Online Courses Now Available
The Texas Citizen Planner program is for local officials and community stakeholders who want to understand how community planning works and how it shapes development, not for professional planners. The program starts with a 4-unit course. Each unit includes reading materials, case studies, and engaging instruction from planning leaders, practitioners, and researchers. Now Available Online.
Planning Foundations Course
- Introduction to Community Planning
Shannon Van Zandt, Ph.D., AICP
How do communities and local officials use the planning powers of local government to improve neighborhoods, promote economic development, preserve open space, and protect public safety? Development and placemaking issues concerning sprawl, smart growth, and new urbanism will be covered through an exploration of the planning process to help local officials better understand their planning options and impacts.
- Legal Foundations of Community Planning
Matthew J. Festa, JD
We will take a look at Texas law and the United States Constitution covering the legal basis and limits of municipal planning powers. The unit will also cover definitive court cases and enabling statutes that outline local planning authority, including issues related to takings, eminent domain, and due process.
- Building Communities: From Vision to Policy
Matt Lewis, CNU-A
The comprehensive plan, public participation, zoning and other major policy tools are available to municipalities. These tools form the backbone for how communities shape where and how development happens, promote the efficient use of municipal services, and protect public health and safety.
- Planning for Community Resilience
Jaimie Hicks Masterson, AICP, LEED GA
The costs of natural hazards are often made worse by poor planning decisions. Review current environmental and development trends that are driving the need for hazard mitigation planning, and learn about the planning and development practices that can make communities better prepared and more resilient to flooding and storm surge.
Community Planning for Hazards Course
- Tools and Strategies for Hazard Planning
Earthea Nance, Ph.D., PE, CFM
The objective of this presentation is to discuss the best practices in flood hazard mitigation planning. The field is currently in transition with both old and new paradigms that are guiding practice across the state of Texas and worldwide. The content is designed for public officials with a general familiarity of the subject, but who seek a deeper understanding that is relevant to practice.
- Collective Impact for Resilient Cities: How innovation in planning and design can help cities accomplish more.
Katie Coyne, AICP, SITES AP, Certified Ecologist-ESA
Many of the barriers we face when prioritizing and designing projects come from the differences we bring through our values, goals, past experience, the language we use, and individual perspectives. In this talk, we explore ways to coordinate across scales on multi-functional projects that target increased resilience through a more effective and collaborative process.
- Planning for Community Resilience through Hazard Mitigation
David Jackson, CEM
One challenge of making our communities more resilient, is operating in an environment where there are a lot of variables and unknowns. Keep in mind that the decisions we make today have far reaching consequences. Are the decisions we are making today taking risk into account? Are we positioning our communities for resilience tomorrow, 5 years from now, 10 years from now, and 50 years from now?
These are a non-credit courses leading to a “Citizen Planner” certificate of completion awarded by the Texas Community Watershed Partners, a program of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Course materials and online resources will be made available through this site. Upon program completion, students join a network of local officials who are committed to making Texas communities better, safer, more vibrant places to live and work through sound planning practices. Click here to Enroll.
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AICP Certification Maintenance (CM) and Continuing Education Credits (CECs) through the Texas Floodplain Management Association are sometimes offered for events. APA event archive for the Hazard Mitigation and Plan Integration and Flooding and Stormwater courses.