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VOL. 114 | NO. 65 | Tuesday, April 4, 2000

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Weekend forum to focus on preserving past, building future Weekend forum to focus on preserving past, building future By LAURIE JOHNSON The Daily News "Preserving the past, building the future," will be the theme of the 2000 Mid-South Planning and Zoning Institute, an annual workshop on tap this weekend for planning commissioners, elected officials, professional planners and interested citizens. The event, organized each year by the University of Memphis graduate program in city and regional planning, highlights planning and zoning issues important to the community, said workshop organizer and Institute director Dr. Susan Roakes. The focus of this years workshop will be on historic preservation and planning, she said. "Our goal is to provide a better understanding of critical issues in land use planning and policy," Roakes said. "The 2000 Institute will focus on historic preservation and, in particular, its relationship to economic development, community development and sprawl." The 2000 Institute is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the Fogelman Executive Center on the University of Memphis campus. This will be the 15th year the workshop has taken place, Roakes said. The program for this years event will include presentations by nationally recognized experts in the historic preservation field, who will discuss current trends in planning in towns, cities and counties throughout the Mid-South region. Featured speakers for this years workshop include Claudia Polley, founder and director of the National Association for African-American Historic Preservation; Donovan Rypkema, author of "The Economics of Historic Preservation" and principal of the Washington, D.C.-based Real Estate Services Group; and Dwight Young, editor of "Alternatives to Sprawl" and senior associate of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "Our main goal is to improve planning and development in the Mid-South region," said Roakes, who has been organizing the event since 1991. She said she chose historic preservation as the focus for the 2000 Institute because, with the approach of the new millennium, it seemed a good time to do so. "Its important that we look toward the future at the dawn of the new century, but that we also not forget the past," she said. Roakes said one of the Institutes secondary functions is to provide an open forum for participants to get together and discuss issues of common interest. "Many of them dont realize that so many different people might be concerned about the same thing." About 150 people are expected to attend the workshop this year, Roakes said. "Many of the people who come to the Institute are those who come every year elected officials and planning professionals," she said. "And then we get about 20 or 30 people who are specifically interested in that years topic." She said attendance has grown roughly 50 percent since the first year she became involved. "I think the biggest difference is that weve grown beyond just a circle of planners," she said. "Now were getting participation from more and more special interest groups, and I think thats because the forum aspect has become as equally important as the information aspect." Previous years workshops have been devoted to economic development, housing, community safety, sustainable cities and environmental protection. In addition to the graduate program, sponsors of this years workshop include the Regional Economic Development Center of the University of Memphis; the Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee chapters of the American Planning Association; the Memphis Center City Commission; Memphis Community Development Partnership; Memphis Landmarks Commission and Memphis Heritage Inc. "There are a lot of different groups who are interested in this," Roakes said. The U of Ms city and regional planning graduate program offers a two-year, accredited Master of City and Regional Planning degree. One of the major responsibilities of the graduate program, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is to provide assistance to communities in the Mid-South. The Regional Economic Development Center is the research and outreach arm of the graduate program. REDC provides technical assistance to communities throughout western Tennessee, and is funded through the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Registration for the 2000 Mid-South Planning and Zoning Institute begins at 8 a.m. Friday. Registration fees are $105 for the one-day event; $30 for students. The fee covers parking and lunch. For further information or to register, contact the Institute at 678-2161.
MORTGAGES 0 79 1,199
BUILDING PERMITS 146 146 2,571