The Maine Association of Planners (MAP) held their annual conference at the Bates Mill Atrium in Lewiston on Friday, June 22.
With over 65 members from across the state in attendance, panel and group discussions focused on the theme of “Collaborating to Create Vibrant, Healthy Communities.” Keynote speakers included Ed Cervone from the Maine Development Foundation, Joanne Joy from Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, Christian MilNeil from the Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation, and Jonathan LaBonte, Auburn City Mayor and Executive Director of the Androscoggin Land Trust.
The conference covered a wide variety of topics, including economic development and redevelopment plans for the Twin Cities. Lewiston City Planner David Hediger made a presentation on Lewiston’s Riverfront Island Master Plan and led a downtown walking tour with Roland Miller, Auburn’s Economic and Community Development Director. The tour highlighted aspects of the Riverfront Island Master Plan and recent downtown and riverfront improvements in both Lewiston and Auburn.
George Dycio, economic development specialist for the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council and a member of the planning committee that organized the conference, left the event inspired and optimistic about prospects for future projects within L-A.
“The message was clear,” said Dycio. “In order to capitalize on resources and projects, developing partnerships with regional and state colleagues is essential to success.”
Beth Della Valle, MAP president, was gratified by the turnout and receptive response. “As strategic planning continues to move to the forefront of key economic development initiatives for towns and cities across the state, our goal is to address issues that ultimately strengthen communities during these challenging times,” she said.
MAP is a network of practicing planners, citizens, and elected officials committed to urban, suburban, regional, and rural planning in Maine. It provides information, services, and support to advance planning and policy at all levels of government throughout the state. For more information, see www.meplan.org.