MPC Roundtable – Plugging in to Placemaking: Technology’s Role in Community Planning - Metropolitan Planning Council

Skip to main content

MPC Roundtable – Plugging in to Placemaking: Technology’s Role in Community Planning

October 9, 2012, Noon to 1:30 p.m.

This is a past event

MPC Conference Center, 140 S. Dearborn St., Ste. 1400, Chicago

Download to calendar

Imagine a busy Dad who spends his days at the office and his evenings shuttling kids to practices and play dates. Or a businesswoman whose work frequently takes her out of town. Consider the night student, the small business owner, the shift worker: These are just a few of people who have something to contribute to local community decisions, but rarely have the time to attend traditional public meetings. 

Increasingly, technology is helping to engage new community voices in local planning. Through laptops, tablets, and mobile phones, Americans are “plugged in,” even while on the go: An April 2012 Pew Internet study reports that 88 percent of American adults have a cell phone, laptop, or tablet computer – and 63 percent go online wirelessly using one of those devices. A 2012 Nielsen report shows 49.7 percent of Americans have smart phones, and industry studies show smart phone penetration is highest among Latinos. 

While technology cannot take the place of traditional community outreach strategies such as direct mail and public meetings, planners are beginning to explore how online tools can bring new people into the conversation. Whether it’s a Twitter stream that provides updates to transit riders in Orange County, Ca., or a mobile app that helped Atlanta residents discover transportation improvements that would benefit them if they supported a penny sales tax proposal, technology is a new tool in the toolbox for urban planners, developers, and community leaders. 

Join the Metropolitan Planning Council on Oct. 9, for a roundtable discussion on how technology can deepen both the engagement and impact people have in planning the future of their communities. The event will feature: 

  • Tom Coleman, AICP, LEED AP, Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • Ben Fried, Editor-in-Chief, Streetsblog
  • Frank Hebbert, Director of Civic Works, Open Plans
  • Ted Nguyen, Manager of Public Communications, Orange County Transportation Authority, Calif.

Register online today! The cost of the roundtable, which includes lunch, is $15 for current MPC donors and $30 for all others. Seating is limited, so pre-registration is required.

This event will be streamed live on YouTube, viewable from both PCs and mobile devices.

This event is generously sponsored by Parsons Brinckerhoff.

This page can be found online at

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616

Sign up for newsletter and alerts »

Shaping a better, bolder, more equitable future for everyone

For more than 85 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has partnered with communities, businesses, and governments to unleash the greatness of the Chicago region. We believe that every neighborhood has promise, every community should be heard, and every person can thrive. To tackle the toughest urban planning and development challenges, we create collaborations that change perceptions, conversations—and the status quo. Read more about our work »

Donate »