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 Froum 2019


Sapphire Sponsor
Bronze Sponsor

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

7:00 AM
Location: Chateau Hotel and Conference Center - 1621 Jumer Drive, Bloomington, IL 61704

Stakeholders in McLean County should be thinking about the oncoming deployment of autonomous 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 lower accident rates and first and last mile solutions, the latter of which has been a consistent issue for public transit agencies. However, there will also be challenges with AV's such as exacerbating urban sprawl, increasing vehicle miles traveled, and creating social equity issues. 

Cities need to prepare for this mobility revolution. Public policy will largely shape how, how soon, and how smoothly these cars deploy into our communities.

"Smart Cities - How to Plan for Multimodality"

Speaker: Carla Bailo, President and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor, MI.

CAR CEO Carla Bailo will discuss how communities need to plan for a future that involves multiple modes of transportation operating seamlessly and simultaneously. Connected and automated vehicles will be part of a transportation future that involves conventional vehicles, vehicle sharing solution, public transportation, ride hailing, and other transportation solutions. As they develop and execute their annual plans, communities will have to plan for their residents taking advantage of a much more flexible but also much more complex transportation system. 

About Carla Bailo: Carla is a leader in engineering and vehicle program management with 35 years of experience in the automotive industry. Under Carla’s leadership, CAR continues to be a preeminent resource of objective and unbiased research, analysis, and information regarding the North American automotive industry.

In addition to her role at CAR, Carla is the 2016-2018 VP of automotive for SAE International, a global association of more than 138,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries.

Prior to joining CAR, Carla was most recently the assistant VP for mobility research and business development at The Ohio State University. Carla also has 25 years of experience at Nissan North America, Inc., where she served as senior VP of research and development. She also spent 10 years at General Motors.  She has a MS degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and a BS degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering University.


Past Events

Information Forum 2018

21st Century Communities for 21st Centruy Citizen

As Bloomington-Normal and McLean County gear up to redefine our economy, 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

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 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

Innovative Comprehensive Planning

Speaker: Mr. Kenneth A. Bowers, AICP

Information Forum 2014

Neighborhoods, Redevelopment, Planning, and Financing

Neighborhoods are the backbone for any community. They define the community character. 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

Expanding Transit to Meet Furture Travel Demands

Speaker: Ms. Janet F. Kavinoky

Information Forum 2012

Health and the Built Environment

Speaker: Mr. Richard J. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H.

Information Forum 2011

How Regional Airports Can Support Community and Economic Development

Speaker: Mr. Michael J. Boyd

Information Forum 2010

Creating Places Where People Want to Live and Do Business

Speaker: Mr. James Brainard

Information Forum 2009

Pros and Cons of Impact Fees

Speaker: Mr. James B. Duncan

Information Forum 2008

Workforce Housing for a Growing Economy

Speaker: Mr. Michael L. Montandon

Information Forum 2007

Encouraging Mixed Use Economic Development

Speaker: Mr. Bryan E. Powell

Information Forum 2006

How Good Planning Can Make Your Community Attractive to People and Business

Speaker: Mr. William H. Hudnut III