Land-use webinar to focus on engaging a community’s generations in planning

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Land-use planners interacting and working with various age groups will be the topic of a Web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension at noon Nov. 19.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar will be Neal Fogle, extension educator in Northumberland County; John Turack, extension educator in Westmoreland County; and Liesel Dreisbach, extension educator in Northampton County.

Communities consist of a variety of generational cohorts, with each of these groups having distinct characteristics, Fogel noted. Understanding these characteristics is vital for effectively engaging all age groups of people in planning processes and later encouraging their volunteerism for the implementation of planned community projects.

"This webinar will explore the characteristics of our generations and assist planners in understanding how to engage them in their local planning initiatives," he said. "A better understanding of the different generations will help communities better integrate them in the planning of their communities."

Planners need to consider how communities can engage multiple generations, such as the two largest generations of our time age -- Generation Y and the baby boomers, Dreisbach emphasized. "Communities are evolving to provide a differently built environment and a new level of amenities for residents to engage with one another," she explained.

"In addition, what does the growing desire of these generations to live near each other say about the best ways to plan for our communities, as well as to involve different generations in our communities?"

The webinar also will provide considerations and options to promote public interest in planning and the implementation of plans. Presenters will offer actual examples of youth and adult programs that have been used for education and successful public engagement.

Webinars offered in the monthly land-use series, which all start at noon, are recorded for future viewing. Completed sessions from the current series that currently are available for viewing include the following:

-- "Designing Entrepreneurial-friendly Communities"

-- "How to Make your Comprehensive Plan Support Economic Development"

-- "How Can Planners Work to Enhance Community Food Systems?"

-- "Planning for Healthy Communities: Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice."

The cost of the webinar series is $30 for all five webinars and $60 for all five webinars for those who want to receive certification maintenance credits from the American Planning Association.

To register, visit Penn State Extension’s Economic and Community Development Team website. For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or by email at