City planning is the fate of the future; anything from infrastructure to development. Representatives from several states are meeting in the Capitol City to brainstorm and discuss how we can improve our immediate and future needs. The Western Planner Conference has been in existence for over 40 years and travels from state to state.

“It’s a way for planners in more rural areas to share best practices and just ideas and things that are going on in our areas,” Morton County Planning and Zoning Director Natalie Pierce said.

Part of the conference includes educating city and county commissioners on the cost of expanding their city’s footprints. Pierce also says it is helpful for citizens to learn more about what plans are in the works in their communities.

“Good planning happens when good citizens are involved, and It takes time and sometimes people think it’s boring,” Pierce said.

Planning looks into the future, and Pierce said it’s important to leave a lasting impression with any new developments.

“We have tons and tons of road miles in cities across this country. We’re not thinking about what it’s going to cost to maintain those for years and years as cities develop. To make smaller projects pencil out and there’s a whole afternoon dedicated to developer topics,” Pierce said.

Some of the conference attendees are from Washington, New Mexico, Wyoming, and North and South Dakota. The conference ends Friday and registration is still open. Click here for more information.