Highlights of 2018
APA is motivated by awareness that planning is a positive force that helps people — as individuals and in communities — prepare for and respond to environmental, technological, and societal challenges that impair their connections to opportunities and prosperity. As you read Highlights of 2018, note that many of our endeavors in education, research, philanthropy, and advocacy moved planning forward on a few issues of critical importance to communities in need of crucial connections: equity, diversity, and inclusion; technological innovation; housing and inclusive growth; resilience; and infrastructure.
As membership approached its highest level in a decade, APA leaders were committed to exploring and adopting best practices for serving diverse members and administering our multifaceted association.
Knowledge-Based Governance and Strategic Planning
In 2018, APA leaders moved toward knowledge-based governance, a business-based model of real-time strategic planning that relies on environmental scanning and data-driven insights to make strategic decisions. Applying the principles and processes of KBG will facilitate APA's evolution from its current Development and Action Plans to a new Strategic Plan based on identification of and information about external issues and trends that affect APA and the planning profession. The Board and Commission, with input from other APA leaders, identified a number of these strategic issues during their summer and fall meetings.
A key element of this dynamic process is engaging task forces of experts to explore all aspects of specific issues and gather data before major decisions are required. This allows decision makers on the Board and Commission to focus on substantive discussion and deliberation. Timely KBG papers on strategic or mega-issues — prepared by APA task forces — will answer essential questions, provide data, and prepare the Board to identify what to include in APA's Strategic Plan.
Total APA membership increased by almost 13 percent during the 2018 fiscal year. On September 30 — the last day of FY 2018 — APA had 42,906 members, including 16,733 AICP members (40 percent of total membership). The big gain in APA membership was largely due to the free student membership program initiated in 2017. Offering a new "New Member" category with reduced dues for two years also contributed to growth.
The student program's offer of free membership in up to five APA divisions had a major impact on membership in all 21 divisions. Total division membership grew from 22,507 at the end of FY 2017 to 42,617 a year later — an 89 percent gain.
APA's budget for each fiscal year (October 1–September 30) supports the goals and related action items in the Development Plan approved by the Board of Directors.
Total assets for APA as of September 30, 2018, were $16.4 million. Our most significant assets are cash, investments, property, and equipment. Total liabilities for APA were $9.8 million, including accounts payable, deferred dues revenue, and deferred rent.
Total revenues for FY 2018 were $19.8 million and total expenses were $19.5 million, resulting in a surplus for the year of $300,000.
APA programs include publications, education, the National Planning Conference, policy and outreach, chapter and division services, career services, member services, and research. AICP programs include ethics, Community Planning Assistance Teams, the AICP Certification Exam, Certification Maintenance, and member services.
Guides to Ethical Conduct
Certified planners pledge to uphold high standards of practice, ethics, and professional conduct. AICP helps by providing resources that help members navigate the thicket of ethical quandaries that every planner encounters. The AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, in particular, is an essential guide for AICP members that also informs employers, officials, and the general public of the principles to which professional planners are committed.
In September, the AICP Commission approved a teaching rubric, generously annotated with additional resources, to help planning educators use the AICP Code to teach ethical practice to the next generation of planners.
The 2018–19 Ethics Case of the Year presents scenarios based on real-life ethical issues. It was developed by the AICP Ethics Committee with the assistance of AICP Ethics Officer James Peters, FAICP. It addresses such topics as soliciting donations, spousal job conflicts, political involvement, and accepting gifts. Planners also can find many courses on planning ethics in APA's new online educational platform, APA Learn.
Community Planning Assistance Teams
AICP's CPAT program engaged with six communities in 2018. (Efforts in Wharton and Rockport, Texas, and others that were initiated in response to destruction wrought in 2017 by Hurricane Harvey, are referred to as "Recovery Planning Assistance Team" [RPAT] projects.) Team members in a third disaster-recovery project are working in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which was hit hard by back-to-back Category 5 storms in 2017.
Team members working on a project started in 2018 will work with the Quinault Indian Nation to develop a cultural campus on Washington's Olympic Peninsula. This is CPAT's first partnership with a Native American community. CPAT volunteers also worked with residents and stakeholders in the small towns of Page, Arizona, and Taft, California, to develop downtown revitalization strategies.
