Oakland County trails focus of Virtual Planners Gathering

Oakland County Planning, Zoning, and Land Use will conduct a Virtual Planners Gathering on “Oakland County Trails – Building Community Connections for the Future” Thursday, October 19, from 10 to 11 a.m. via Zoom.

Oakland County has been planning and coordinating bike and pedestrian pathways for over 50 years—fostering non-motorized access to outdoor places, essential services and social connections that are essential to healthy living. Designing and building well-maintained trails and related amenities can activate a space and transform an area into a community hub.

As with any planning process, it is necessary to conduct meaningful community engagement, integrate safety enhancements, provide links to key destinations, and build a sense of place through history, public art, and the natural environment. Attendees will learn how this trail vision is implemented county-wide and in the City of Southfield.

The City of Southfield grew quickly in the 1960s with an auto-dominated land use pattern. After the Great Recession, Southfield began to search for ways to recruit and retain young professionals. The city’s daytime population declined by more than 50% when workers went home in the evenings. Employees, students, and residents did not have a safe and accessible way to get from place to place. Thus, Southfield embarked on a strategy to make the City Centre and the city overall more pedestrian and bike friendly.

This Virtual Planners Gathering will offer an overview of past trail planning, current projects, and set a course for the future of mobility in and around Oakland County, and how Southfield cobbled together a non-motorized pathway system that has become a conduit for heart-healthy activity and community connectivity.
Speaking at the program will be Kristen Wiltfang, administrator, Trails, Transportation & Environment Unit, Planning and Local Business Development Division, Oakland County; and Terry Croad, director of Planning, City of Southfield

To register for the free Virtual Planners Gathering, visit AdvantageOakland.Eventbrite.com. (Note: This session will be recorded and available at AdvantageOakland.com.)
Anyone with questions should contact Jim Schafer at schaferj@oakgov.com or 248-858-2033.


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