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

Stay Tuned!!


Past Events:

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

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



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

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