City of Asheville planners help host state conference with bike, riverfront and walking tours

At left is Riverfront Office Director Stephanie Monson Dahl. On the right is Asheville Greenways Coordinator Lucy Crown. Both will lead tours during the N.C. Planning Conference in Asheville this week.


When the N.C. Planning Conference comes to Asheville this week, City of Asheville Planning staff will be embedded in the conference, hosting events and moderating panel discussions. After all, this is our town!

The conference, held Sept. 13-16 at the Renaissance Hotel, will branch out from the traditional with bike and riverfront tours, discussions on the impact of the microbrew industry, and City initiatives in the works, such as Asheville’s Comprehensive Plan Update.

For example, on Sept. 14 Asheville Greenways Coordinator Lucy Crown will lead a River to Ridge bicycle tour, showcasing six greenway projects either completed or in the works that will, when completed, provide residents with 10.25 miles of connected greenways.

Riverfront Office Director Stephanie Monson Dahl will lead a River Arts District mobile session to include a riverfront boating and walking tour. She’ll go over the RADTIP project, the future Wilma Dykeman Greenway, finishing at New Belgium Brewing. There is a lot of planning that goes into the infrastructure and surrounding projects such as a new brewery.

Community and Economic Development Director Sam Powers will lead a discussion about Beer City and the impact the brew scene has had on City plans.

Perhaps the most colorfully titled session will be led by Assistant Planning Director Alan Glines: Worst Asheville to Hipster Heaven in 10 Years. This will also be a walking and talking tour.

“As the host city, we will have heavy involvement from multiple departments, not just Planning,” said Planning Director Todd Okolichany. “We’ve got participation from Transportation with our greenway initiatives, Community and Economic Development and our Office of Sustainability. Development Services will participate in a discussion about recent initiatives to improve service.”

Todd Okolichany

Okolichany will not just talk about the City’s Comprehensive Plan Update process that’s going on; he will solicit feedback on how it’s worked in other cities.

“It’s exciting to highlight what Asheville is doing and get feedback on our initiatives,” he said.

The events are open to registered conference attendees only. For more information about the N.C. Chapter American Planning Association Conference, visit