DVRPC News: June 2014

DVRPC News: The Newsletter of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission

Volume 35, Issue 11
June 2014


Input Needed on Long-Range Plan, PA TIP, and Transportation Conformity

Article 1 As Fiscal Year 2014 comes to a close, DVRPC needs your input on important regional planning documents.

The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) public comment period will open on May 30, 2014 and will close at 5:00 p.m. on June 30, 2014. This document lists all transportation projects that intend to use federal funds, along with non-federally funded projects that are regionally significant. Also included are all other state funded capital projects. The Draft FY 2015-2018 TIP for Pennsylvania covers Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks, and Philadelphia counties.

DVRPC's long-range plan, Connections 2040, focuses on strengthening the linkages between land use, the environment, economic development, and the transportation system in our nine-county region. The 2013 passage of Act 89 in Pennsylvania brought additional transportation funds to the region, which Connections 2040 is being updated to reflect. In addition, DVRPC will issue a Transportation Conformity finding. Transportation Conformity is the process that ensures that plans and programs conform to the requirements of the Federal Clean Air Act and are consistent with State Implementation Plans to meet the region's air quality goals. The public comment period for these two documents will run from June 16, 2014 and will close at 5:00 p.m. on July 18, 2014.

The TIP document will be available for review starting on May 30 at Additional documents will be available on June 16. Citizens can learn more and submit comments at a public meeting on June 26, 2014 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at DVRPC's offices, 190 N. Independence Mall West, 8th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106. For more details, contact Jane Meconi, Public Involvement Manager, at 215-592-1800 or


Improving Air Quality in Latino Communities Roundtable on June 5

Article 2 The Greater Philadelphia region has made tremendous strides in improving air quality but statistics indicate that its Latino communities still suffer disproportionately from the health impacts of poor air quality.

Please join AL DÍA News Media and DVRPC for a roundtable discussion on June 5 at 9:30 a.m. at DVRPC offices about ongoing efforts to improve air quality and how these groups can work more closely with and effectively in Latino communities to reduce health disparities from air pollution.

A roundtable will follow brief presentations by speakers such as:

  • Dr. Marilyn Howarth, University of Pennsylvania Center for Excellence in Environmental Toxicology
  • Joseph Minott, Clean Air Council of Phildadelphia
  • John Keith, American Lung Association
  • Patricia Thomas, RN, Congreso de Latinos Unidos
  • Tressa Dabney, Congreso de Latinos Unidos

Register to attend at


Communicating with Your Constituents – A Strategies for Older Suburbs Roundtable on June 9

Article 3 How can you ensure that your constituents find the information they seek quickly and effectively? How can you use social media more effectively given time and budget constraints? DVRPC's Strategies for Older Suburbs Roundtable series highlights challenges older suburbs and downtowns are facing, and provides an opportunity to network and exchange ideas with communities facing similar concerns. This roundtable will feature presentations on effective municipal websites and social media tactics from Patrick Murray, Director, Monmouth University Polling Institute and Eric Rabe, Senior Advisor, Fels Institute of Government, University of Pennsylvania. The presentations will be followed by a peer discussion.

Communicating with Your Constituents will take place on Monday, June 9, 2014 from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. at DVRPC. To find more information and RSVP, visit


Burlington County and The Vanguard Group Named 2014 Air Quality Excellence Awardees

Article 4 To celebrate local efforts to improve air quality, Burlington County, New Jersey, and The Vanguard Group in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania will receive 2014 Air Quality Excellence Awards from DVRPC's Air Quality Partnership. Each year, one public and one private institution are honored for their efforts to improve air quality. Recently, the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders set up a carpool program for employees, installed a solar panel array to power county offices, and captured methane gas from a landfill to fuel their CNG vehicle fleet. Vanguard is a big proponent of alternative commuting options and sustainability, with a total of 219 carpools within the company. Vanguard also implemented a company sustainability plan and provided bike racks, showers, and lockers.

DVRPC congratulates the award recipients and upholds their initiatives as models for the entire nine-county region. As we start the summer ozone season, it becomes even more important to recognize how initiatives such as those taken by Burlington County and Vanguard contribute to our region's health.