Candidate Pilot Program
The AICP Candidate Pilot Program launched in late 2017 offers APA members an alternative path to AICP certification. Program participants may sit for the AICP Certification Exam after they graduate but before they acquire professional experience. Those who pass may use the "AICP Candidate" credential to demonstrate to potential employers their commitment to mastering essential planning skills and maintaining the highest standard of ethical practice. Candidates also earn Certification Maintenance credits. An AICP Candidate who has accrued sufficient professional experience may apply for AICP membership.
The program proved to be very popular in its first full year of operation. By the end of 2018, 1,180 APA members had enrolled in the program, of whom 760 had graduated and were exam-eligible, and 258 had passed the AICP Certification Exam and became AICP Candidates. Twenty of those Candidates had become full-fledged AICP members. A jump in the number of candidate applications for AICP certification — from 26 in June to 54 in December — pointed to continued success.
The #AICP Candidate Pilot Program offers an alternative path to certification by allowing graduates of PAB-accredited programs to take the AICP exam prior to earning professional experience. Join the growing ranks of program participants and enroll today! https://t.co/8vGg17dnHb— American Planning Association (@APA_Planning) August 13, 2018
Fellows Class of 2018
At NPC18 in New Orleans, 64 AICP members were inducted into the College of Fellows, the Institute's highest honor. Each Fellow has achieved excellence in professional practice, teaching and mentoring, research, or community service and leadership. They continue to serve APA and the planning profession as teachers, leaders, mentors, and volunteers. Maxine Griffith, FAICP, spoke at the induction on behalf of the Class of 2018, focusing her remarks on power and diversity.
Contributions to the Foundation in 2018 — from generous members, APA chapters and divisions, and others — totaled almost $88,000. The Foundation awarded academic scholarships to eight student members and funded six disaster-recovery projects in hurricane-devastated communities: one in Florida, two in Puerto Rico, and three in Texas that include the RPAT efforts in Wharton and Rockport. Support for this program also was provided in part by a grant from the Pisces Foundation, which seeks ways to accelerate to a world where people and nature thrive together.
Behind the scenes, the Foundation made great progress on its first signature endeavor — FutureShape — a collaborative effort to produce a wide-ranging, far-reaching agenda for the planning profession. The need for such a framework is critical when smart technologies, climate change, and other fast-moving trends are transforming the earth's natural and built environments.
The FutureShape Steering Committee chaired by Mary Kay Peck, FAICP, and four WorkGroups met regularly in 2018 to discuss the most important issues affecting planning today and tomorrow. Academics, researchers, planners, officials, and allied professionals comprise WorkGroups on the built environment, plans and plan making, environmental management, and plan implementation. Participants are framing their discussions around the related themes of equity, community health, resilience, sustainability and technology. APA members will review the research problem statements they develop via a survey conducted in the spring of 2019. The Steering Committee and Workgroups will meet in August for an in-person convening of FutureShape thought leaders. Their efforts will culminate in a guide for funders, planners, researchers, officials, and members of the planning academy. By prioritizing planning research initiatives, it will become the authoritative blueprint for the impact of planning in the 21st century.
In September, APA Chief Executive Officer James M. Drinan, JD, announced that after five years at the association's helm he would retire in early 2019. In October, the Board of Directors appointed a 10-member CEO Search Committee comprising representatives from the Board, AICP Commission, Chapter Presidents Council, Divisions Council, and Student Representatives Council.
The McCormick Group was retained to lead the search, informed by results of a survey of APA, AICP, and component leaders. The job description was widely posted with an eye toward attracting a highly qualified and diverse candidate pool.
In December, the Search Committee selected eight candidates — from among 110 resumes and applications submitted — for in-person interviews. Second interviews for four finalists occurred in mid-January, and Joel Albizo, FASAE, CAE, was selected as APA's next Chief Executive Officer. Albizo, who most recently was CEO of the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards, will begin his tenure at APA in April 2019.
Changes at JAPA
Dr. Sandra Rosenbloom, professor of Community and Regional Planning at the University of Texas at Austin, completed her term as Editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association at the end of 2018. APA thanks Dr. Rosenbloom for her expertise and dedication to JAPA.
