COVID-19 Response Webinar Series

webinar cover photo

COVID-19 Response
Webinar Series

As we track the course of the COVID-19 crisis we hope to keep local officials, allies, and stakeholders up-to-date and informed about resources and initiatives that could aid their response.

In the coming months, MAPC will host occasional webinars to help distribute useful, timely information. Speakers will share expertise and information to guide collective efforts within the region. All webinars are free and open to the public. The webinars will be recorded and listed below when available. Click here for the latest news and resources on MAPC's COVID-19 response.

Questions? Please contact Sasha Parodi,

Upcoming Webinars

Interested in future webinars?

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Municipal Webinar

Pool Testing for COVID-19

What is pool testing?

"Pool testing"—batching samples together and retesting individually if a result is positive—is a way for municipalities and schools to work together to provide regular, frequent, and cost-effective COVID-19 testing.

In this webinar, we'll learn about the pool testing program led by Tufts University and the cities of Somerville and Medford; and hear about local pool testing programs in Salem and Wellesley.

Speakers will share more about how they started their pool testing efforts, lessons learned, and what you should know if you're interested in setting up a pool testing program.

Monday, December 14
Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Zoom Conference

Municipal Webinar

Wastewater Testing for COVID-19

Deploying wastewater testing to identify potential COVID-19 spread in our communities

Cities and towns are deploying a number of strategies to identify the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. One emerging method: testing sewage from households and buildings for the presence of the virus.

Knowing that COVID-19 is present in wastewater can be an important indicator of where its spread may be accelerating. In places where wastewater testing has been deployed, changes in the virus' wastewater concentration have been observed several days before changes in reported new cases.

Speakers Included:
  • Jeffrey W. Mercante, PhD, Research Microbiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Steve Rhode, Laboratory Director, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
  • Karin Carroll, Public Health Director, Gloucester Public Health Department
  • Sam Lipson, MS, REHS, Director of Environmental Health, Cambridge Public Health Department

Thursday, December 3
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Zoom Conference

Municipal Webinar

Shared Winter Streets and Spaces Grant Program

Hear from MassDOT about how cities and towns can apply to a new round of the Shared Winter Streets and Spaces grant program.

In addition to an overview of the program from MassDOT, speakers from West Stockbridge and Quincy will share lessons learned on their own projects this summer. MAPC will also discuss best practices for purchasing materials needed for projects.

Speakers Included:
  • Kate Fichter, Assistant Secretary for Policy Coordination, MassDOT
  • Christopher Cassani, Director, City of Quincy Department of Traffic and Parking
  • Kathleen Keresey, West Stockbridge Select Board Member
  • Jennifer Kaplan, MAPC Economic Development Planner

Tuesday, November 24
2PM to 3:30PM
Zoom Conference

Municipal Webinar

Housing Protections & Supports: Responding to Housing Instability During the Pandemic

On November 9, MAPC held a webinar for people to hear from housing organizations, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and Boston and other municipalities on how to respond to residents at risk of eviction or other destabilizing forces during the pandemic.

The event began with a presentation on estimated pandemic-related housing need, then an overview of the Governor’s Eviction Diversion Initiative, and then information on implementing vital programs to support tenants. A panel discussed local initiatives to support residents experiencing housing instability during these unprecedented times.

Speakers Included:
  • Tim Reardon, Director of Data Services, MAPC
  • Chris Kluchman, Deputy Director, Community Services Division, DHCD
  • Tom Ambrosino, City Manager, City of Chelsea
  • Domonique Williams, Deputy Director, Office of Housing Stability, City of Boston
  • Chris Cotter, Housing Director, City of Cambridge
  • Keith Benoit, Community Development Planner, City of Northampton

Monday, November 9
2PM to 3:30PM
Zoom Conference

Municipal Webinar

Virtual Town Meetings

Is your municipality considering a Virtual Town Meeting for the Fall? In this webinar, we will showcase how two municipalities, Lexington and Stoughton, leaned into successfully going virtual! They will share how they went about their Spring Representative Town Meeting, how they kept technology from being a barrier, the tools they used, lessons learned and preparations for the Fall.
  • Jim Malloy, Town Manager, Town of Lexington
  • Sean Dugan, Public Information Officer, Town of Lexington
  • Robin Grimm, Town Manager, Town of Stoughton
  • Trish Shropshire, Director of Information Technology, Town of Stoughton

Wednesday, August 19
1PM to 2PM
Zoom Conference

Public Health Webinar

The Air We Breathe: Vehicle Pollution and Racial Disparities in Greater Boston

Greater Boston residents of color are more likely to live close to high-polluting roadways. What does that mean for their health?

Join us to learn more about MAPC’s recently-released research on racial disparities in vehicle pollution proximity and to discuss the public health implications of those disparities. Following a presentation on the research findings, a response panel will discuss how this impacts frontline communities and different strategies for addressing these inequities.

Speakers include:
  • Representative Liz Miranda, MA House of Representatives
  • Professor Madeleine Scammell, Boston University School of Public Health, GreenRoots Board Chair
  • Jordan Stutt, Carbon Programs Director, Acadia Center
  • Conor Gately, MAPC Senior Land Use and Transportation Analyst


Transportation Webinar

Shared Streets and Spaces:
Navigating MassDOT's New Grant Program

Hear from MassDOT, the Barr Foundation, and the Operational Services Division on how cities and towns can apply for the new MassDOT Shared Streets and Spaces grant program.

