Here are some details about the excellent work of several members of the American Planning Association which recently provided workshops on recovery planning in NY and NJ. In particular, I want to acknowledge Barry Hokanson, Laurie Johnson, Jim Schwab, Ken Topping, and Link Walther.
The American Planning Association (APA), in association with its two chapters most affected by Hurricane Sandy—the New York Metro and New Jersey chapters—hosted a series of workshops during the week of April 1-5, 2013. This endeavor was financially supported by APA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Regional colleges and universities hosted the sessions by providing teaching facilities and logistics support. The workshops had these themes:
- Connecting disaster recovery and recovery planning to long-range community planning
- Using an interim Recovery Ordinance to help manage short-term pressures, building and land-use issues
- Understanding recovery funding and meeting state and local requirements
- Adopting mitigation planning for more resilient communities
Four of the workshops were five hours in length and a one-day symposium for urban planners was eight hours. Sessions varied in size from 20 to 50 attendees. Professional planners and floodplain managers earned continuing education credit from their respective organizations—APA and the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM). Other participants included architects, engineers, attorneys, developers and municipal officials from throughout the Hurricane Sandy-affected region, extending from New York City to Atlantic City.
The workshop presenter team are also members of the author team for the new version of the APA’s 1998 guidebook on post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. They are: James Schwab, AICP, American Planning Association; Barry Hokanson, Independent Consultant; Laurie Johnson, AICP, Laurie Johnson Consulting | Research; Ken Topping, FAICP, Topping Associates International and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; and Lincoln Walther, FAICP, CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. Both the original guidebook and the new research have been substantially supported by FEMA.