A JAPA Editor Search Committee chaired by APA President Cynthia Bowen, FAICP, organized in June and by July had narrowed the search to a few finalists. The Committee recommended, and the APA Board of Directors approved, selection of Dr. Ann Forsyth as JAPA's new editor. She begins a five-year-term in January 2019.
Dr. Forsyth is a Professor of Urban Planning and Director of the Master in Urban Planning degree program at Harvard Graduate School of Design. She also co-directs the Healthy Places Design Lab and has been both an associate editor of JAPA and a member of the editorial board. Dr. Forsyth serves on the APA Board of Directors, as will future JAPA editors.
JAPA also underwent a redesign that will debut with the first issue of 2019. The new look reflects goals identified by the JAPA Redesign Task Force chaired by Anna Breinich, FAICP: a modern, recognizable brand identity, consideration of JAPA's diverse audience, a people-focused tone, and improved readability and aesthetics.
In April, at the National Planning Conference in New Orleans, the APA Board of Directors adopted a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. After years of discussion and dedication among APA members and leaders, the Diversity Committee chaired by Miguel Vazquez, AICP, outlined this association-wide plan for understanding, promoting, and practicing diversity and inclusion both within and outside the planning community.
This is an early step toward achieving a culture of diversity and inclusion — a long-term process that will require ongoing commitment, continuous review and revision, and widespread participation. Our goals will be advanced by leaders, component groups, and individual members, and in strategic partnerships with organizations on the front lines of advocacy for marginalized groups.
APA encourages every member to speak up and participate in efforts to achieve a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive culture among planners and in the communities they serve. Opportunities range from joining one of APA's population-based divisions or working on chapter programs (which typically focus on diversity and inclusion) to volunteering as an APA Ambassador or Community Planning Assistance Team member. The Planning for Equity Policy Guide Working Group, co-chaired by Lynn Ross, AICP, and Susan Wood, AICP, and the APA Social Equity Task Force chaired by Carlton Eley drove development of a Planning for Equity Policy Guide that will be presented for adoption in 2019. Posts in the APA blog reveal the breadth of member interest and involvement.
Online learners will find a "Diversity and Inclusion Training Series," a three-part series on "Fostering Social Equity and Inclusive Growth" and many other courses on the topics of equity, diversity, and inclusion at APA Learn. Sessions and workshops from the NPC19 track on Planning for Inclusiveness and Social Justice will be available in late fall 2019. Also coming is a new collection of practical resources that will include the new policy guide.
At year end, APA made small, but significant, changes to our mission statement and tagline. Our ubiquitous signature now affirms that APA is "Creating Great Communities for All."
APA's multi-year Planning Home initiative also debuted at NPC18. This is APA's response to a nationwide shortage of available, affordable, and diverse housing that is limiting opportunities for everyone to succeed and prosper.
Planning Home will lead the way toward new and better ways to apply planning to address entrenched barriers to housing affordability. Its ambitious scope will amplify planners' work with developers, housing advocates, and influencers in other fields.
Six principles frame the Planning Home action agenda, with the goal of developing planning resources and new strategies that will equip communities to successfully address changing demographics and acute housing needs.
On the advocacy front, "Housing Choice and Affordability" was one of APA's four 2018 legislative priorities, supported by detailed policy principles and progress on an updated housing policy guide. At December's first-ever State Legislative Summit, APA chapter legislative leaders and policy staff collaborated on ways to drive state-level action on the Planning Home agenda.
A member-driven update to APA's 2006 Policy Guide on Housing complements the goals of Planning Home by encouraging planners to plan, zone, create, preserve, and advocate for housing choice. Final approval is expected after NPC19.
Partnering Around Accessory Dwelling Units
Our work on ADUs with partner organizations kicked off in September when APA and AARP announced a collaborative effort to address one aspect of the crisis — the growing need to accommodate multiple generations in family homes. In December, the two associations convened a Future of Housing Innovation Roundtable to discuss accessory dwelling units — an essential tool in the multigenerational housing toolbox. The industry leaders who attended shared insights that will promote understanding and acceptance of ADUs among local officials.
