DVRPC News: January 2015

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

Volume 36, Issue 6
January 2015


DVRPC Honors Top Regional Programs and Leaders

Article 1 Paul Reitano Photography
The region's best in transportation, environment, economic development, and land use were honored on December 11 at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's (DVRPC's) 28th Annual Board Retreat in King of Prussia, PA. In addition, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter was recognized for his outstanding leadership and commitment to the City of Philadelphia and the region as a whole. Each year, DVRPC applauds leaders and programs that have contributed to moving Greater Philadelphia toward a progressive and economically sound future.

Recipients of the 2014 Regional Excellence Awards included:

  • Regional Leader of the Year: Mayor Michael Nutter, City of Philadelphia
  • Regional Transportation Program of the Year: The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
  • Land Use Projects of the Year: Cooper's Ferry Partnership for Camden Night Gardens, Delaware River Waterfront Corporation for Spruce Street Harbor Park, and Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for the PHS Pop-Up Garden
  • Regional Economic Development Program of the Year: Philadelphia Energy Solutions, LLC
  • Regional Environmental Program of the Year: New Jersey Conservation Foundation for Stewardship of the Franklin Parker Preserve

Read more about the awardees' contributions to the region here. To view photos from the event, visit DVRPC's Flickr page.


Board Retreat Explores "Investing in People and Places"

Article 2 Paul Reitano Photography
Over 140 elected and appointed officials, business leaders, and community representatives gathered on December 11 for the 28th Annual Board Retreat, held at the Sheraton Valley Forge, in King of Prussia, PA.

DVRPC Executive Director Barry Seymour welcomed everyone and highlighted the Commission's accomplishments over the past year before giving the podium over to Montgomery County Commissioner and Board Chair Leslie Richards, who presented the award for Leader of the Year to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. The first panel of the day was entitled "The Next New Thing: Back to the Future,” and discussed technological advances, private sector opportunities, and public policy issues concerning the region's largest economic sectors. Panelists included: Joseph Houldin, CEO, Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center; Mark Alan Hughes, PhD, Professor of Practice and Faculty Director, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, University of Pennsylvania; and Tom Olenzak, Managing Director, Strategic Innovation Portfolio, Independence Blue Cross. It was moderated by John George, Senior Reporter, Philadelphia Business Journal.

The second half of presentations focused on the rise of business incubators, accelerators, and shared workspaces for start-up businesses. In the last 20 years, nearly 20 different types of technology centers or research parks have opened throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding counties, signifying the interest of research universities in "technology transfer" and the creation of new, research-based businesses. Presenters included: Mina Zion, Director of Technology Commercialization, South Jersey Technology Park; Anne Papageorge, Vice President, Real Estate and Facilities Services, University of Pennsylvania; and Louis Kassa, COO, Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center. The panel was moderated by Rob Wonderling, President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Following the panel discussions, the Regional Excellence Awards were presented and Board business attended to. To view photos from the Board Retreat, click here.


Learn About Building Livable Communities on March 12

Article 3 Want to learn more about programs and initiatives that are building livable communities in Greater Philadelphia now and for the future? Join us on March 12, 2015, at the Union League in Philadelphia, for Breaking Ground 2015: Building Livable Communities in Greater Philadelphia: The Next 50 Years, DVRPC's conference designed for local planning partners, practitioners, developers, and decision-makers.

This one-day conference will feature an opening keynote by Harriet Tregoning, director of HUD's Office of Economic Resilience, and a lunch keynote on future retail and development trends by planning and retail specialist, Robert Gibbs, PLA, ASLA, CNU. Two breakout sessions will explore topics like transportation, technology, health, manufacturing, climate change, and more. For more information and to register, visit


DVRPC Announces Sponsorship Opportunities for 2015

Article 4 DVRPC is hosting two premier events in 2015. Each provides an opportunity to network with federal, state, county, and municipal leaders as well as our private/public partners from throughout the region. 2015 marks DVRPC's 50th anniversary of serving the Delaware Valley region and we hope you will celebrate this achievement with us.

The Breaking Ground 2015 Conference, Building Livable Communities in Greater Philadelphia: The Next 50 Years, is scheduled for March 12th at the Union League in Philadelphia. This conference is designed for local planning partners, practitioners, developers, and decision makers to learn about programs and initiatives that are building livable communities in Greater Philadelphia now and for the future.

DVRPC's 29th Annual Board Retreat will be held on December 10th. This event welcomes regional leaders to network and discuss timely issues that affect the nine-county area. It is held in conjunction with the Regional Excellence Awards Luncheon, which celebrates the region's most notable accomplishments in transportation, environment, economic development, and land use. Awards are presented to those who play key roles in moving our region to a more sustainable, economically competitive future. For more information on sponsorships and to sign up, please go to: /Sponsorship


$8.6 million to Connect the Circuit

Article 5 The region's trail network, the Circuit, has received a significant boost with the award of two grants from the William Penn Foundation totaling $8.6 million. Grants of $7 million to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and $1.6 million to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) will be used to complete Circuit trails, improve public access to Greater Philadelphia's waterways, and raise the profile of the Circuit network.

DVRPC will use the funding to support final design and engineering of trail projects, ensuring that selected trails are shovel-ready for construction. The DVRPC grant will also include some construction capital and will leverage millions of dollars of available public infrastructure funding for trail completion. In addition, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy will implement a communications program to build awareness of this significant regional amenity.

When complete, the Circuit will include 750 miles of bicycle and pedestrian trails connecting people to jobs, communities, waterways, and parks in the Greater Philadelphia region. To date, more than 300 miles of the network have been built. For information about the Circuit, see

For more information about DVRPC's Regional Trails Program, visit


DVRPC's Laurie Matkowski named WTS Philadelphia Woman of the Year

Article 6 Courtesy of WTS Philadelphia
DVRPC is proud to announce that Laurie Matkowski, Manager, Office of Transportation Operations Management, has been named the WTS Philadelphia 2014 Woman of the Year.

WTS is an international organization dedicated to building the future of transportation through the global advancement of women. The Woman of the Year Award is given annually to honor a woman who is an outstanding role model and has contributed to the advancement of women and minorities in transportation. As a key figure in coordinating emergency response in the region, Ms. Matkowski's leadership has been essential to keeping the citizens of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey safe. She has proven herself as a leader in her work to advance ITS in the region, and is an important advocate for the role of women and minorities in transportation.

The award was presented at the WTS Philadelphia Annual Awards Banquet, which was held on December 4th at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown and attracted 360 transportation professionals. For more on WTS Philadelphia, click here.