Agricultural Sciences

Land-use webinar to focus on how preserving community heritage promotes vitality

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — How communities can promote economic and community vitality by making the most of their historical and heritage assets will be the subject of a web-based seminar at noon on April 17 offered by Penn State Extension.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar will be William Callahan, western Pennsylvania community preservation coordinator for the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation.

Many planners and community development practitioners know that a community’s historic features should be considered as part of a community plan and vision, he noted. They are aware that implementation of a traditional design ethic in their communities is essential to their work. But many misperceptions still exist about how or even if historic properties fit into our diverse, dynamic 21st-century communities, real estate markets and marketplaces. 

“Planners need to recognize how traditional design practices and historic properties fit into a context of economic development, property value stabilization, marketing, market development, outdoor recreation and tourism," Callahan said.

Looking beyond isolated and scarce public funding, this webinar will discuss how a preservation-based community design ethic fits into vital economic and community development strategies and will outline best-practice planning approaches and tools to preserve, promote and invest in local historic character and properties. Information about how the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission preservation incentive programs can assist communities also will shared.

“Making the Most of Historical and Heritage Assets: How a Preservation-based Design Ethic Can Promote Economic and Community Vitality” is the third webinar in the Penn State Extension Winter/Spring 2019 Land-Use Webinar series that runs from Jan. 16 to May 15. The webinar series informs municipal elected and appointed officials, planners, landowners, farmers, and community organizations about land-use issues and decisions in their communities.

Other topics and dates in the webinar series include:

--Jan. 16, “Zoning Ethics.”

--Feb. 20, “Geodesign: Using Data Transparency and Community Voices for Enhanced Land-use Planning.” 

--March 20, “Municipal Options for Meeting MS4 Compliance Without Breaking the Budget.”

--May 15, “The Benefits and Challenges of Ridesharing on the Transportation System.” 

 All of these programs are recorded and available for viewing.

The cost of the webinar series is $50 for all five sessions, or $95 for all five sessions for those who want to receive AICP certification-maintenance credits from the American Planning Association. The cost is also $95 for all five sessions for professional engineers needing PDH credits. 

In addition, registered landscape architects can receive continuing education credits for a fee of $65.

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or To register for the webinars, visit the website

Last Updated April 10, 2019