"Together APA and AARP are conducting research and convening industry experts to better understand the state of ADU policies across the country."— American Planning Association (@APA_Planning) February 7, 2019
We're proud to collaborate with @AARP on this important #housing issue. #PlanningHome #ADU https://t.co/lUPL5UUWBw
Westlawn Gardens: Award-Winning Housing
The 2018 HUD Secretary's Opportunity & Empowerment Award, one of the National Planning Excellence Awards, recognized Westlawn Gardens in Milwaukee as an outstanding example of participatory planning that transformed a distressed neighborhood into a thriving mixed-use, mixed-income community. The project's unique pursuit of financial, environmental, and social sustainability demonstrated the value and adaptability of well-planned public housing.
Be Part of the Solution
The housing affordability and availability crisis is nationwide, but it affects communities in different ways. Effective solutions are tailored to local problems. Planning Home is gathering case studies from around the country to illustrate a range of successful community approaches.
Both the National Planning Award bestowed on Westlawn Gardens and Planning Home exemplify APA's commitment to housing affordability and availability and inclusive growth. An important part of the Planning Home initiative — and a key to success — is individual engagement. Please take time to visit the Planning Home webpages, borrow books on housing topics from the APA Library E-book Collection, use the Inclusionary Housing collection in Research KnowledgeBase and other APA resources, share your expertise, and find out how you can contribute to solving this complex problem.
In pursuit of its goals to lead the planning movement and advocate for planning, APA has strengthened, broadened, and accelerated its advocacy efforts.
In January, APA introduced Board-approved 2018 Legislative Priorities: four key policies to promote strong, inclusive communities, backed by strategies for advancing legislation grounded in good planning. They aligned with our core issues and guided policy and advocacy efforts throughout the year.
In support of these priorities, the Legislative and Policy Committee chaired by George Homewood, FAICP, with input from the Board of Directors, for the first time developed detailed policy principles on autonomous vehicles, infrastructure, and housing for consideration by federal, state, and local leaders. By weighing in early with authoritative statements on issues of national importance — including administration proposals concerning the federal budget, infrastructure, and a citizenship question on the 2020 Census — APA helped shape policy discussions and mobilize grassroots action.
New or updated policy guides on housing, surface transportation, and planning for equity were developed by member working groups, approved by the Legislative and Policy Committee, and made available for additional member comments before approval by the Delegate Assembly at NPC19 and final action by the Board. All three will be available by late spring 2019.
Planners' Advocacy Network
By year end, APA had achieved several notable advocacy wins that ranged from strengthening local food-system planning to securing increased funding for important housing and transportation programs.
Behind these successes were our grassroots activists: more than 9,000 members of APA's Planners' Advocacy Network who work to shape federal and state policy outcomes. Their emails, tweets, calls, and meetings bore impressive fruit. They helped move Congress to pass new Farm Bill legislation that promotes healthy communities, sustainable agriculture, and stronger rural communities; pass an omnibus spending package that met, and in some cases, exceeded APA's FY 2018 funding request for much-needed housing and transportation programs; and pushed Congress closer than ever before to reauthorizing the widely bipartisan Land and Water Conservation Fund. Kudos!
Policy and Advocacy Conference
The sold-out 2018 Policy and Advocacy Conference in September was our best-attended ever, with a deep program that included leadership training, mid-term election insights, and sessions on housing issues and Planning Home, equity, AVs, and tax reform. The Daniel Burnham Forum on Big Ideas, presented in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, began the conference with an expert panel discussion on land-value capture as a funding source for infrastructure. It's now a free course in APA Learn.
Finch Fulton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy at @USDOT speaking about federal research and policy development regarding autonomous vehicles and smart cities at #APAPAC18 pic.twitter.com/P2M3tTqEYg— American Planning Association (@APA_Planning) September 24, 2018
Planners' Day on Capitol Hill
On the conference's final day, a record 123 advocates participated in 155 meetings with their elected officials and legislative staff — in both houses of Congress — to stand up and speak out for good planning to improve communities. Participants advocated for federal affordable housing and community development programs to help planners address the nation's housing crisis. And, in a highly visible kickoff of National Community Planning Month, members of Congress, local officials, and planners gathered in offices throughout the Capitol to celebrate 2018's Great Places in America.
