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Planning Board Speaker Series

Nov 10 09

High-Tech Aerial Imaging Provides Potentially Powerful Tool for Planners

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING, MD – To understand how technology that provides high-quality topographic data can help urban planners, the Planning Board will host a University of Maryland expert at its 2009 Growing Smarter Speaker Series on Thursday, November 12.

Scientists use Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to visualize landscape patterns and analyze topographic features. Aircraft-mounted LiDAR instruments take high-resolution scans of the landscape, providing high-quality aerial views. Precise data – said to have six-inch accuracy – is collected with lasers that gather 2,000 to 5,000 pulses per second.

Dr. Andrew Miller, associate professor in the Department of Geography & Environmental Systems at University of Maryland-Baltimore County and the founder of the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE), will discuss how LiDAR can be used as a tool in monitoring and assessing conditions in urban streams.

Miller is the latest of a series of monthly speakers to present before the Board this year. His experience applying the technology to urban stream monitoring will help the Board and its planning staff consider new ways to measure environmental quality.

Miller’s research and teaching interests focus on stream hydrology and geomorphology, floods and their impacts on the landscape, and the effect of urban development on channels, riparian zones, and watershed hydrology.  He has been working with applications of LiDAR since 2003.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) uses LiDAR for shoreline monitoring. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a version it says is an ultra-precise measuring tool. EPA scientists led by Dr. Taylor Jarnagin have done extensive work on testing LiDAR applications for analyzing landscape change in Montgomery County’s Clarksburg Special Protection Area, and as part of his presentation Miller will showcase some of that work.

Continuing education credits are pending for AICP members.

Who:
Montgomery County Planning Board

What:
Andrew Miller presenting “LiDAR remote sensing data as a tool for studying streams in urbanizing watersheds”

When: 
7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 12

Where:
Park and Planning Headquarters auditorium
8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring

Oct 7 09

Environmental Design Expert to Present as Part of Montgomery County Planning Board Speaker Series

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING, MD – As interest mounts in cutting-edge techniques to build with minimal impact on the environment, the Montgomery County Planning Board has scheduled a local expert to join its 2009 Growing Smarter Speaker Series on Thursday, October 8.

Neil Weinstein, executive director of the Low Impact Development Center in Beltsville, Md., will highlight emerging technologies to plan and design environmentally sensitive infrastructure. The techniques, from slowing – or even eliminating – stormwater runoff to reducing building footprints in new development, are part of Low Impact Development, or LID.  Planners consider LID to be a valuable toolbox of strategies to lessen the impact of growth so it won’t adversely affect environmentally sensitive watersheds and other areas.

In keeping with the mission of his nonprofit Low Impact Development Center, Weinstein will describe the LID approach – a comprehensive series of engineering and design recommendations to maintain and enhance the hydrology of urban and developing watersheds.

Weinstein’s presentation, “21st Century Urban Green Infrastructure,” will focus on great design, green highways and streets, and how new or retrofitted development can fit into an overall plan for community and economic development. With case studies depicting how communities and designers developed business- and performance-based approaches to planning and designing environmentally sensitive infrastructure, Weinstein will highlight state-of-the-art approaches, lessons learned, and future directions for the use of innovative approaches for land use planning and site design.

Weinstein is the latest of a series of monthly speakers to present before the Board this year. Continuing education credits have been approved for AICP members.

Who:
Montgomery County Planning Board

What:
Neil Weinstein presenting “21st Century Urban Green Infrastructure”

When: 

7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 8

Where:
Park and Planning Headquarters auditorium
8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring

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