APA Leaders Deepen Connection to Academic Planning at 2019 ACSP Conference
As part of APA's strategic partnership and its commitment to connecting practicing planners with academic scholarship in the profession, the association cosponsored the American Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) 59th annual conference in October, 2019.
With members from more than 100 university departments and programs offering planning degrees, ACSP connects educators, researchers, students, and others to advance knowledge about planning education.
Local host Clemson University welcomed attendees to Greenville, South Carolina — a town recognized by many national media outlets for its excellent planning and welcoming cityscape. Conference attendees enjoyed the walkability and revitalization of its arts, parks, and dynamic local food scene.
The ACSP Governing Board held its fall meeting at the conference, inviting APA President Kurt Christiansen, FAICP; AICP President Deborah Lawlor, FAICP, PP; and APA CEO Joel Albizo, FASAE, CAE, to participate in the event. APA leadership also participated in the annual meeting of the Planning Accreditation Board, the organization that accredits planning programs at North American universities.
The ACSP board showed its dedication to providing members with an inclusive and welcoming conference environment, focusing on the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community and bringing forth issues of inclusion and intersectionality. In its meeting, the board noted that it will address a changing environment through a review of the ACSP values statement, formalizing a conference location policy, and the development of new taskforce groups.
Efforts to further equity, diversity, and inclusion are important and urgent endeavors for both ACSP and APA. Discussions of EDI initiatives were a key part of conversations among leaders of the respective organizations, as were new ideas on strategic governance and the practice of incorporating foresight into strategic planning.
"APA has made progress on how to further refine our capacity to think and act strategically, with a focus and efficiency that increases our impact on the profession," Kurt Christiansen said.
ACSP and APA also joined forces in holding a leadership roundtable, "Institutional Initiatives: Educating for the Planning Workplace and LGBTQ+ Issues." Journal of the American Planning Association Editor Ann Forsyth, PhD, moderated the conversation as Jeffrey Lowe, past chair of the ACSP Committee on Diversity, joined Christiansen and members of ACSP leadership to discuss diversity and inclusion initiatives to better prepare future planning practitioners.
The Journal of Planning Education and Research (JPER) and JAPA cohosted a session on international scholarship. Both journals are seeing a rise in international submissions, and that's good for broadening and deepening North American planners' understanding, agreed JAPA's Forsyth and JPER Editor Clinton Andrews.
On the Friday evening of the ACSP conference, all attendees were welcomed to attend the JAPA Reception, cohosted by APA and JAPA publisher Taylor & Francis. Ann Forsyth presented the award for the 2019 JAPA Article of the Year to coauthors of "Estimates of Transaction Costs in Transfer of Development Rights Programs" (Vol. 84, No. 1). The JAPA Best Article by an Early Career Scholar went to Markus Moos for his article "Planning for Mixed Use: Affordable for Whom?" (Vol. 84, No. 1).
As part of its sponsorship and ongoing strategic partnership with ACSP, APA also hosted a booth in the exhibit hall, presented a poster on a survey of state land-use and natural hazards planning laws, and hosted a roundtable event on the APA Foundation's FutureShape initiative.
Top image: Falls Park in downtown, Greenville, South Carolina, was an easy walk from the ACSP conference. Public domain photo.