School of Urban & Regional Planning

Florida Atlantic University

Wednesday Lecture Series

All lectures are free and open to the public. Each will be held from 5:30pm-7:00pm on the 11th floor of the Higher Education Complex (HEC) on the Ft. Lauderdale campus. Public parking is available in the parking garage located just north of the HEC. For more information please contact Nicole Estevez at

Scheduled lectures (subject to change):

Thomas G. Pelham

Part I: Reflecting on Florida's Planning System
September 28, 2011

Thomas G. Pelham
Florida DCA Secretary, 1987-1991 and 2007-2011

Tom Pelham served as Secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs from 1987 to 1991 and from 2007 through 2011.

A member of the Florida Bar and the American Institute of Certified Planners, Mr. Pelham has been a recognized leader in both the legal and planning professions. He is a past chair of the Florida Bar's Environmental and Land Use Law Section and the City, County, and Local Government Law Section, and a past member of the Executive Council of the American Bar Association Section on State and Local Government Law. In 2001, he received the Florida Bar's Bill Sadowski Award for Outstanding Public Service in Environmental and Land Use Law.

Mr. Pelham is also a past President of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association (FAPA) and was a member of FAPA's Executive Board for ten years. He is the recipient of the FAPA President's Award for Outstanding Service to the Chapter and the President's Award for Outstanding Service to the Planning Profession.

Mr. Pelham received a Bachelor's degree in Government from Florida State University and a Master's degree in Political Science from Duke University. He received his law degree from Florida State University before earning a Master of Law degree from Harvard Law School..

Robert Yaro

Part II: A Regional Perspective
October 17, 2011

Robert Yaro
President, NY/NJ/CT Regional Plan Association

Robert D. Yaro is the President of Regional Plan Association, America's oldest independent metropolitan policy, research and advocacy group. Based in Manhattan, RPA promotes plans, policies and investments needed to improve the quality of life and competitiveness of the New York Metropolitan Region, America's largest urban area. Mr. Yaro Co-chairs the Empire State Transportation Alliance and the Friends of Moynihan Station, and is Vice President of the Forum for Urban Design. He serves on Mayor Bloomberg's Sustainability Advisory Board, which helped prepare PlaNYC 2030, New York City's new long-range sustainability plan.

Since 2001 Mr. Yaro has been Professor of Practice in City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania. He also taught at Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts. He holds a Master's degree in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University and a Bachelor's degree in Urban Studies from Wesleyan University

Charles L. Siemon

Part III: Florida Planning 2.0
November 30, 2011

Charles L. Siemon
John M. DeGrove Eminent Scholar, Florida Atlantic University

Charles L. Siemon, the 2011/12 John M. DeGrove Eminent Scholar Chair in Growth Management and Development in the College for Design and Social Inquiry at Florida Atlantic University, is a partner in the planning and planning law consulting firm of Siemon & Larsen, P. A. of Boca Raton, Florida who has provided services to public and private sector clients in more than 35 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Mr. Siemon is the author of numerous articles and is the co-author of three books including The Zoning Game Revisited which he co-authored with his late partner Richard F. Babcock and Vested Rights: Balancing Public and Private Development Expectations with Wendy U. Larsen.

Mr. Siemon has prepared land use regulations for cities all over the country, from Aspen to North Miami, from Phoenix to Charlotte-Mecklenberg, from Lake County, Illinois to Sarasota, Florida and many communities in between.

Mr. Siemon also represents developers, particularly in the context of community redevelopment, with regard to development entitlements, both local and national firms.

Throughout his career, Mr. Siemon has been an active author and speaker including serving as a lecturer or adjunct faculty at the DePaul College of Law (5 years) and Northwestern College of Law (11 years).  He is a frequent speaker at planning and law conferences and continuing education programs.

Mr. Siemon holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Emory University and a J.D. from Florida State University.

Wil Zonneveld

Part IV: Planner as Persuader: Utilizing Maps and Graphics
January 18, 2012

Wil Zonneveld
Delft University of Technology

Wil Zonneveld, Ph.D., is a full professor for Urban and Regional Development at the OTB Research Institute and the Faculty of Urban Design at Delft University of Technology. He received his Masters as well as his Ph.D. in spatial planning at the University of Amsterdam. Dr. Zonneveld's research focuses on strategic planning at the regional and national level, the role of concepts and visions in strategic planning, the interplay between visioning and project decision-making and the Europeanisation of territorial governance.

Recent projects include: evaluating the necessity of territorial impact analysis in relation to European policy; the impact of European Union environmental policy on complex area development projects in the Netherlands; the EU ESPON project on the integration of policies in the territorial domain with, amongst others, the Randstad as one of the cases.

Dr. Zonneveld contributed to the book edited by Alain Thierstein and Agnes Förster: The Image and the Region - Making Mega-City Regions Visible! Baden: Lars Müller Publishers, 2008. Papers on visioning and visualization are: 'Unraveling Europe's Spatial Structure through Spatial Visioning', in: Faludi, A. (ed., 2007) Cohesion and the European Model of Society, Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, pp.191-208; 'Multiple Visioning: New ways of constructing transnational spatial visions', Environment & Planning C: Government and Policy, Vol.23, No.1, pp.41-62; 'Expansive spatial planning: The new European transnational spatial visions', European Planning Studies, Vol.13, No.1, pp.137-155.

Alain Thierstein

Part V: Value Added Planning
February 22, 2012

Alain Thierstein
Technical University Munich

Alain Thierstein, Ph.D., is a full professor for spatial and territorial development at the Technical University of Munich, Department of Architecture. In addition he is affiliated with the consultancy of Ernst Basler + Partners Ltd, Zurich as senior consultant in the area of urban and regional economic development. He received his Master's as well as his Ph.D. in economics from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Dr. Thierstein's research focuses on urban and metropolitan development, spatial impact of the knowledge economy, value chain analysis, sustainable urban development, and policy evaluation.

Recent projects include: analyzing the hidden geography of the knowledge economy in Germany by studying interlocking firm networks and emerging Mega-City Regions; and work on airports and cities by empirically combining a physical-morphological perspective with a non-physical relational approach, currently on a project in Doha with Qatar University. Both strands of analyses are complemented with assessing effective multi-level territorial governance approaches, in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Dr. Thierstein also edited a recent book with Agnes Förster: The Image and the Region - Making Mega-City Regions Visible! Baden: Lars Müller Publishers, 2008.

Lecture Archives

2010-11 Wednesday Lecture Series

March 23: David Anderton, Seaport Planning Manager, Port Everglades
"Planning for Seaports: An Inside Look at Port Everglades' Twenty-Year Vision Plan"

2009-10 Wednesday Lecture Series
Impact: The Next Twenty Years

Examining the future of our metropolitan communities and what can be done to redirect the current planning system towards consensus-building and non-adversarial practices.

September 23: Charles L. Siemon, Planning Law Consultant
"New South Florida: Planning for the Future"

October 21: Peter J. Henn, Managing Director of BRE/Bahia Mar Development, L.L.C.,
"Growth Management - Past, Present & Future: The Redevelopment of Bahia Mar as a Case Study"

April 7: Dan Bartholomew, Principal Planner, Ft. Laud/Hollywood Int'l Airport, James McCluskie, Aviation Planning Director, Ft. Laud/Hollywood Int'l Airport,
"Airport Planning: Implications for South Florida in the Next 20 Years"