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Land of Sky Regional Council is pleased to launch COGWorks – an initiative to provide learning, training, and networking opportunities around emerging issues in our region’s communities. Please join us as we explore topics ranging from Broadband 101 for Governments, to Finding Middle Ground for Housing to Drones – Highs and Lows. 

COGWorks will begin with six topics in 2019,and will typically follow an extended Lunch-n-Learn format. Each session is $20 and covers lunch.

Most sessions will begin at 11:30 am with lunch and networking, with the official program beginning at 11:45 am. Sessions will offer AICP CM credits (pending approval) according to session length.

The session topics relate back to priorities identified within the Land of Sky Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

2019 Sessions

April 25 - Broadband 101 For Government
Workshop @ 10 am - 2 pm

Broadband touches out lives in a variety of ways and has become a basic utility if many households, however, many homes in our region suffer from lack of connectivity that impacts their ability to access resources. This session will help educate and connect issues and opportunities for how local government can help alleviate the broadband concerns. This COGWorks training is for planners, elected officials, local government staff, and local leaders. This conversation is being led by North Carolina Department of Information Technology. 

The objectives of this training are to:

  • Discuss Broadband and provide a technical overview to barriers of deployment. 
  • Identify Digital Equity and explain why Broadband is important.
  • Connect current resources and efforts at the Federal and State level. 
  • Showcase local efforts such as the WestNGN and community Best Practices
  • Develop concepts around regional and community planning.

3 AICP CM Credits

May 24 - Aging and Living Beyond The Car
Lunch-n-Learn @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Part of the May-long Strive Beyond Drive, this talk considers the challenges facing our region's ballooning aging community as a transportation system geared toward personal vehicle use breaks down. What options are there now and what could be developed for our older citizens who lose connection as age and fixed retirement incomes prevent them from driving?


  • Demographic Analysis: How many people in our region are aging past practical use of a car, now and in the future if trends hold.
  • Findings of recent Henderson County Aging Transportation Assessment Survey
  • Transportation Equity: What is the municipal obligation?
  • Future Thinking: Beyond current options, what can we work toward?


  • Lisa Riegel (AARP Advocacy Manager and former Director of Bike/Walk NC)
  • LeeAnne Tucker and Ritchie Rozzelle (LOSRC)

1.5 AICP CM Credits


June 28 - Open Data, Maps and More for Decision-Making
Lunch-n-Learn @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

This session will present Esri's ArcGIS Online Open Data and ArcHUB technologies, example implementations, and the City of Asheville and LOSRC Open Data platforms, as well as discuss the uses and benefits, and provide some general tips for launching and managing your own open data.

The objectives of this session are to:

  • Understand the uses and benefits of open data, which can be shared with decision-makers, staff and public alike;
  • Learn about how to build and publish maps and web applications that leverage open data;
  • See how both Open Data and ArcHUB technologies can be used for community engagement;
  • Gain inspiration from other communities’ implementations; and
  • Learn about the City of Asheville and LOSRC Open Data platforms and provide feedback.


  • Christie Roland and Anthony Myers (Account Manager and Solution Engineer, Esri)
  • Eric Jackson (Data & Analytics Program Manager, City of Asheville)
  • Mary Roderick (Regional Planner, LOSRC)

1.5 AICP CM Credits

August 2 - Drones – Highs and Lows
Lunch-n-Learn @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Drones are increasingly used for a wide variety of commercial and governmental purposes, in our region and throughout the state. Drone users range from experts controlling them from afar, to families flying them in their backyards. We will explore opportunities for using drones along with potential challenges and issues that need to be considered before taking flight.
The objectives of this session are to:

  • Discuss how drones are changing emergency response and planning in North Carolina;
  • Identify ways local governments can use drones and what is needed for the technology;
  • Understand what rules may be required for flying drones at commercial scale;
  • Highlight transportation and economic opportunities with drones; and
  • Learn about how drones are being used in Western North Carolina.


  • Basil Yap, UAS Program Manager, NC Department of Transportation Division of Aviation
  • John Coon, A.A.E., Director of Operations and Maintenance, Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority
  • Lawrence Williams, Business Development, Fly Zipline
  • Jody Kuhne, PG, PE, NCDOT Geotechnical Engineering Unit (tentative)

1.5 AICP CM Credits

The sessions are co-sponsored by APA-NC Section 1.