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The PlanIt Podcast is the new part of the 2017 PlanIt Training Program on Comprehensive Plan Updates. This series will feature monthly episodes on a variety of topics that are not required elements of a comprehensive plan through conversations with planning experts and professionals outside of the Metropolitan Council.

The PlanIt Podcast is the new part of the 2017 PlanIt Training Program on Comprehensive Plan Updates. This series will feature monthly episodes on a variety of topics that are not required elements of a comprehensive plan through conversations with planning experts and professionals outside of the Metropolitan Council.
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The PlanIt Podcast is the new part of the 2017 PlanIt Training Program on Comprehensive Plan Updates. This series will feature monthly episodes on a variety of topics that are not required elements of a comprehensive plan through conversations with planning experts and professionals outside of the Metropolitan Council.




Episode 21: Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) – Eric Wojchik

In the recent years, we have seen changes in the climate, resulting in many issues around the country, such as flooding, fire, health impacts, hot summers, and rainy winters. While a changing climate encompasses a wide range of disciplines, planners are in a unique situation to prepare and plan for a better future. In this episode, Eric Wojchik, Senior Planner at the Metropolitan Council, will talk about the regional Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) project, and resources for planners...


Episode 20: Shoreland and Floodplain Planning – Matt Bauman

Minnesota is well known for the extensive number of lakes and waterbodies that exist within the state. These natural resources are invaluable assets that should be protected from negative impacts of development around them, mainly in the more urbanized area. In this episode, Matt Bauman (651-259-5710), Floodplain and Shoreland Planner with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), explains standards and measures for better protection of shoreland and floodplain areas at the local...


Episode 19: Open and Standardized GIS Data - Geoff Maas

Planners use geospatial data on a regular basis. Some use it to create simple maps, while others need data for nuanced projects. Ultimately, maps and data are visual tools that allow for better informed decision making. Geoff Maas, MetroGIS Coordinator at the Metropolitan Council, talks about his efforts in making GIS data in the Twin Cities region open and standardized, and how it benefits the planning profession.


Episode 18: Value and Future of Planning - Lyle Wray

We have covered different planning topics since the beginning of our PlanIt Podcast Series. But we didn’t start with what the value of long-range planning is, and what could the future of planning look like. What are some considerations to keep in mind when thinking long term? In this episode, Lyle Wray, the Executive Director of Capital Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) in Connecticut, sat with us during a recent visit to the Twin Cities to talk about the value of long-range planning,...


Episode 17.5: Subscribe to Us!

PlanIt is a monthly (for the most part!) podcast on a variety of planning topics related to comprehensive plans. If you have an idea for a new episode, email us at Stay tuned for the next episode!


Episode 17: Economic Development – Dave Gontarek & Nora Riemenschneider

You most likely have heard the term ‘Economic Development’ a lot, but what does it really mean and how do different cities approach it? In this episode we talked with Dave Gontarek, Principal Project Manager, and Nora Riemenschneider, Economic Development Program Coordinator at the City of St. Paul about their experiences and ideas for successful economic development.


Episode 16: Green Zones - Kelly Muellman

Planning can at times create unintended consequences, mostly for lower income communities and communities of color. It's the job of planners and policy makers to address these inequitable outcomes. Green Zones Initiative in Minneapolis is a concept to ensure these efforts are intentional, organized, and timely. Another similar effort is EcoDistricts that focuses on sustainable communities. In this episode, Kelly Muellman, Sustainability Program Coordinator at the City of Minneapolis explains...


Episode 15: Housing Finance - James Lehnhoff

Planning for a community includes thinking about the population and their housing needs in the future. Local governments need to be mindful of the policies they adopt and resources they provide. In this episode, James Lehnhoff from Ehlers talks about housing, housing finance, tools and how to meet your community's future needs.


Episode 14: Relationship between Developers and Cities - Peter Brown

Change is inevitable. Communities are constantly changing and evolving due to new demands, technology, public spaces, and more. Private sector developers play an important role in shaping the future of the communities. So, what is their relationship like with Cities and planners? And how can this relationship be utilized to achieve positive outcomes for all parties? In this episode, Peter Brown who consults with both sides, explores ways to ensure best results.