Planning advocates @courtneymclemore and @dejabrew03 from Oklahoma meet with Senator James Inhofe's staff to discuss important planning issues and to present the 2018 #APAGreatPlaces certificate for Guthrie Historic District. #apapac18 #guthrie #oklahoma
68 Likes, 0 Comments - American Planning Association (@americanplanningassociation) on Instagram: "Planning advocates @courtneymclemore and @dejabrew03 from Oklahoma meet with Senator James Inhofe's..."
Planning Month observances on the theme of "Housing as Community Infrastructure" continued throughout October as planners nationwide advocated and spoke out in community events and on social media about the essential role planning plays in opening access and opportunities for everyone.
We love the vibrancy of Fayetteville Street:the festivals, the businesses & the people. Today, @APA_Planning named it one of the Great Places in America! #APAGreatPlaces https://t.co/mDxvRxbFMn pic.twitter.com/u6GhrE9KTr— City of Raleigh (@RaleighGov) September 28, 2018
Summit on State-Level Advocacy
In December, APA hosted its inaugural State Legislative Summit, convening chapter legislative leaders from 20 states in Austin, Texas. The goal: Equip chapters to effectively address planning issues during their states' 2019 legislative sessions. Work focused on strategies to promote the Planning Home Action Agenda, conduct successful issue campaigns, enhance communication skills, and learn from peers and colleagues. APA staff conducted skill-building workshops on storytelling for advocacy, grassroots engagement, and developing partnerships. Discussions among summit participants revealed a few policy issues as most important at the state level: housing affordability, availability, and finance; state pre-emption of local planning authority; resiliency; and evolving technologies.
The APA-Texas Chapter welcomes @APA_Planning to beautiful Austin, Texas for its first State Legislative Summit! Great discussion among Chapter leaders about state-level legislative issues and strategies. pic.twitter.com/rrTPf5dgtc— APA Texas Chapter (@txplanning) December11, 2018
Resilience, preparing for climate change, responding to and recovering from natural disasters, and preparing communities for next-generation transportation modes were central to APA's research efforts throughout 2018.
APA is a longtime leader in the field of hazards planning, mitigation, and recovery. FEMA is our funding partner on many resilience projects, including the "Community Resilience Scenario Planning Model," a technical user guide that identifies best practices for using new technologies and participatory processes to integrate hazard mitigation, engage citizens in local planning activities, and promote actions that reduce risks.
Our Survey of State Land-Use and Natural Hazards Planning Laws analyzed state statutes and summarized state laws that require, promote, or encourage local hazard mitigation, emphasizing connections with land use. Surveys considered plan consistency, climate change integration, local hazards resilience, building code standards, and floodplain management. Results will benefit planners nationwide, and FEMA nominated this project for a Cooperating Technical Partners Recognition Program award.
APA's ongoing partnership with NOAA included work on two NOAA-sponsored research projects related to incorporating climate and hazards information into local planning and capital improvements processes. APA and eight allied organizations are founding members of NOAA's Digital Coast Partnership.
A new collection of resources and guidance for hazard mitigation and disaster recovery links communities recovering from recent disasters to policy guides, webinars, briefing papers, publications, reports, on-demand courses, and ongoing applied-research projects.
The entire August/September issue of Planning took a broad view of resilience planning, looking not only at preparing for the effects of climate change on physical environments, but also at possibilities for economic development, engaging the public, and advancing equity. In October, we launched a new podcast series, Resilience Roundtable, featuring one-on-one conversations with planners and others who are dedicated to resilience. The first guest was John Hennenberger, an expert on low-income housing who is familiar with the disproportionate toll natural disasters take on disadvantaged communities.
APA developed a Multihazard Planning Framework for Communities in the Wildland-Urban Interface to help regional agencies and local jurisdictions identify opportunities to enhance hazard resilience through their plans, codes, public investments, and programs.
Water — Too Much or Too Little
With the Association of Floodplain Managers, we continued a series of FEMA-funded Planning Information Exchange webinars on mitigation and recovery planning and preparedness. Past webinars — which since 2015 have attracted almost 13,000 participants — are available for free online viewing; most offer CM credit.
