2013 Brownbag Webinar Series

Jim Cohen presents during a live webinar broadcast on December 4, 2013.

The National Center for Smart Growth and the Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation present the 2013 Brownbag Webinar Series.
(Click on the presentation title to view the webinar recording.)
All webinars will be broadcast live from the National Center for Smart Growth office in Preinkert Field House at the University of Maryland in College Park.  Please join us in person, or visit this page to access the webinar.  Webinar recordings will be posted online following the conclusion of the presentation.


 Thank you for joining our webinar presentations in 2013!

   Recordings of some webinars are available from the links below.


 Upcoming Webinars

  Visit again soon to learn more about the NCSG's 2014 Brownbag Webinar Series!


 Previous Webinars 

  January 30 - Changing the Conversation: How Blogs Influence Planning
Using examples from his experience as the founder and editor-in-chief of the Greater Greater Washington blog, David Alpert suggested ways that blogging has and can influence the planning process.
  April 5 - Urban Growth Trends in U.S. Metropolitan Regions: A Tale of Two Studies
In the past few months, both the Office of Sustainable Communities at the EPA and the National Center for Smart Growth have released papers that examine growth patterns in large cities of the United States. Both papers find a resurgence of growth in some cities but a continuation of sprawl in others. The two papers are based on different sets of data and cover different time periods and in some cases report different results. In this brown bag seminar Kevin Ramsey and Gerrit Knaap present the results of these two research projects and discuss the similarities and differences in their findings.
  May 16 - Should Maryland Adopt a California-Style SB 375 System?
Since 2008, California has been engaged in a major experiment in regional planning -- implementing SB 375, a law that requires each metropolitan region in the state to alter transportation investments and land use decisions so that greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. Each region's "Sustainable Communities Strategy" is now in place and local governments throughout the state are grappling with how to implement these strategies. What has California's experience been so far? Is the SB 375 approach a good model for other states, including Maryland? Longtime Californian Bill Fulton, now with Smart Growth America, provides an update of the California situation and observations about what Maryland can learn.
  October 2 - Regional Opportunity Mapping: The Key to Changing the "Rules of the Game"
David Rusk will discuss the key role that regional opportunity mapping plays in organizing grassroots activists and local elected officials to secure major changes in federal and state policies. Examples will be multi-year campaigns in New Jersey that resulted in major state school funding and inclusionary housing reforms and in Philadelphia’s suburbs that launched a federally-funded regional housing mobility program.
  October 9 - Analyzing Neighborhood Foreclosure Risk Rates in Mature and Developing Suburbs in the U.S.
Katrin Anacker, from George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, will discuss the impact recent national subprime, foreclosure and economic crises have had on suburban decline.  Differentiating among tracts in principal cities, mature suburbs, and developing suburbs for 366 MSAs, Anacker's study looks at which factors determine neighborhood foreclosure risk rate and the differences among the factors that determine this rate.
  October 30 - The Purple Line Corridor Coalition
The Purple Line is a proposed 16-mile light rail line extending from Bethesda in Montgomery County (MD) to New Carrollton in Prince George's County (MD). In this brown bag presentation, NCSG executive director Gerrit Knaap will introduce the recently organized Purple Line Corridor Coalition, formed to maximize the economic, social, and environmental benefits of this significant investment. More specifically, Knaap will describe why maximizing the benefits of light rail investments requires a corridor wide approach, drawing insights from experiences in Denver, Seattle, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. The presentation will also include the results of a preliminary analysis of current conditions in the Purple Line corridor.
  November 13 - The Future of Transit in the Capital Region
The Washington D.C. region uses transit more than almost any other region in the nation and is now poised to add even more transit to the mix – the Silver Line and Purple Line join new surface transportation elements such as streetcars and BRT proposals in the region’s growing mix of transit elements. What kind of transit network is necessary to keep the region going through the middle of this century? Is what we have enough, or must the region’s transit network grow and adapt to connect new communities, keep up with growing demand, and fully integrate the many providers of transit mobility? Can transit investments solve the region’s growing congestion problems, and in the process, ensure a more sustainable future? WMATA’s Office of Planning is exploring just these questions as it creates its long range Regional Transit System Plan.
  November 22 - Learning About the Recent Past for a Sustainable Maryland
The legacy of 1950s and 1960s architectural and urban design is still strong and prized in our suburbs but is adversely challenged by change. Professor of Architecture, Isabelle Gournay, will discuss a statewide survery of Modern Movement resources and the rise of "Baby Boom Modernism."  First year planning and historic preservation graduate student, Abby Tesfaye, will present findings on community-based challenges, both social and physical, that Roman Catholic complexes (places of worship and parochial schools) face in the Maryland suburbs.
  December 4 - Are 'Green' Cities Sustainable?
Green Cities of Europe, a 2012 book edited by Timothy Beatley, contains profiles of eight cities – including Copenhagen – that are celebrated for their ‘green’ features. In the same year the book was published, the World Wildlife Fund posted its most recent Living Planet Report, which includes a section displaying the “ecological footprints” of 159 countries. What is striking is that the countries in which many of the “green” cities are located include those with the world’s heaviest ecological footprints. For example, Denmark has the world’s 4th highest ecological footprint – even higher than the U.S. – while Belgium, The Netherlands, Ireland, Finland, and Sweden are also among the 15 biggest footprint countries. The webinar will explore some reasons for this apparent disconnect between “green” cities and the “bigfoot countries” in which they are located. It will critique the utility of ecological footprint calculation to assess a nation’s “sustainability.” And it will conclude with some contrasting views on how nations and the global community can secure a future in which we earthlings are living within the earth’s capacity to support us.