Community Information Forum

About Information Forums

The community information forum was envisioned by the McLean County Regional Planning Commission in 2005 to highlight awareness of issues that could affect future regional and community planning. Educating the general public, government, and business about innovations in planning and development practices is important for the future of any region. Each forum addresses a topic and features a speaker that has successfully implemented important planning concepts on the local regional, or national level.


2018 Info Forum

21st Century Communities for 21st Century Citizens

As Bloomington-Normal and McLean County gear up to redefine our economy, we must recognise the drastic effects of technology on the future of our cities. And the future is now. Technology integration is especially challenging as it is ever evolving and impacting a wide array of services and infrastructure. More than ever before, many different organizations - public and private - will need to come together to help transform our cities to 21st century communities.

During the keynote, you will hear about how Kansas City, Missouri is collaborating with community, business, academic and technology stakeholders to integrate ever evolving technologies to create an open government and improve citizen services and engagement.

This years topic speaks to the core of BN Advantage - collaborative economic development efforts to create a vibrant and sustainable regional economy in Bloomington-Normal and McLean County.

Update 3/27/2018: The American Planning Association (APA) has approved 2 CM credits for this session.


Keynote Speaker: Bob Bennett, Chief Innovation Officer, Kansas City, MO

Bio: Bob Bennett became the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, in January 2016 after a 25-year career in the US Army. He leads the Smart City initiatives, a suite of projects including: data analysis, Public Wi-Fi, digital kiosk installation, and smart lighting programs in the city’s downtown core. Kansas City’s initiatives earned an Edison Award (Gold) for “Collective Disruption” and civic innovation in 2017. Bob is currently working on plans to extend Smart City infrastructure throughout the 318 miles of KCMO with an emphasis on Digital Inclusion and partnering with Avis on deployment of the first fully Connected Vehicle Fleet in a municipality. 


Past events:

21st Century Communities for 21st Century Citizens
2018 Speaker: Bob Bennett

Secrets of Successful Communities
2017 Speaker: Ed McMahon

Innovation districts: An Entrepreneurial & Educational Partnership
2016 Speaker: Bruce Katz

Innovative Comprehensive Planning
2015 Speaker: Kenneth A. Bowers, AICP

Neighborhoods, Redevelopment, Planning and Financing
2014 Speaker: Charles Marohn Jr., P.E. AICP

Expanding Transit to Meet Future Travel Demands
2013 Speaker: Janet F. Kavinoky

Health and the Built Environment
2012 Speaker: Richard J. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H.

How Regional Airports Can Support Community and Economic Development
2011 Speaker: Michael J. Boyd

Creating Places Where People Want to Live and Do Business
2010 Speaker: James Brainard

Pros and Cons of Impact Fees
2009 Speaker: James B. Duncan

Workforce Housing for a Growing Economy
2008 Speaker: Michael L. Montandon

Encouraging Mixed Use Economic Development
2007 Speaker: Bryan E. Powell

How Good Planning Can Make Your Community Attractive to People and Business
2006 Speaker: William H. Hudnut III