APA and the National Drought Mitigation Center are working with FEMA to assess communities' needs for drought mitigation assistance and planning best practices. In July, participants in a drought mitigation summit drew attention to the role that drought plays in floods, wildfires, and other disasters, and called for integrating drought mitigation and adaptation strategies into local land-use planning.
Water and Planning Connect, held in Kansas City in mid-September, was APA's first-ever topical conference. This immersive two-day event drew public- and private-sector planners, civil engineers, utilities managers, educators, and others working in water planning and management to network and brainstorm new and better ways to manage water resources, meet water needs, and respond to water crises.
APA also participated in the U.S. Water Alliance's One Water Summit and conducted an assessment of the need for water-related decision-support tools that helped NOAA develop a web-based DST for planners, "Adapting Stormwater Management for Coastal Floods."
Preparing for Tomorrow's Transportation
Autonomous vehicles will affect communities in countless ways; land use, transportation planning, social equity, and local economies are just a few examples. APA is helping today's planners prepare for tomorrow's transportation.
APA's Board-adopted Policy Principles for Autonomous Vehicles guide communities toward incorporating AVs into their planning, urban design, place making, and infrastructure investments. This comprehensive document also recommended 15 near-term policy decisions and actions to take now.
A report released in February, "Preparing Communities for Autonomous Vehicles," summarized discussions from a 2017 symposium on the urban and regional implications of AVs and added new research and recommendations for planners.
In April, planners at NPC18 crowded into more than 20 sessions on AVs (many are available in APA Learn), checked out AV displays in the Tech Zone, and rode through the streets of New Orleans in driverless vehicles.
Autonomous vehicles were being shown to planners both in the exhibit and outside on the streets of #NOLA. I'm looking forward to working with my communities in how these technologies will enable us to reach our mobility goals. #NPC18 https://t.co/8hNPecobQx pic.twitter.com/AidqmQuUJv— Tony Filippini (@Tonyfil07) April 23, 2018
Rounding out our suite of AV materials were a new report from Planning Advisory Service, Planning for Autonomous Mobility, an Autonomous Vehicles collection in the Research KnowledgeBase, and a five-part podcast series, "Planning the Autonomous Future."
Integrating Planning and Health
Partnerships with high-level national organizations shape our work at the crossroads of planning and public health.
APA is working with the Health Impact Project — a collaboration between the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation — to help communities in California, Colorado, and Florida integrate health and equity into their comprehensive plans based on guidance in the Planning Advisory Service report Sustaining Places: Best Practices for Comprehensive Plans.
With the National Environmental Health Association and the Centers for Disease Control's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, APA is creating tools to help reduce children's exposure to harmful chemicals. The work focuses on siting Early Care and Education facilities in locations affected by natural disasters.
APA also is working with the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Council to create a research roadmap for transportation and health.
We expect to deliver products for the UNC and NEHA projects in July and October 2019, respectively.
More Resources on Top-of-Mind Topics
Other new PAS reports included Design Review: Guiding Better Development and Downtown Revitalization in Small and Midsized Cities. APA members have free online access to all new and archived PAS Reports, PAS Memos, and PAS QuickNotes.
APA added 10 new collections to the members-only Research KnowledgeBase, including collections devoted to Smart Cities, Scenario Planning, Inclusionary Housing, and Transit-Oriented Development. In September we launched an illustrated timeline of American Planning History Since 1900.
APA aims to provide educational offerings for planners at different stages of their careers by providing outstanding planning courses and events and partnering with related professions to deliver diverse learning opportunities.
In November, APA launched APA Learn, a versatile, easy-to-use, online learning platform that brings hundreds of expert-taught courses on a broad array of planning topics to learners' laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. APA Learn combines quality and convenience with low pricing — especially for members, who pay only $20 per credit hour (half the nonmember rate). Easy integration with their AICP Certification Maintenance logs is a valuable bonus for certified planners. APA Learn is the largest collection of online educational courses available — anytime, anywhere — with more content added throughout the year.
Interested in APA Learn? Try a free course.
