Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 8:30 AM EDT
Friday, June 2, 2017 at 5:00 PM EDT

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The Planning Commission - Plan Hillsborough Room 
601 E Kennedy Boulevard, 18th floor
Tampa, FL 33602

Driving Directions 


FLiP Team 

plan'ning noun

The activity or profession of determining the future physical arrangement or condition of a community. Planning, also called urban planning or city and regional planning, is a dynamic profession that works to improve the welfare of people and their communities by creating more convenient, equitable, healthful, efficient, and attractive places for present and future generations. Planning helps communities envision their future and find the right balance of new development, essential services, environmental protection, and innovative change.

Think planning is a career in which you might be interested? Then FLiP 2017 is for you!


FLiP 2017 

Designed as an opportunity to introduce high school students to urban planning as a potential career, FLiP allows students to learn from and network with planning professionals and other students with a passion for planning for a thriving future for our community. In just its second year, the annual FLiP program expanded from nine to eighteen students and from a two-day to a three-day intensive program. A big hit with the students, FLiP offered a broad exposure to planning from public and private sector perspectives across many fields.

Day 1 highlights included planning perspectives from Melissa Zornitta, Planning Commission Executive Director, and Beth Alden, Hillsborough MPO Executive Director. An interactive WalkWise Tampa Bay presentation by CUTR's Brentin Mosher prepped the students for safe walking along our journey. Heading out to Plant City, our first stop was lunch at Fred's Market, sponsored by Atkins Global. Then off to City Hall for presentations on planning for rapidly growing Plant City by Mark Hudson, Mara Latorre, and Atkins' Wiatt Bowers, followed by an historical walking tour of Downtown led by the Historic Resources Board's Shelby Bender. After a tour of the Plant City Railroad Viewing Platform & Tower and Robert W Willaford Railroad Museum conducted by museum director Benny Lubrano, we made our way to the Midtown Village Green redevelopment area. Our next stop was a trip to the Environmental Protection Commission for presentations and a tour featuring specialists from the air, water, wetlands, and waste divisions and a visit to the chemistry and benthic labs presented by Diondra Cowden, Ron Cope, Mike Thompson, Alain Watson, Tom Ash, Tom Dix, and Joe Barron.

Day 2 started with a Riverwalk tour with Tampa Downtown Partnership's Shaun Drinkard highlighting key features, economic development opportunities, and the Vinik development investments. HDR then provided lunch and a presentation by Steven Schukraft on the Tampa Streetcar Study. FLiP then joined the Planning Commission's Info BBQ featuring a presentation by John Orr of the Atlanta Regional Commission's scenario planning process for the 20 county Atlanta metropolitan area regional plan. Then, the group boarded MetroRapid and headed to USF where:

  • USF Facilities Management's Assistant Director Barbara Donerly, was accompanied by Rich Piccininni, Civil Engineer, and Shuang Hao, Landscape Architect, leading a walking tour of campus highlighting USF's award-winning Master Plan
  • At CUTR, Kristine Williams gave an eye-opening presentation through an interactive planning exercise
  • The School of Public Affairs' Masters in Urban and Regional Planning program was showcased by Dr. Mark Hafen
  • FDOT's Stephen Benson shared challenges and opportunities in making transportation investments for our community

Day 3 kicked off with an exciting boat tour of Port Tampa Bay presented by John Thorington and Charles Klug. From sea to rails, the students then boarded the TECOline Streetcar heading to Ybor City. First stop, Cuban sandwiches in Centro Ybor sponsored by Clearview Land Design. Ybor City Development Corporation's Brenda Thrower and historian and Ybor Ambassador, Dr. Wallace Reyes guided a tour featuring the history and preservation of some of Ybor's most significant sites as well as current development and redevelopment activity. FLiP students then toured an area of potential redevelopment as the subject site for ULI Tampa Bay's afternoon planning activity, before concluding our Ybor tour with a brief visit to Cuba.   

Back at the Planning Commission, ULI Tampa Bay's  Siobhan O'Kane, Hannah McAleer, Stefanie McQueen, Taylor Ralph, and Jenna Wylie made a presentation on Building Healthy Places and guided the students through a hands-on planning activity. Dividing into three high-energy working groups, the FLiP teams then presented their designs for redevelopment of Ybor City. Friends and family gathered to watch the impressive results. ULI Tampa Bay then gifted each student with a copy of Gabe Klein's Start-Up City as well as our boldly-colored FLiP T-Shirts.       

Thank you to our partners - Hillsborough County Public Schools, - Christopher Farkas, Lorraine Duffy, Amber Dickerson, Sherry Simons, and School Board Chair Cindy Stuart, ULI Tampa Bay, Sun Coast Section - APA Florida and all of our contributors! Thanks for giving us a lift, literally - HART (and Greg Brackin for the on board presentations!) and the School District - for providing transportation. Finally, a huge thank you to our amazing students! Our future is in great hands...

View more #FLiPlanning 2017 photos


We are looking forward to FLiP 2018!

Information and applications will be available in February 2018.

FLiP 2017 Student Application:                             Recommend a Student:

Hillsborough County School District students currently in good standing in grades 9, 10, or 11 who would like to learn more about the planning profession are eligible to apply. Current seniors will only be accepted on a space available basis. Through a series of speakers and tours on foot, bus, streetcar, and boat, the FLiP program provides:

  • The chance to network with planning professionals and other students with a passion for planning for a thriving future for our community
  • The opportunity to learn from public and private sector professionals in the planning and related government services fields
  • Broad exposure to planning from multiple perspectives, including: comprehensive planning, economic development, environmental, historic preservation, community redevelopment, transportation, geographic information systems, education and research, and more
  • Interactive planning activities and working with peers to make a presentation on your FLiP 2017 experience

This FREE program will run May 31, June 1, and June 2, 2017 from 8:30a - 5:00p and includes meals, snacks, a FLiP T-shirt, and more! Applications  must be accompanied by a recommendation and are due by April 17, 2017.

For more information, please call Lynn x342 or Tony x350 at 813.273.3774.

A look back at FLiP 2016.

View the photos.

For more information on the Planning Commission, visit: