The community information forum is an annual conference event 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 entities, and businesses about innovations in planning and development practices is important for the future of any region. Each forum addresses a topic and features a speaker who has successfully implemented important planning concepts on the local, regional, or national level.
Information Forum 2019
Topic: Autonomous Vehicles
The topic for 2019 Information Forum is autonomous vehicles (AV’s) and why we should be thinking about the oncoming deployment of these vehicles, the first of which we will likely see within the next five years.
The coming AV revolution offers substantial benefits for the efficiency and safety of vehicular travel. Some benefits include significantly lower accident rates and first and last mile solutions, the latter of which has been a consistent issue for public transit systems in their delivery of services. However, while there will be many positive changes associated with AV’s, there will also be challenges such as exacerbating urban sprawl, increasing vehicle miles traveled, creating social equity issues and rapidly changing the transit-oriented workforce.
AV’s are coming - it is no longer a question of if, but rather when. Several major automotive companies estimate they could be ready with their first fully autonomous vehicles as early as 2020, although it will take a few more years before we start to see them on every day routes. Cities need to prepare for this mobility revolution. Public policy will largely shape how, and how soon, these cars deploy into our communities. Parking, rights of way, curb access, ownership models, insurance policy and social equity will be only some of the major topics of discussion going forward. Larger cities are already writing policy on AV’s and the time for us to begin considering the impacts of AV’s is now. Well-thought policy will make the difference going forward as to how smooth the transition to autonomous will be.
Stay Tuned for more information about the event!!
Information Forum 2018
Topic: 21st Century Communities for 21st Century Citizens
As Bloomington-Normal and McLean County gear up to redefine our economy, we must recognize 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 into 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 topic speaks to the core of BN Advantage, our collaborative economic development effort to create a vibrant and sustainable regional economy in Bloomington-Normal and McLean County.
Speaker: Mr. Bob Bennett
- WGLT interview with Bob Bennett: How a Smart City Fixes Problems Before They Happen
- AdaptBN Article: Community Information Forum Keynote Speaker: Any Community Can Become 'Smart'
- Video: 21st Century Communities for 21st Century Citizens
- PowerPoint: 21st Century Communities for 21st Century Citizens
Information Forum 2017
Topic: Secrets of Successful Communities
We’ll explore how a healthy built environment, sustainable development, land conservation, smart growth, and historic preservation all have a critical impact on economic prosperity.
Speaker: Mr. Ed McMahon
- WGLT interview with Ed McMahon: Downtown Areas Can Be a Model for Economic Development
- Video: Secrets of Successful Communities
- PowerPoint: Secrets of Successful Communities
Information Forum 2016
Innovation Districts: An Entrepreneurial & Educational Partnership
Communities such as Boston, St. Louis, San Francisco and Seattle are utilizing innovation Districts as a mechanism to modernize their local economies. As defined by Brookings Institution, Innovation Districts are geographic areas where leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators, and accelerators. They are physically compact, transit-accessible and technologically-wired and offer mixed-use housing, office and retail.
The form and function of Innovation Districts differ markedly from community to community. Locales can use Innovation Districts for creation and expansion of firms and jobs by assisting companies, entrepreneurs, universities, researchers and investors; expanding employment and educational opportunities for disadvantaged populations and spurring redevelopment. Innovation Districts can also be used to reinvigorate and redefine downtown areas. A common thread of any Innovation District is strong public-private partnerships between government, businesses and institutions (both educational and medical).
Speaker: Mr. Bruce Katz
- WGLT interview with Bruce Katz: http://wglt.org/post/cities-leading-filling-gaps-because-feds-are-absent#stream/0
- Video: Innovation Districts
Information Forum 2015
Topic: Innovative Comprehensive Planning
Speaker: Mr. Kenneth A. Bowers, AICP
Information Forum 2014
Topic: Neighborhoods, Redevelopment, Planning, and Financing
Neighborhoods are the backbone for any community. They define the community character. Municipalities everywhere are looking to redevelop and redefine their older neighborhoods. These organically-developed neighborhoods provide a variety of housing choices and have built-in infrastructure. This presentation will cover the importance of redeveloping those traditional neighborhoods and sustainably funding infrastructure improvements.
Speaker: Mr. Charles Marohn Jr., P.E. AICP
Information Forum 2013
Topic: Expanding Transit to Meet Future Travel Demands
Speaker: Ms. Janet F. Kavinoky
Information Forum 2012
Topic: Health and the Built Environment
Speaker: Mr. Richard J. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H.
Information Forum 2011
Topic: How Regional Airports Can Support Community and Economic Development
Speaker: Mr. Michael J. Boyd
Information Forum 2010
Topic: Creating Places Where People Want to Live and Do Business
Speaker: Mr. James Brainard
Information Forum 2009
Topic: Pros and Cons of Impact Fees
Speaker: Mr. James B. Duncan
Information Forum 2008
Topic: Workforce Housing for a Growing Economy
Speaker: Mr. Michael L. Montandon
Information Forum 2007
Topic: Encouraging Mixed Use Economic Development
Speaker: Mr. Bryan E. Powell
Information Forum 2006
Topic: How Good Planning Can Make Your Community Attractive to People and Business
Speaker: Mr. William H. Hudnut III