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Inaugural PlanRVA Day a Success!

A day of learning, networking and collaboration.

To celebrate PlanRVA’s new office space in the Manchester neighborhood and another exciting year of community collaboration, we invited partners to a day-long open house on June 1, 2023. PlanRVA Day included many sessions that followed one central theme: Placemaking in the region.

The event kicked-off following the joint annual meeting where staff, board members and stakeholders of PlanRVA, the Central Virginia Transportation Authority and the Richmond Region Transportation Planning Organization convened to reflect on work accomplished during Fiscal Year 2023. The joint annual meeting was open to the public and live-streamed. A recording of the meeting can be found on YouTube.

PlanRVA Day guests toured our new office space, attended a variety of panel discussions and networked with community and regional partners. Throughout the day, guests connected with and learned from regional partners at booths in our lobby.  The Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia displayed exercise material and equipment for visitors to see and offered access to the region’s Exercise Trailer parked on the street in front of our building.

We’re beyond appreciative to those who celebrated and engaged during this event and are especially grateful to all involved in making PlanRVA Day possible- especially our Sponsors. And thank you to those who responded to our survey and shared feedback. We’re already planning for the second annual PlanRVA Day!

Below is a recap of sessions that took place during the inaugural event.

Inclusion in RVA, Partners in Regional Planning 

Over the last few years, PlanRVA has been working with partners to understand what inclusivity looks like for our organization when it comes to purchasing and vendor selection, employee recruitment, location and logistics for public meetings and outreach to the community. This panel of partners shared perspectives on what we mean by the term “inclusivity” and why it’s important for their organizations and the community. This panel was moderated by Moses Foster from ChamberRVA. Panelists included Charm Bullard from Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, Matthew Shapiro from 6 Wheels Consulting and Lea Whitehurst-Gibson from Virginia Community Voice.

Multi-Modal Planning for Inclusion: Regional Trails 

PlanRVA supports the connectivity of our trail network across the region through local and regional planning efforts. The panel highlighted the importance of trails in our region and how planning can create opportunities for connection across communities. Experts shared an overview of our growing regional trails network and an update on the status of the Fall Line Trail and the impact it’s having on our regional system. This panel was moderated by Wood Hudson from the Virginia State Trails Office. Panelists included Cat Anthony from Virginia Capital Trail Foundation, Barb Smith from Chesterfield County, Sharon Smidler from Henrico County and PlanRVA’s very own Phil Riggan.

Art and Placemaking: How Creativity Can Nurture Inclusivity 

PlanRVA’s new office space boasts original works by RVA artists Hamilton Glass and Noah Scalin. Guests interacted with their work on display in our office space and heard from both artists about how art can open the door for connection and community. This session was hosted in partnership with RVA Engage and moderated by Vanessa Diamond from The Community Foundation.

Film Screening: A River Called Home

PlanRVA Day concluded with a film screening of “A River Called Home.” The film follows the journey of four women who launch at the headwaters of the James River and paddle to the Chesapeake Bay over three weeks. The team faces challenges during the journey, including whitewater rapids and a river with a history of pollution. Along the way, the team conducts a water quality study, asking how our waterways are being protected and what more we have left to do.

Film director Jess Wiegandt along with Emma Quagliano, a teacher featured in the film, joined us for a talk-back session moderated by PlanRVA’s own Sarah Stewart.

If you have topic ideas for PlanRVA Day 2024, reach out to


Thank you to our PlanRVA Day sponsors.






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