The second Regional Land Use Leadership Institute (Leadership Institute) met on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at the Alexandria Renew Enterprises facility in Alexandria, Virginia. The infrastructure and transportation focus of the day is intended to show the relationships between how issues such as traffic congestion, public transportation, waste water treatment, and other utilities impact land use.
Beginning this session was a new round robin activity that gave class participants Arlova Vonhm, Benjamin Cohen, Justin Chapman, and Mike Antonelli an opportunity to talk about their careers and trends within market that they are seeing. This is an activity that will continue at the remaining sessions and class participants will have a chance to share their perspectives. Next up, Dan Hardy and Rob Klein led their “You’ll Pay for It” game that was exclusively developed for the ULI Washington Leadership Institute. Participants were assigned roles such as neighborhood advocate, city mayor, and utility director and then worked together solve how you pay for the important infrastructure within a region. This included parks/schools, transportation, water, and power. They worked together to come up with creative solutions to solving the problem even as the situation changed with some lucky teams receiving additional revenue and others that had additional expenses.
Karen Pallansch, CEO at Alexandria Renew Enterprises, Design Principal Sven Shockey and Senior Mechanical Engineer Matthew Jantz from SmithGroupJJR talked about how waste can really be a renewable energy. Karen Pallansch highlighted the process for sewage treatment and how our region is interconnected with the Chesapeake Watershed. Then Sven Shockey and Matthew Jantz talked about how DC Water new administrative headquarters going to utilize an innovative sewer heat recovery system that will lower costs and could provide a sustainable model for other real estate development within DC Water’s service area.
After a tour of the Alexandria Renew facility and learning ahopbout the nation’s first main line anammox treatment process, Peggy Schwartz, Executive Director at Transportation Action Partnership, Inc. moderated a regional transportation panel that included Yon Lambert, Director, Alexandria Transportation and Environmental Services, Jennifer Weeks, Director of Strategic Planning, WMATA, Justin B. Schor, Senior TDM Specialist, Wells + Associates, and Matt Caywood, CEO, Transitscreen. One of the key comments from the panel is that our regional transportation network is currently at capacity and there is little appetite for large-scale infrastructure development. In addressing these challenges, there needs to be more of a focus on technology and increasing the accessibility of multiple modes of transportation.
The class closed with a heartwarming story about how to lead a team by Leonard Forkas who founded Hopecam that connects children with their friends after his son was diagnosed with leukemia. Leonard Forkas discussed that to build a team you need the right skill sets, a positive attitude, and the ability to trust your team especially when you are wrong.
In November, the class will focus in depth on the real estate development process and how projects are financed. Click here to learn more about the Leadership Institute.