2018 National Planning Conference
As always, the year's outstanding educational event was the National Planning Conference. For the first time, all session proposals were peer-reviewed by APA member volunteers to ensure that sessions chosen for the NPC18 program reflected innovation and diversity in planning research, practice, education and professional development. Only those with highly positive reviews were selected, ensuring a 2018 conference program of outstanding quality. Additionally, all sessions were organized into tracks focused on essential planning topics and emerging trends to help attendees get maximum benefit from the extensive program. Gauging from their reactions on site and on social media, both the NPC18 program and our host city, New Orleans, were big hits with the 5,300+ planners, students, officials, and others who attended.
Everyone who registered for NPC18 is entitled to unlimited access to all of APA Learn's recorded 2018 conference sessions and the CM credits they offer through November 11, 2019.
— American Planning Association (@APA_Planning) April 25, 2018
The Tech Zone in the exhibit hall was busy throughout the conference, with well-attended presentations and popular interactive exhibits, including immersive virtual reality and rides through NOLA streets in autonomous vehicles.
NPC18's focus on inclusiveness and social justice concluded with PolicyLink founder Angela Glover Blackwell, whose rousing closing keynote address sent planners home inspired to advance equity and act on behalf of vulnerable groups in their communities.
In January 2018, APA asked members to complete a survey assessing their educational requirements and interests. The APA Education Committee chaired by Whit Blanton, FAICP, is using survey results, current research, and best practices to guide development of future educational programs.
The committee is producing an Education Blueprint that outlines a strategic, comprehensive approach to developing and disseminating APA education programs. It addresses the oversight needed to successfully run an educational enterprise and recommends products to include in an education portfolio that will be useful and relevant throughout diverse planning careers. The APA Board of Directors will consider the Education Blueprint at its meeting in April 2019.
Partnering with ACSP and the Planning Academy
At the pre-professional level, APA partners with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning in supporting the accreditation process for planning schools through the Planning Accreditation Board. APA, a longtime sponsor of ACSP's annual conference, became a year-round sponsor for the first time in 2018. The organizations pursue a variety of ways to strengthen the connections between academia and planning practice.
Career activities at NPC18 — professional institutes, networking opportunities, Mentor Match, a job fair, resume reviews, skill-building mini-sessions, a new headshot station, and more — made the Career Zone a very popular spot in the Exhibit Hall.
Meet the Planners
APA reveals diverse careers and career paths to members — especially students, new professionals, and those contemplating a job change — by inviting individuals who work in planning or planning-related fields to tell their own stories.
In 2018, 10 members contributed Planner Profiles, sharing their backgrounds and recalling the sometimes-circuitous routes taken to their current positions. Profiled planners are valuable professional connections; members may reach out to them any time for job-search advice or more insight into their career journeys.
In Planning Career GPS videos recorded at NPC18, Carlton Eley, chair of APA's Social Equity Task Force, and NOLA floodplain manager Brad Klamer spoke directly to viewers about their planning passions. APA augmented their video contributions with recommendations and links to related resources.
Honing High-Level Skills
APA curated a six-part webinar series to help planning managers communicate and work better. The "Planning Supervisors Playbook" covered public speaking, implementing change, measuring success, and other essential management topics. This career-boosting series offers CM credit and is available from APA Learn.
Monthly episodes in the People Behind the Plans podcast series offered lively conversations between host Courtney Kashima, AICP, and individuals who are making positive changes in U.S. communities. Her guests — all well established in their careers — offered personal insights into their work, ideas, challenges, and solutions to planning problems. 2018's guests included Cook County, Illinois's water commissioner Josina Morita and Kate Hartley, San Francisco's director of housing and community development.
🎧 Commissioner @JosinaMorita from @MWRDGC joins @planningmuse on the latest People Behind the Plans #podcast episode. They discuss how Josina became interested in urban planning, new and innovative technologies that tackle #water issues, her passion for racial equity, and more!— American Planning Association (@APA_Planning) December 17, 2018
Once again, the National Planning Conference featured intensive institutes for planning directors and planning managers. Each offered a full day of interactive training, peer-to-peer discussions, and introspection for planners in or aspiring to achieve leadership positions in their agencies or firms.
NOTE: Because APA is always updating and refreshing its website, web links in previous reports may not work or may take the reader to a page with updated content.