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Metropolitan Planning Organization, Pinellas Planning Council are now Forward Pinellas

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

forward_pinellas_logo_colorConsider it a marriage of convenience, of sorts.

In 2014, a special act of the Florida Legislature combined the Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization and Pinellas Planning Council into a single entity with a 13-member governing board of elected officials representing the different communities in Pinellas County.

After extensive consideration about its mission, role and responsibilities, the organization has been officially rebranded as Forward Pinellas.

As a transportation planning organization, Forward Pinellas’ identity conveys motion, with a focus on helping residents and businesses get to and from the places they need to go. As a land use planning organization, the name acknowledges the need for redevelopment to support a dynamic and resilient economy. The logo itself represents the complex and changing environment of land, water and transportation that connects everyone in the county.

“The organization we’ve created lays a solid foundation for Pinellas County to move forward with better transportation and sensible redevelopment,” said St. Petersburg City Councilmember Jim Kennedy, chair of Forward Pinellas. “That begins with our emphasis on a vision for how the U.S. 19 corridor functions in the northern and southern parts of our county, enhancing beach community access, and preparing a master plan for connectivity in the Gateway/mid-County area.”

The new branding of the combined local planning organizations in Pinellas County reflects a streamlining of processes and an elimination of redundancies, while also conveying the county’s vision of moving forward.

“We’re using this branding to emphasize our role in guiding how Pinellas County and its communities grow, adapt and plan for the future,” said Whit Blanton, executive director of Forward Pinellas. “We need to be smart, fiscally responsible and focused on addressing the unique needs of the county and Tampa Bay to make transportation and our economy work for everyone.”

Forward Pinellas is on Twitter as @ForwardPinellas and is also active on other social media platforms. Its next board meeting, scheduled June 8, will include the unveiling of the new website, forwardpinellas.org. Full website functionality will follow later in June. Forward Pinellas plans a broad community engagement effort to build awareness and involve the public in decision making for countywide transportation and redevelopment.

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