RPC Director Honored with Award
Michael Busha, Executive Director of the Treasure Coast RPC, was honored with a Lifetime Service Award at the recent Annual Conference of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association. Mr. Busha, pictured with Laura Everitt, was given this award in recognition of his contributions to the planning profession at the local, regional, state and national levels. Mr. Busha has been with the Treasure Coast RPC for more than 37 years, advocating on behalf of communities in Indian River, Martin, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties. He will be retiring this November.
Tampa Bay RPC Hosts Economic Modeling REMI Training
On September 24th & 25th the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council hosted a two-day course on the economic development modeling program, REMI PI+, for regional planning councils around the state. Eight RPCs attended the training led by staff from the East Central Florida, North Central Florida and Tampa Bay RPCs. Economic Development planners from across the state were able to discuss, share ideas and help each other better understand the REMI PI+ model.
The REMI Model is based on an extensive record of peer-reviewed articles in publications such as the Journal of Regional Science, the American Economic Review, and the Review of Economics and Statistics. REMI has been used in thousands of policy evaluations and was used to predict a close correlation between the simulated effects and the actual outcome of large-scale economic shocks caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
RPCs Attend Rural Transportation Planning Peer Exchange
On August 29-30th the Apalachee, Central Florida, North Central Florida and West Florida Regional Planning Councils were invited to attend and participate with a Peer Exchange focused on Rural Transportation Planning convened by the Federal Highway Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The FDOT convened staff from the state Departments of Transportation of Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington as well as the National Association of Development Organizations, the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, and the Heartland Regional Transportation Planning Organization in Florida. The purpose of the Peer Exchange was to learn how rural transportation planning is conducted in other states and how their missions differ and are similar. The FDOT is conducting a study of best practices in rural transportation planning and input gathered from this convening will be included in the data collection phase of the study.
Regional planning councils in Florida are involved in transportation planning in various capacities. Some RPCs staff Metropolitan Planning Organizations known as MPOs or TPOs, while others staff transportation disadvantaged planning agencies. All regional planning councils maintain Strategic Regional Policy Plans which address regional transportation.