To learn more about Air Quality Partnership and the awardees, visit


New Maps Show Use of Smart Growth Tools

Article 5 Municipal planning and land use regulations play a critical role in achieving the goals outlined in DVRPC's Long-Range Plan. DVRPC recently completed a comprehensive survey of smart growth tools presently used in the nine-county Greater Philadelphia region. After surveying municipalities about their use of various smart growth tools, DVRPC also contacted nine county planning departments for additional information. The results were mapped in a series of 11 maps highlighting municipal use of tools such as transit-oriented development, alternative energy codes, and multi-municipal plans. The maps can be viewed at


Investing in People and Places Series Informs Region's Future Growth

Article 6 DVRPC hosted its "Investing in People and Places" series in March and April as part of an effort to update the region's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), which is required by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) every five years. Nearly 200 business and government leaders discussed the need for public investment, job creation, and talent retention and attraction at the three events held in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania and New Jersey suburbs.

While both small businesses and large corporations were represented, some common themes emerged. Many of the business leaders were from the region and therefore had a strong desire to stay and see it thrive. One of their top goals is to attract and retain top talent. A number of leaders cited the importance of the surrounding community and amenities to keeping employees in whom they have invested. Many communities nurture a cooperative relationship with businesses by offering incentives and good quality of life, while businesses respond to changing local needs and reinvest in their neighborhoods.

The business leaders cited Greater Philadelphia's unique location on the Northeast Corridor, as well as the great people and transportation infrastructure as contributors to a thriving economic environment. Transit-oriented development and tax incentives such as the NJ Economic Opportunity Act also enhance business attraction, retention, and job creation efforts. However, archaic tax structures and a lack of amenities in certain parts of the region were cited as barriers to growth. Overall, each event highlighted the high quality of life, accessibility, and skilled workforce that make Greater Philadelphia a great location for business.

Highlights from each meeting are available at To join the discussion and help us prioritize the region's economic development goals, please take this survey:

The CEDS document, as informed by this series, will be available for public comment in August 2014 and released in the fall.


DVRPC Welcomes Atlanta Leaders and Planners

Article 7 In early May, DVRPC's counterpart in Atlanta, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), brought a group of 200 business and elected leaders to Greater Philadelphia to learn about the region's successes and challenges. DVRPC staff participated in a number of activities, including a plenary panel and organizing a tour of two Classic Towns – Collingswood and Haddon Heights.

The Classic Towns tour highlighted two first generation railroad suburbs that excel at maintaining small town charm while revitalizing their business districts through historic preservation and creativity. Stops included visiting with Haddon Heights' small business owners and touring Collingswood's The Factory, to see a "makers' space" – a shared workspace for small businesses, start-up businesses, and metal-working and wood-working hobbyists.

Learn more about the Classic Towns program at


Municipal Outreach Program Webinars

Article 8 Join DVRPC and partner organizations for a series of free events related to land use and planning. DVRPC has purchased a series of American Planning Association (APA) audio/web conferences. Each event provides 1.5 CM credits for AICP members.

Introducing New Density to the Neighborhood
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. – CM 1.5
Camden County, NJ

2014 Planning Law Review
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. – CM 1.5 Law
Montgomery County Planning Commission, Norristown, PA

Register for these events at


Smart Growth Exemplified: Where Colleges Meet Communities on June 4

Article 9 The Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance is convening experts on June 4 to discuss town-gown issues relations in the smart growth era. The panel of experts will discuss recent expansions at local colleges; future expansion and construction plans; market issues for colleges that are incorporating retail shops, restaurants, research facilities, and private housing; how colleges are appealing to a new generation of students; interaction of colleges with their local neighborhood; and impacts on the broader community.

Smart Growth Exemplified: Where Colleges Meet Communities will take place on June 4, 2014 from 8:00 – 11:30 a.m. at the PECO building, 2301 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA.

Panelists include representatives of Temple, Rowan, Drexel, University of Pennsylvania, the Chestnut Hill community, and Radnor Township.

Register Here.


Celebrate the Region's Top Real Estate Projects at ULI Philadelphia Awards for Excellence on June 18

Article 10 Join the party and celebrate the region's top real estate projects at ULI Philadelphia's inaugural Awards for Excellence. Who will win? You'll have to be there to find out, and registration is now open for what promises to be a great evening on June 18 at the Ballroom at the Ben Franklin House, in center city Philadelphia. Register now! Nearly 60 applications were received for the Awards of Excellence honoring the legacy of Willard G. "Bill" Rouse III. Finalists have been selected and winners will be announced at the June 18 reception, with special guest speaker Bill Hankowksy, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Property Trust. Learn more, see who else will be there, and register at