, and values as well as revisiting the riverfront vision through an extensive public process. The river boat tour will introduce conference attendees to Pittsburgh’s riverfronts, the visioning and planning process, the challenges of running a robust public engagement process in the midst of a pandemic, and the role of partnerships in achieving public planning goals. The session will conclude with lunch and drinks (on your own) at Hofbrauhaus or attendees can return to the Sheraton.
*Please note this is a bike tour. We will go rain or shine unless there are thunderstorms or heavy downpours.

Matthew Galluzzo, Riverlife
Ray Gastil, AICP, Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture
Andrea Lavin Kossis, AICP, LEED GA, City of Pittsburgh
Christine Mondor, FAIA, evolveEA
Claudia Saladin, ALSA, RLA, evolveEA


Sunday, October 17, 3:00p–4:30p
A1. Addressing a Legacy of Inequality: Equity and Environmental Justice

As our communities become more diverse, this industry will need to respond and ensure all voices are heard, especially the most marginalized. Centering the needs of communities goes much further than the ability to identify the diversity but also identify how to meet the diverse needs. There is work that needs to be at an individual level, interpersonal level, and at an institutional level. But where do we start? We must understand Equity as a system, and Power as a resource with flow that can be mapped across a network or a geography. Similar to resources like water, transportation, or energy, power can flow through a community or be diverted away from it when people are disenfranchised. Power can also be built or reclaimed through systemic approaches to create institutional change. Community institutions can serve as hubs of this system of power, while relationships between them and individual people are the “spokes” connecting to them. However, in diverse communities with institutions that are not diverse enough to fully represent them, the community and its people are a hub that has been neglected in many ways—their expertise and local knowledge ignored. How can planners and community members disrupt this system? In this session we will share background on these issues and hold a discussion about how we can advance this transformation collectively as professionals and community actors.

Ashley Cox, evolveEA
Amber Thompson, Leaders of Change


Monday, October 18, 2:00p–5:15p
M4. How Three Southwestern Pennsylvania Rivertowns Became the First Three Certified EcoDistricts in the World

Located directly outside the City of Pittsburgh, along the Allegheny River, the Triboro Ecodistrict promotes coordinated sustainable community development throughout the Boroughs of Millvale, Etna and Sharpsburg through the shared lenses of equity, food, water, energy, air quality, and mobility. What started as a way for residents to respond to devastating floods in Millvale in 2004 and 2007 has become a nearly ten-year community education, planning, and implementation effort to reimagine these
tight knit communities with an intentional focus on sustainability and resilience. The Triboro Ecodistrict tour will introduce conference attendees to a successful example of how a collective approach to sustainability and social equity-focused planning can lead to improved quality of life for all.

Mary Ellen Ramage, Borough of Etna
Anna Rosenblum, evolveEA
Brittany Reno, Sharpsburg Neighborhood Organization
Megan Tunon, Etna Borough


Monday, October 18, 3:45p–5:15p
E3. Multimodal Superfriends: The Justice League of Southwestern PA and New Tools for Transit Planning

Transit planners in Pittsburgh are coordinating like never before, and the result is a new set of tools that make it easier to bring multimodal benefits to where they are needed most. Get hands-on with SPC’s new SmartMoves Connections transit supportive land use cluster map and see how machine learning is being used to prioritize multimodal investments in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, Port Authority’s NEXTransit plan is using immersive public engagement and data analysis tools to chart the direction of transit in Allegheny County for the next 25 years with innovative yet functional projects, policies, and programs. Inspired by the “Justice League” of comic book fame, multimodal forces of Southwestern Pennsylvania came together in 2019 to collaborate like never before: coordinating plans, pooling data and even sharing consultant superheroes. The results include real-world tools that you can use to bring transit connections to your projects and ideas for how you can form your own “Superfriends” of Multimodal Planning to SAVE THE CITY.

Lynn Colosi, Delta Development Group, Inc.
Elijah Hughes, evolveEA
Justin Miller, AICP, Michael Baker International
David Totten, AICP, Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission


Register by October 11 to secure your spot!


October 17, 2021
October 19, 2021


Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square
300 W Station Square Dr
Pittsburgh, PA 15219 United States