Planning for Changing Demographics

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Mission Statement

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California’s demographics and changing rapidly, and adopting new planning strategies to address these changes is critical to sustaining California as a highly desirable place to live, work, enjoy and invest. TheCaliforniaPlanningRoundtable, over the next two years, will develop conference sessions and web-based reports that will help planners and communities understand and plan for these evolutionary times.


The California Planning Roundtable will:

  • Be an influential source for identifying how thoughtful planning for changing demographics can help communities adapt and succeed;
  • Educate our profession, our communities, and community organizations on the key findings of the 2010 Census regarding demographic changes that have a bearing on planning policies and actions;
  • Bust myths and fears about the changes;
  • Anticipate and address emerging and future demographic change issues with practical and timely advice;
  • Assess how the planning profession should respond to demographic change issues both in terms of practical applications that are core to the profession, and larger issues of social justice, diversity, equity and ethics as they impact planning efforts;
  • Define best practices and approaches for engaging the affected constituencies in understanding and shaping the changes affecting their communities; and
  • Inspire planners to make a difference.

End Products

  • Educational sessions at upcoming Roundtable meetings
  • Sessions at the APA California Conference
  • List of resources on CPR website
  • Articles for Cal Planner and other e-media
  • Sessions at APA National Conference

Audiences Served

  • Planners who attend Roundtable meetings and the APA California Conference.
  • Visitors to the CPR website (California planning community).
  • Local decision-makers through information sharing by others.

Session Proposal

The Hidden Truths of Demographic Change:
How Planners Can Respond

APA California 2013 Conference
Visalia, California

Brief Abstract (100 words maximum)

California is known for its rich diversity, welcoming waves of immigrants over the generations and being open to communities with a wide range of cultural characteristics and lifestyles. Yet individual communities struggle when they are experiencing significant internal demographic change. While understanding what specific demographic changes are occurring and why they matter is important, the session will focus on how planners can help communities in transition. This California Planning Roundtable session will highlight the dramatic changes that have been and are expected to continue to occur in California communities and look to the audience to share lessons learned and successful strategies for communities in transition.

Educational Objectives (200 words maximum)

Planners attending the session will learn the latest tools for assessing the trends that are occurring in their communities and techniques for working with them. Understanding specific demographic changes and why they matter will set the stage for the session, which will focus on how planners can help communities in transition.

Panelists will address questions about the ramifications of demographic change for jobs, housing, transportation, education, and other services as well as community character and the economic and environmental health and vitality of urban, suburban and rural communities.

Specific implications for general plans will be covered, particularly land use and transportation systems, housing, and zoning to meet the needs of emerging groups.

The discussion will be sensitive to the effects of change both on newcomers arriving in a community and existing community members who might have their own changing needs, be displaced literally, or feel so as a result of new voices in the area. Further, the session will cover how planning processes can be adapted for changing communities, emphasizing ways to work collaboratively with diverse constituencies. Finally, the session will consider the implications of demographic change in the communities we serve for broadening involvement in the planning profession itself.


Jeanette Dinwiddie-Moore, FAICP, is the principal of Dinwiddie and Associates. She has over thirty years of experience in the planning profession and is quite knowledgeable about issues related to permit processing, land use, zoning, and planning and environmental review requirements of local, state, and federal jurisdictions and community development. Ms. Dinwiddie-Moore has worked on a variety of planning projects ranging from preparing the title and jurisdictional issue assessments; demographic and market assessments; general plan updates neighborhood development plans and utility infrastructure planning and permitting.

Jeanette is currently the American Planning Association (APA) Region XI Director for California and Nevada and has served as the Marketing Director for the California Chapter of APA, the Vice President for Administration and the Membership Inclusion Director. She helped plan several of the California Chapter’s and national Diversity Summits/Panels and has also been active with several APA and American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) committees and Divisions.

Speakers Proposed - Pending

  • Jeannette Dinwiddie Moore, Moderator; Project Co-Chair - confirmed
  • Victor Rubin, Policy Link - confirmed
  • Mindy Romero, UC Davis Center for Regional Change - confirmed
  • Keith Berghtold, Assistant Director Planning, City of Fresno - confirmed

Biographies (others to be supplied upon confirmation)


Keith Bergthold - Assistant Director, Planning and Development Department, City of Fresno
Representing: Compact Cities Planners and the SUPER Center
Office: 559-621-8049

Keith Bergthold has over 25 years of community planning experience at all levels and has taken a leadership role in implementing statewide mandates for land use, water, energy and smart growth planning at the local level. He has assumed a leadership role in conceptualizing, designing, convening, and coordinating the Smart valley places concept.  He was particularly instrumental in the creation of the Compact Cities component involving 14 of the 16 urbanized areas in the eight county planning region of the San Joaquin Valley. He has also coordinated closely with the leadership teams of the nonprofit organizations who will implement the Community Leadership Program and the SUPER Center which will serve as the planning-related knowledge clearinghouse for all San Joaquin Valley communities. Mr. Bergthold will be actively involved in utilizing the information gathered by the SUPER Center to assist in the development of a model for other local governmental agencies to utilize in helping them reach their statewide and federal comprehensive planning mandates.


Diversity/Demographics Session
January 30,2013

  • What are the key“ big picture” demographic changesCalifornia communities will experience over the next 10 years? 20 years?
    • Will there be a difference between the demographic changes in Northern vs. Southern CA, coastal vs. inland CA?
    • How do they compare, is there a common thread with national trends, and how do we plan for them?
  • What are the most important “myth and fear busting” demographic trends?
  • What are your thoughts on the issue of the “people who feel left behind” - the people whose lives and communities are changed in ways that make them feel overlooked and alienated? Who are the groups who feel left behind?
  • How do different ethnic groups perceive community? Do some groups “ grow in place” while others are more transient?
  • What is the role of economics in the creation and continuation of ethnic communities? When do economic pressures force people to locate and remain in their ethnic communities? How frequently and under what circumstances are ethnic communities created and sustained more by the cultural choice of their residents.
  • What are the implications for education and economic development of the demographic changes?
  • What are the cultural and social implications of the demographics changes?
  • What are the implications for how planners plan for housing, open space, and retail districts?
  • Will we need to retrofit our built environments to accommodate demographic changes? If so, how?
  • What are our ethnical and professional responsibilities as planners in addressing these demographic changes?
  • What is your advice to effectively communicate and engagediverse communities
    • What works, what does not?
    • Can the Internet, social media be an effective communication and engagement tool?
  • What do planners working at the local level need to know about demographics?
  • Do you have suggestions for how we can make the planning profession more diverse?

Prepared by Costello, Stetson, Dinwiddie-Moore.

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