Former prof, faculty, students honored at planning confab

Learn more about [Texas Target Communities] ( , founded by David Pugh in 1993

Kim Mickelson

Emily Tedford

For extraordinary contributions to urban planning practice and education spanning decades, David Pugh, Texas A&M associate professor emeritus, received a Legends Award from the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association at the group’s annual conference in Galveston.

The award was one of several recognitions of Texas A&M urban planning faculty and students at the conference, held Oct. 7-9, 2015.

Throughout a teaching career that began when he joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1976, Pugh led classes in plan making, planning law and implementation, housing, historic resources planning and other related topics. His research interests included land use law, historic preservation and utopian cities. He retired in 2006, but taught a planning law class once a year through 2011.

He also practiced on a limited basis as a consultant, helping to prepare plans for municipal, county and regional governments.

Pugh, who said there wasn’t a lot of municipal planning in Texas when he arrived, spend his career raising the profiles of planners and planning in the state, heading numerous initiatives.

From 1993-2001, he served as the founding director of Texas Target Cities, an outreach program aiding municipalities that lack planning resources available to larger cities.

In the program, known today as [Texas Target Communities] ( , graduate planning students work with a municipal residents and policyholders to develop a comprehensive plan — a document that details a community’s vision for its future — that includes land use plans, transportation plans and current and projected population and economic data.

Since its inception, more than 40 comprehensive plans have been created in TTC student/community collaborations.

In another initiative, Pugh introduced planning concepts to municipalities lacking staff planning professionals during trips to dozens of cities throughout the state. He created a half-day presentation to teach policymakers, municipal staff employees and city residents the basics of city planning, zoning, subdivision regulation and capital improvement ideas.

Pugh also served in several administrative capacities in the College of Architecture, heading the Department of Urban and Regional Planning from 1981-85 and coordinating the [Master of Urban Planning] ( program from 1987-91 and 1994-99.

He served as president of the APA Texas Chapter from 1987-89 and also held several other leadership positions with the organization throughout his career.

Pugh was part of the 1998 inaugural class of the American Institute of Certified Planners’ [College of Fellows] ( and he served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning from 1983-1991.

Mickelson is new APA Texas president

Also at the Galveston APA Texas conference, Kim Mickelson, visiting associate professor of urban planning at Texas A&M, was inducted as the organization’s new president.

A certified planner and attorney and who represents governmental and nonprofit corporations, Mickelson will serve a one-year term heading the chapter, a nonprofit public interest and research organization representing more than 40,000 planners, officials, and citizens involved with urban and rural planning issues.

The chapter advances the profession’s efforts to provide expertise and processes that empower citizens to be engaged in the sustainable development of communities throughout the state.

Student planner award

Awards presented at the conference included an honorable mention award presented to

Emily Tedford, a master of urban planning student, earned an honorable mention award from the APA Texas Chapter for a housing needs assessment she performed for LaGrange, Texas.

The south central Texas community, which is experiencing a higher-than-expected growth rate, contacted Texas Target Communities with concerns voiced by the city’s real estate professionals and developers regarding the future availability of housing in the city.

Tedford, a TTC senior project manager, responded, creating an inventory of current housing in LaGrange and identifying future housing demand, as well as areas for future housing.

Student convention exhibit

While in Galveston for the convention, Texas A&M planning students created a temporary exhibit in an unused downtown lot, using posters to explain the benefits of active transportation modes such as walking, bicycling or roller skating.

Visitors to the site could hula-hoop, play hopscotch, write their suggestions on how best to use Galveston’s public spaces.

The exhibit was featured on the front page of the Oct. 10 Galveston Daily News, which also heralded the 2017 reestablishment of Galveston’s trolley system. The trolleys stopped rolling in 2008 after Hurricane Ike damaged the system’s infrastructure.

posted November 6, 2015