L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



2018 Plan-Off! Offers Two Days of Activities

By Pamela Stallsmith

This year’s Plan-Off! competition on Friday, April 27, will kick off two days of activities for Wilder School students, staff, faculty and alumni to gather and learn more about the impact we have on the community.

Every April, students from the Wilder School’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning program present their ideas for a better community in the annual Plan-Off!.

This year 14 students will compete for a prize by pitching their solution to a real-world planning, public policy or management problem before a panel of expert judges. Students have three minutes to present their plans, which will advance through a series of rounds until a champion is named. The event is free and open to the public.

Last year’s presentations ranged from revitalizations plans for Pump House Park and Historic Highland Springs to building community in Scott’s Addition to redesigning the Norwood Avenue corridor.

Join Us!

Friday, April 27
Plan-Off!, 4-6 p.m.
Virginia Housing Development Authority’s Virginia Housing Center, 4224 Cox Rd., Glen Allen

Alumni Gathering, 6-8 p.m.
Capital Ale House, Innsbrook

Saturday, April 28
Scott’s Addition Walking Tour, 3 p.m.
Meet at Dominion Payroll, 3200 Rockbridge St. #300

Plan-Off! Students and Judges

This year’s students and their presentations are:

  • Matt Becker, “Creating a Framework for the MWCLT Land Bank”
  • Soumaya Ben-Miled, “Building Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction”
  • Hannah Moore Cameron, “Contesting the Commemorative Narrative: Planning for Richmond's Cultural Landscape”
  • Jake Elder, “Small Area Plan for the Route 36 Corridor”
  • Max Ewart, “Increasing Access to the James River Park System: A Community Road Map for the Blackwell, Oak Grove, and Bellemeade Neighborhoods"
  • Jesse Harris, “VCU Stormwater Management Plan”
  • Ben Leach, “The Carter G. Woodson Regional Stormwater and Nature Park”
  • Grace Marie Leonard, “Relational Creativity in Highland Park: Learning Revitalization Through Innovation Together”
  • Zhaokai Liu, “The 4th District Police Station Plan”
  • Nate Manning, “Myers Street Redevelopment Plan”
  • Lara McLellan, “Safe Routes To School Development for Richmond Public Schools”
  • Cassandra Patterson, “Scotts Addition Complete Streets Plan”
  • Jessica Russo, “Citywide Policy Plan for Affordable Housing and Historic Preservation”
  • Mariah Williams, “Finding Homeplace: Exploring How Black Women Experience the Urban Environment in the city of Richmond”

Judging the event will be:

  • Cheryl Groce-Wright, executive director, Neighborhood Resource Center
  • Kelly Hall, acting director of planning and community development, Colonial Heights
  • Pamela Harris Lawton, associate professor, VCU Department of Art Education
  • George M. Homewood, planning director, Norfolk
  • Marianne Pitts, urban planner, Richmond Department of Planning and Development Review
  • Erica Sims, senior associate, development + programs, HDAdvisors
  • Jackie S. Stewart, strategic relations officer, Richmond Regional Planning District Commission
  • Mario Wells, real estate development officer, Community Preservation and
    Development Corporation

Plan-Off! will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s Virginia Housing Center, 4224 Cox Rd. in Glen Allen.

Alumni Gathering

After the event, please join us at an alumni gatherin from 6-8 p.m. at Capital Ale House at Innsbrook. To sign up, register here and if you have questions, contact Laura Pond at (804) 828-6706 or pondlj@vcu.edu.

Walking Tour

On Saturday, April 28, a walking tour of Scott’s Addition will start at 3 p.m. and be led by Kim Chen, senior planner with Richmond’s Planning and Development Review, and Lee Stewart, vice president of Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association. The group will meet at Dominion Payroll, 3200 Rockbridge St. #300, Richmond.

“Plan-Off is one of the Wilder School’s signature events, and it’s a great opportunity for our students to showcase their knowledge to a panel of planning experts,” said Meghan Gough, Ph.D., chair of the Urban and Regional Planning and Studies program. “We also look forward to seeing our alumni and friends to renew friendships, expand professional networks and most importantly have fun!”