How the American Planning Association Keeps Its Annual Conference Fresh

Author: Michelle Russell       


Event Details

May 6–9, 2017
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center New York City


Approximately 5,000 urban planners, designers, educators, students, and allied professionals from the United States and around the world will spend four days at the American Planning Association’s (APA) annual peer-reviewed event — offering 250 sessions, 12 learning tracks, and 55 mobile workshops.


Since APA’s National Planning Conference is where urban-planning professionals learn about the newest innovations in their field, the event itself needs to be “fresh and interesting” each year, according to Deene Alongi, APA’s director of meetings and conferences. “We have to balance the program to ensure it addresses conference attendees’ core professional-development needs through learning and networking opportunities,” Alongi said, “but also provides new experiences.” Participating in the conference’s mobile workshops — which Alongi said are like “learning laboratories that take attendees out into the city and surrounding region to literally see and experience planning in action” — is one way APA does that.


This year, two new programs will debut in the Tech Zone: University Village and Startup Station. In University Village, APA is sponsoring a competition for two grants that will support university-level planning-technology research. Startup Station will feature emerging planning technology from several startups.

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