Capital District Regional Planning Commission Announces Speaker Series at University Club

CDRPC@50 Kicks Off Friday, June 23 with a luncheon, book signing and presentation
by Gene Bunnell, author of  “Transforming Providence: Rebirth of a Post Industrial City”

The Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDRPC) is launching a speaker series, CDRPC@50, to commemorate its 50th anniversary in 2017, co-presented by the University Club of Albany Foundation.

Register Here

Dr. Gene Bunnell

In a talk titled “Hoping for an Albany Turnaround? What Albany Can Learn from Providence’s Experience,” Dr. Bunnell will describe the many positive changes that have been brought about in Providence in recent years, and explain the important lessons people in Albany can learn from Providence’s experience.

The University Club will serve a hot and cold buffet from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., with the program commencing at 12:30. The cost for the luncheon is $20, which may be paid at the door or in advance with a credit card at Reservations for the June 23 luncheon are required by Wednesday, June 21 and may be made online, by calling Donna Reinhart at 518-453-0850 or by emailing

Dr. Bunnell will compare Albany and Providence, as both are historic cities located on rivers, and are also the capitals of their respective states. Both saw their urban fabric torn apart and their appeal as places to live undermined by Interstate Highways, and both experienced major population loss in the 1970s and 1980s. However, while Providence has staged a remarkable turnaround, Albany appears stuck.

“There is much that Albany could learn from Providence,” said Bunnell. “At the luncheon, we’ll discuss key turning points in Providence’s development history, and identify specific policy decisions, planning processes, infrastructure investments and not-for-profit interventions that helped jump-start and sustain the transformation of Providence.”

Gene Bunnell holds a Master of City Planning degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Ph.D. in Planning Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University at Albany, State University at New York. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Smith College, Hampshire College and Vassar College. He is the author of Making Places Special: Stories of Real Places Made Better by Planning (APA Planners Press 2002) and Built to Last: A Handbook on Recycling Old Buildings (Preservation Press 1977). Gene was born and raised in Buffalo, New York.

This event is open to the public and presented by the Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDRPC) and the University Club of Albany Foundation, Inc. One need not be a member of either organization to attend. If your municipality has passed a resolution accepting CDRPC as a training provider, this event will meet the State law for Planning and Zoning Boards continuing education requirements (sample resolutions available upon request). A certificate of attendance will be provided to Planning and Zoning Board attendees. Certification Maintenance credits may also be available for members of the American Institute of Certified Planners.