The City of Missoula will launch a new planning initiative to engage the community in planning for growth with a public event on Wednesday, June 4, at 7 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel.

Planning Manager for Development Services, Laval Means, said the keynote speaker is an expert in planning from the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C.

"His name is Ed McMahon, and he has a lot of experience talking about national trends and his observations around the country in terms of what other communities are doing to build successful communities," Means said. "He has a background in economic development, conservation, and a whole range of understandings about community."

Means said the event on Wednesday night is actually a launching pad for a year-long community planning effort in Missoula.

"It's going to take a long time for us to come up with this plan for Missoula, so it could be up to a year-long process," Means said. "We're going to be looking for volunteers from the community to help get involved and develop the goals and objectives for our community. There's going to be additional community meetings along the way, and a whole variety of different ways that the community can get involved."

The event ion Wednesday night will kick off the effort called "Our Missoula, Looking Inward, Moving Forward," at the Doubletree Hotel at 100 Madison Street, at 7 p.m.

There is no admission charge, and the public is encouraged and welcome to attend.

Planning Manager for Development Services, Laval Means