Sessions & Presenters

2013 Speakers & Sessions


Donovan Rypkema is a lecturer for Penn Design at the University of Pennsylvania and is universally considered the nation’s foremost expert in the field of the economics of historic preservation.  His firm, PlaceEconomics (Washington, DC), specializes in economic analysis, community initiated development, and community leadership in historic preservation. (Download presentation.)

Revitalization of Downtowns

How can downtowns come alive? This session will focus on “Main Street”® revitalization opportunities: preserving the heart of a community through rehabilitating historic buildings, marketing, promotion, design, economic restructuring, and building organizational capacity. (Download presentation.)

Todd Barman is Senior Program Officer at National Trust Main Street Center (Stoughton, WI). He has more than 20 years of experience in the development field and 16 years firsthand Main Street experience. With a background in landscape design and urban planning, Mr. Barman is a leader at the Center in the areas of design and economic restructuring. He is known throughout the United States and into Canada for his work in downtown development planning and refining Main Street’s asset-based economic development strategies, entrepreneurship, targeted market research, and commercial district market position. 

Linking Placemaking & Preservation in Practice & Policy

Michigan leads the national movement for place-based development, or placemaking. The state recently launched the MIplace Partnership Initiative and Placemaking Curriculum to help communities learn about and implement placemaking as a strategic development initiative in the New Economy. Learn about the curriculum and historic preservation’s role within it. (Download presentation.)

James Tischler (AICP, PCP) is the Director of Community Development Division at Michigan State Housing Development Authority and a  member of the Urban Land Institute, CNU Michigan (Lansing, MI). 

Funding for Preservation

Funding and other tax incentives for preservation projects are available for private development projects, public improvements, tourism development and civic and community centers. This will be a comprehensive 101 for developers and community leaders to learn how to tap these programs. (Download presentation: David Levy & Kevin Andersen)

Kevin Andersen is an Economic Development Consultant at the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and David Levy is a Partner and Chair of Real Estate Section at Baird Holm LLP.

Preserving Place: What is Form-Based Zoning?

“Form-based zoning” is a process to identify, preserve, and protect the characteristics that give a feeling of special importance to a neighborhood or commercial business district. Our panel will present a case study of the Vinton Street neighborhood conservation project and enhancement overlay district in Omaha.

Steve Jensen (ASLA, AICP) is a Principal at Jensen Consulting and former director of the Omaha City Planning Department; Lynn Meyer is a former administrator of Omaha Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission; and Jed Moulton is Urban Design Manager of Omaha City Planning Department. 

Planning for Preservation

How can historic preservation be integrated into the comprehensive urban planning and community development process?  This session will explore the tools of preservation planning as a component of the larger policy and regulatory process.

Wendy Tinsley Becker (RPH, AICP) is the founding Principal at Urbana Preservation & Planning (San Diego, CA). She is an expert in history and urban planning with a specific focus on historic preservation, and in her session she will explore why and how preservation should be included in community development and land-use and planning policies.

Thirty Years of Negotiating Change in America’s Local Historic Districts

Local preservation is often where the newest innovations happen, but they can also be the last place to welcome change. This session will look at the achievements of local preservation programs across the US, from Charleston’s 1931 local ordinance to online visual compatibility calculators. Learn about conservation-based design, managing creative design within regulation, and take home new ideas about improving your own community.

Pratt Cassity is the former director of National Alliance of Preservation Commissions and is currently the Director of Community Design Center at University of Georgia (Athens, GA). 

Development Opportunities for Historic Buildings

This session will present an approach to rural community redevelopment through the revitalization of a community’s historic sense of place. From the rehabilitation of one historic building to a historic main street district, we’ll discuss the steps along the way from feasibility through to financing and construction. Smith and Crook will discuss the opportunities that can be realized when a community comes together using their hometown of Woodbine, Iowa as a case study. Stavneak will review all aspects of leveraging financing to get a deal done when approaching a historic renovation.

Darin Smith and Mindy Crook are co-owners of Arch Icon Development (Woodbine, IA) and Julie Stavneak is a Principal at J Development (Council Bluffs, IA).

The Economics of Historic Real Estate

Does historical designation of property affect its value? Our panel of experts will focus on how preservation improves property values. (Download presentation.)

Eric Thompson is Director/Chair of UNL Bureau of Business Research; Dr. David Rosenbaum is Professor of Economics of UNL College of Business Administration and Associate Director of the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management; and Donovan Rypkema is a Principal at PlaceEconomics (Washington, DC).