COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space
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Laura Torchio, AICP

Director of Education

Laura Torchio brings more than 30 years of experience from the public, private, advocacy, health, and tourism sectors. She is a seasoned facilitator with a forte to inspire thoughtful, creative civic engagement. In her current role at Project for Public Spaces, she manages and advises training, projects, and program development related to transportation, health, and community engagement.

Since joining Project for Public Spaces in 2016, Laura has brought her expertise in leadership, active transportation, and public involvement to guide her team at Project for Public Spaces. She has coordinated the creation of  tools and web resources for Streets as Places and Main Streets, and orchestrated final production and promotion of peer-reviewed research in The Case for Healthy Places: Improving Health Outcomes through Placemaking. She has facilitated workshops in a diverse range of communities—reaching rural towns like Salmon, Idaho with her work on the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design, and engaging cities like Durham, North Carolina in her community placemaking training sessions. She puts people first in all that she does, while connecting health and equity to policy, programs, and the built environment.

Laura’s rich career has included civil service, consulting, advocacy, health, tourism, and volunteering. She got her start in NJ Counties and Metropolitan Planning Organizations, she grew to co-create NJ’s Complete Streets and Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs as a consultant with The RBA Group (now NV5), she advanced that work as State Advocacy Organizer with the SRTS National Partnership, she went on to pilot regional healthy eating and active living initiatives with Montclair State University, and on weekends, she led inn-to-inn bicycle tours with Bike Vermont. She continues to apply her creativity, zeal, and expertise implementing intersection murals, artful crosswalks, parklets, and pop-up protected bike lanes as a volunteer board member of Bike&Walk Montclair.

Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) (License number: 131690)

League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor (LCI) (License number: 2766)

American Planning Association (APA) - New Jersey Chapter

Education

B.A. Environmental, Urban, and Geographic Studies, Montclair State University, 1987

Masters coursework in Environmental and Planning Law, Rutgers University, 1993

COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space