Expertise for Communities


  • Friday, March 18, 2022 10:56 AM | Michaela Morse (Administrator)

    Consulting Planners of Mass. is excited to continue our Planner of the Month series by featuring long-time CPM member Lynne Sweet. This spotlight on our members enables us to learn more about the important work they are doing as consulting planners, and offers us an opportunity to share some of their insights into many aspects of the planning profession.

    Lynne Sweet is the Founder and Principal of LDS Consulting Group, a full-service consulting firm that has been in action for 22 years. She spoke with CPM President Leonardi Aray and shared her experience in market research, land use and permitting, and the affordable housing industry, as well as her own lessons in work-life balance and some positive changes brought by the pandemic. Watch the interview below or refer to the table of contents for a section that interests you.

    Table of Contents

      • Lynne's intro – 0:00-01:04
      • Current projects – 01:05
      • How the pandemic has impacted clients' requests – 02:54
      • Personal lessons from the pandemic – 05:04
      • Tough commentary in public meetings – 06:10
      • Zoom vs. in-person public meetings – 07:18
      • Lynne's community & favorite areas – 08:29
      • Why CPM – 09:15


    This interview was recorded in December 2021. Lynne joined CPM's Executive Committee in early 2022 and looks forward to furthering CPM's contributions to the planning community.

    If you are interested in suggesting yourself or a fellow CPM member as a future Planner of the Month, please reach out to CPM President Leonardi Aray at

  • Thursday, March 10, 2022 10:35 AM | Daphne Politis (Administrator)

    The streets of Manhattan’s touristy Meatpacking District are going car-free forever after Mayor Bill de Blasio closed them and dozens of others to regular car traffic during the height of COVID. 

    “We see the Meatpacking District as an ideal location to promote and support changes to the public realm that emphasize pedestrians, promote foot traffic for businesses, support outdoor café culture, and allow for more cultural programming on our streets,” BID Director Jeffrey LeFrancois told Time Out New York.

  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022 2:23 PM | Anne McKinnon (Administrator)

    Consulting Planners of Mass. members Daphne Politis, AICP, principal at Community Circle, and Darrin Punchard, AICP, CFM, principal at Punchard Consulting, are part of the Class of 2022 Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners. 

    Nominated by their peers, they are recognized and honored for their contributions as a professional planner. The AICP states they "left demonstrably significant and transformational improvements to the field of planning and the communities they served."


  • Tuesday, February 15, 2022 11:13 AM | Daphne Politis (Administrator)

    Developer has converted an former tobacco industrial building in the Athens area of Piraeus into Greece’s first green car parking area. "Parksmart is a unique rating system in the world that is designed to promote sustainable design and operation of parking structures,” 

  • Wednesday, February 02, 2022 10:37 AM | Daphne Politis (Administrator)

    Italy’s most populous metro area will build hundreds of kilometers of protected cycling lanes to ward off worsening pollution from cars and trucks. Reaching from Milan’s core far out into the surrounding countryside, the ambition is to make cycling the first and easiest choice for getting around the Metropolitan City of Milan — a district that includes both the city proper, its suburbs and some of its immediate rural hinterland.

  • Tuesday, February 01, 2022 10:56 AM | Daphne Politis (Administrator)

    Brighton & Hove Council's policy stipulates that all new buildings above five metres should include bee bricks, as well as bird nesting boxes suitable for swifts.

    These bee bricks are the same size as regular bricks, but integrate a series of narrow openings like those where solitary bees are known to nest.

  • Tuesday, February 01, 2022 9:29 AM | Anne McKinnon (Administrator)

    Climate Change and Design: Integrating Mitigation and Adaptation into your Practice, another great Donovan Hatem LLP Roundtable, is Wed. Feb. 16 at 10:00 am. CPM member Julie Eaton Ernst of Weston & Sampson is featured with Molly Dee-Ramasney from Jaros, Baum & Boles in NYC.

    Free online event. Register at

  • Monday, January 31, 2022 2:36 PM | Daphne Politis (Administrator)

    Their analysis found that "a surprising number of other zoning requirements have the potential to interfere with efforts to open more land to multifamily dwellings." These include public hearing requirements that can delay or derail projects, minimum parking requirementsheight limits, lot coverage, floor area ratio requirements, and occupancy restrictions. As others have pointed out, upzoning alone doesn't guarantee new construction if demand doesn't exist or other restrictions make development too onerous and expensive.

  • Monday, January 31, 2022 2:28 PM | Daphne Politis (Administrator)

    Responding to the rise in housing costs that has affected even remote corners of the world, New Zealand recently passed "sweeping zoning reform legislation" that encourages mid-density housing development. As Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy writes, these reforms provide some valuable lessons for other countries.

    The island nation is mandating mid-density zoning requirements and transit-oriented development in an effort to increase housing affordability and encourage compact development.

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