Community leaders who participated a year ago in a “Reality Check” planning event will regroup Thursday to talk about accomplishments and goals for upcoming projects.
The symposium, planned for 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Agape Conference Center, 1624 Main St., Columbia, will focus on infrastructure and transportation – a key topic identified by planners last October in preparing the Midlands for the next 25 years. Two additional symposiums are planned over the next two years.
Planners last year met during the Urban Land Institute’s Reality Check. They determined that encouraging growth around the Midlands where infrastructure and transportation already are available – or where it can be provided cost effectively – is important for smart growth. Improving transportation for pedestrians and drivers also were identified as key factors in improving the community.
This week’s Midlands Action Collaborative Symposium will bring together leaders to address the topics and to help turn the ideas developed out of the planning event into action items.
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Jack Ellenberg of the S.C. Ports Authority, David Clayton of the S.C. Department of Commerce and Doug Frate of the S.C. Department of Transportation will lead the symposium. They will provide “global, statewide and regional perspectives on transportation needs and initiatives,” a release about the symposium said.
After participants hear from a regional panel about current and upcoming projects, they will split into small groups to share ideas and identify the most urgent challenges and opportunities.
Panelists include Jake Broom, assistant city administrator for Forest Acres; Jean Crowther, an associate at Alta Planning & Design; Bob Schneider, executive director of The Comet; and Britt Poole, Lexington town administrator.
Mary Beth Sims Branham, principal of LS3P Architects & Interiors, and Irene Dumas Tyson, director of planning at the Boudreaux Group, lead the collaborative. The planning area includes Richland, Lexington, Kershaw, Newberry, Fairfield, Saluda, Sumter and Calhoun counties.
Upcoming symposiums will focus on two other guiding principles from the Reality Check: efficient development and green space, as well as economic drivers.
To participate in Thursday’s symposium, contact Heather Foley at heather.foley@ULI.org or (843) 513-9331.