Episode 13: Value of Neighborhood Groups in Planning - Tabitha Montgomery & Lisa Barajas

Neighborhood is a term loosely used when talking about any certain area of a community. But Neighborhood Groups exist in many communities across the Twin Cities region regardless of the exact terminology and size of the neighborhood. These group structures can be a valuable conduit in connecting with the residents. In this episode, we explore the value of collaboration between Neighborhood Groups and Cities in local planning processes and best practices. Our guests are Tabitha Montgomery,...


Episode 12: Placemaking and Community Engagement - Max Musicant

Space and place define our cities. According to Max Musicant, the Founder and Principal at The Musicant Group, place and space can be used for creative activities, or to foster community engagement with groups who may not normally be at the table. In this episode, we talk about placemaking and community engagement with underrepresented populations. We recorded this episode at the Capella Tower in downtown Minneapolis, where the Musicant Group helped change the use of common spaces in the...


Episode 11: Equity in Transportation - Heidi Schallberg

Recently, communities are having more conversations about equity, engaging with the topic in a variety of ways, from human resources management to parks planning. However, there are other planning areas that have not clearly addressed equity. When we think of transportation planning, we often inherently think of it through an equity lens, but we don’t convey this or clearly identify equity in our transportation planning. Going forward, we will need to clearly link equity and transportation...


Episode 10: Partnering with Colleges & Universities - Mike Greco & Maria Dahmus

Agencies, local governments, and community groups frequently face challenges in their work due to limited resources. They may not be able to start/finish projects because of insufficient staff time, funds, or priorities. In these situations, academic institutions can be a great resource to build capacity and support good planning practices. Local schools, colleges, and universities provide a connection between students and communities. In this episode, we explore two of these programs, the...


Episode 9: Environmental Justice - Karen Monahan

Environmental Justice is a topic that appears more in conversations. While it may seem that Environmental Justice is specifically about natural environment, the topic encompasses all physical and social attributes of the built environment. In this episode, Karen Monahan from the Sierra Club North Star Chapter, talks about what it means and how it can be incorporated into city planning.


Episode 8: Historic Preservation - John Smoley

Historic Preservation is a topic that more and more communities are including in their planning efforts. But what is Historic Preservation and what does planning for it mean? In this episode, John Smoley from the City of Minneapolis explains this concept, ways to include it in the comprehensive planning process, and resources that are available for communities.


Episode 7: Equity in Everyday Planning - Gordon Goodwin

Equity is a popular topic of discussion, but how can planning organizations address that within their structure? What are some actions that they can take to include equity in everyday operations? Gordon Goodwin from the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) will discuss ways and resources in this episode.


Episode 6: Redevelopment - Martha Faust

Any community, regardless of its size, has to plan for redevelopment projects at some point. In this episode, we will take a quick look at the process of identifying sites, gathering resources, and facing challenges of redevelopment with Martha Faust the Executive Director of Minnesota Brownfields.


Episode 5: Water Resources Management and Watersheds - Jen Kader

There are many ways to think about water and how it interacts with other elements of your comprehensive plan. In this episode, we hear from Jen Kader from Freshwater Society, about different ways to address water in the plan, working with watershed districts and watershed management organizations, and resources to help you along the way.


Episode 4: Arts in Planning - Roger Cummings

Arts play a significant role in bringing the community together, creating a sense of place, and exemplifying well designed, successful placemaking. In this episode, we’ll explore ways planners can incorporate arts in planning processes, with Roger Cummings, one of the directors of Juxtaposition Arts.


Episode 3: Neighborhood and Small Area Planning - Julie Farnham & Jason Zimmerman

Learn about the benefits, challenges, and best practices of developing and implementing small area plans from the cities of Bloomington and Golden Valley. Find out how your community can utilize this approach to focus planning efforts on specific geographies.