In addition to an overview of the program from MassDOT, we will learn more about the technical assistance available through the Barr Foundation and representatives from the Operation Services Division will discuss how municipalities may purchase materials needed for their pilots using OSD's statewide contracts.

Hosted in partnership with the Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies (MARPA) and MassDOT.


Tuesday, June 30
2PM - 3PM
Zoom Conference

Land Use Webinar

Local Permitting During and After COVID-19

Join MAPC to discuss innovative solutions that municipalities have implemented to allow for effective and streamlined permitting processes.

We'll discuss some solutions implemented by cities and towns prior to the pandemic, online permitting and licensing, modifications to outdoor dining permitting spurred by the Commonwealth's reopening, permitting for solar, and how our current situation could lead to more efficient processes in the future.

Through this webinar we hope to shed light on available strategies and resources that can support your work, including ways MAPC can help.

Municipal Speakers
  • Paul Halkiotis, Town of Norwood (outdoor dining permitting)
  • Eric Slagle, City of Lowell (solar permitting)

Thursday, June 18
3:30PM - 4:30PM
Zoom Conference

Transportation Webinar

Sharing Our Streets: Creating More Space for Safe Walking, Biking, and Outdoor Retail

As we begin to reopen and public health guidelines continue to encourage physical distancing, how can municipalities repurpose street space to accommodate increased demand for walking and biking?

Learn more about different strategies to create more space on the road for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as innovative ways to extend the curb to support outdoor dining and retail.


Eric Bourassa
MAPC Director of Transportation
Overview of How MAPC Can Help

Brad Rawson
City of Somerville Director of Mobility
Somerville's Mobility Strategy

David Loutzenheiser
MAPC Senior Transportation Planner
Creating a Quick-Build Regional Bike Network
High-Res Regional Bike Network Map

Thursday, June 4
3PM - 4PM
Zoom Conference

Public Health Webinar

Community-Wide Health After COVID-19

Using a trauma-informed approach to heal our communities

For most people, COVID-19 has been associated with increased uncertainty, stress, and trauma. As our region starts to move from a response phase into an uncharted recovery phase, it is important for our municipalities to acknowledge community-level traumatic events (historical and current) and offer opportunities for healing through improved policies, programs, and institutional practices.

Join MAPC and guest expert Ken Epstein from Trauma Transformed to learn more about how municipalities can use a trauma-informed approach to support residents and enhance local public health recovery efforts.

Wednesday, June 3
3PM - 4PM
Zoom Conference

Economic Development Webinar

Supporting Small Businesses, Offsetting Unemployment

How Municipalities Can Help

With non-essential businesses closed and over half a million unemployment claims, Massachusetts’ economy is feeling the effects of COVID-19. How can municipalities support small businesses as they reopen and respond to unemployment in their communities?

Wednesday, May 13
2PM - 3PM
Zoom Conference

Transportation Webinar

Essential Trips: A COVID-19 Response Discussion for Local Transit Providers

Local transportation providers, such as Councils on Aging, operators of municipal shuttle programs, and transportation management associations, are lifelines for many in the Boston region. The impact of COVID-19 on these essential services has been widespread. You are invited to a discussion dedicated to the needs of these transportation providers in the Boston region. This forum will be a space for providers to discuss, learn, and collaborate on COVID-19 responses.

Co-hosted by CTPS and MAPC

Tuesday, May 12
1PM - 2PM
Zoom Conference

Engagement Webinar

Virtual Meeting Best Practices

Tools and engaging facilitation practices that municipalities are using for digital meetings.

How do you facilitate an engaging digital meeting? MAPC Community Engagement staff will discuss facilitation practices and give advice for running digital forums, managing technology, coordinating participation, addressing accessibility and equity concerns, and achieving your meeting goals.

Wednesday, May 6
2PM - 3PM
Zoom Conference

Research Webinar

The COVID-19 Layoff Housing Gap

COVID-19-related unemployment could cause a massive housing crisis in Massachusetts.

Who has been laid off? How many are now at risk of eviction or foreclosure? Will CARES Act assistance help? What about those who don't qualify for federal aid? MAPC staff hosted a virtual discussion of our research brief, "The COVID-19 Layoff Housing Gap."

On April 21, MAPC released an update to "The COVID-19 Layoff Housing Gap" with the latest unemployment data.

MAPC Data Services Director Tim Reardon and Socioeconomic Analyst II Sarah Philbrick discussed the research--and what it means for workers, municipalities, and the Commonwealth.

Wednesday, April 22
2PM - 3PM
Zoom Conference

Municipal Webinar

Municipal Finance During the COVID-19 Crisis

Deputy Commissioner of Revenue Sean Cronin joins municipal leaders for a conversation on municipal finance, including options for relief, Town Meetings, FY21 budgets, federal funds, state funds, and labor issues.

Thursday, April 23
Zoom Conference

Municipal Webinar

Responding to Food Insecurity During
the COVID-19 Crisis

How can municipal leaders and officials support families and individuals experiencing food insecurity?

And what are federal, state, and municipal leaders in Massachusetts already doing? We discussed federal and state-level actions to respond to food insecurity, support and resources for cities and towns, and what governments at all levels can do to respond.

Friday, April 17
11AM - 12PM
Zoom Conference