Campus Life

Land-use webinar to focus on communities planning with school districts

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A webinar that focuses on how an Ohio city and local school district have collaborated on planning for the future of the community will be the topic of a Web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension on Wednesday.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar from noon to 1:15 p.m. on April 12 will be Bryce Sylvester, director of Planning & Development for the City of Lakewood, Ohio, and Angie Schmitt, with Streetsblog Network. “Planning with School Districts: A Neighborhood Model Approach” is part of Penn State Extension’s Winter/Spring Land-Use Webinar series that concludes May 17.

The inner Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, population 51,000, calls itself a "walking school district," according to Sylvester, who is a certified planner.

“Lakewood has never had school buses in its history, and kids grow up walking and biking to school,” he said. “Lakewood has been deemed the most walkable city in the State of Ohio, and is working to implement bike infrastructure across the city to create even safer streets for students, and all of Lakewood, to use,” he said.

Sylvester will present information on how the City of Lakewood approaches neighborhood and citywide planning in this context.

School drop-off locations can be very chaotic, especially as more and more parents drive their kids to school, Schmitt noted. But schools can be proactive about encouraging walking and biking to help improve student health and reduce their own costs. “The design and site of the school itself is important,” she said.

“Small schools located within residential areas -- like in Lakewood -- will be more walkable, but may have more limited drop off areas as well. Secondly, districts can make efforts to help ensure the surrounding streets and sidewalks are safe and inviting for small cyclists and pedestrians.”

Schmitt will share her experiences in working with communities to advocate safer transportation opportunities for students as well as the general public.

Other topics and dates in the webinar series follow (all of these programs are recorded and available for viewing):

— Jan. 18: “Intergenerational Places and Spaces to Build Meaningful Relationships”

— Feb. 15: “The Subdivision and Land Development Review Process in Pennsylvania”

— March 15: “Pipelines and People: How Communities Can Better Understand and Manage Pipelines”

— May 18: “Using Reverse Fiscal Impact Analysis in Pre-Disaster Planning”

The cost of the webinar series is $40 for all five and $75 for all five for those who want to receive certification maintenance credits from the American Planning Association or Professional Engineers.

In addition, registered landscape architects can receive continuing education credits for a fee of $45.

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

Last Updated April 07, 2017