A Decade of NPC Memories

We’re jumping in a time machine to look back at the ’10s of NPC — motivating keynotes, creative sessions, and invaluable networking over these past 10 years.

Make sure to start the new decade off right by making your own memories at NPC20 in Houston! Register before March 4, when prices go up. You can tide yourself over by checking out this year’s robust program.


2010 | New Orleans

Gospel music played after the opening keynote at NPC10 in New Orleans. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

Gospel music played after the opening keynote at NPC10 in New Orleans. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

This conference centered around resiliency as 2010 marked the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Mayor Mitch Landrieu delivered a stirring keynote, and the session featuring musicians Dr. John, Irma Thomas, and a member of the Hot 8 Brass Band on the impact of Katrina in the New Orleans music scene got attendees up out of their seats.


2011 | Boston

Taking a photo at NPC11 in Boston. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

Taking a photo during a mobile workshop at NPC11 in Boston. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

Messages that mattered and could be applied to your community set the tone for the conference in historic Boston. Keynoters Michael Sandel challenged planners to create cities that are hospitable to civic virtue and democratic citizenship, and Edward Glaeser discussed the benefits of density giving cities unparalleled economic advantages.


2012 | Los Angeles

A mobile workshop for NPC12 in Los Angeles. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

A mobile workshop for NPC12 in Los Angeles. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

The conference theme — reimagine — shaped NPC12. As former APA President Mitchell Silver, FAICP, said, the purpose was to “get planners to see their value and what they offer to communities, this country, and the world in a whole new way.”


2013 | Chicago

Attendees enjoy a bicycle mobile workshop at NPC13 in Chicago. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

Attendees enjoy a bicycle mobile workshop at NPC13 in Chicago. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

NPC13 was a quick walk away from APA’s headquarters! The conference invited planners to “plan big” —and in typical Chicago fashion, ended with snow on the last day. Major themes centered around innovation and technology.


2014 | Atlanta

At NPC14 in Atlanta, Acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak stopped and chatted with a group of runners. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

At NPC14 in Atlanta, Acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak stopped and chatted with a group of runners. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

Opening keynote speaker Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak, acting United States Surgeon General, encouraged community design and development that supports physical activities. He even got to deliver the message personally to a group of attendees on their way out the door for a running tour. Talk about walking the walk!


2015 | Seattle

Attendees at NPC15 in Seattle. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

Attendees engaged in the exhibit hall at NPC15 in Seattle. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

An attendance record-setting conference, many sessions were standing room-only — like the AARP session on public health, where the livability index was launched. HUD Secretary Julian Castro inspired planners at the Awards Luncheon.


2016 | Phoenix

Attendees at NPC16 in Phoenix enjoyed an outdoor welcome reception. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

Attendees at NPC16 in Phoenix enjoyed an outdoor welcome reception. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

Attendees basked in the sun to enjoy a lively outdoor reception. Resiliency was prominent as oceanographer John Englander urged planners to use their influence to help communities grasp the severity of sea level rise. APA started taking more steps to a sustainably responsible conference by no longer printing programs.


2017 | New York

At NPC17 in New York City, many attendees rode the subway. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

At NPC17 in New York City, many attendees rode the subway. APA photo by Joe Szurszewski.

NPC17 attendees were a common sight on the subway since they all received a metro card for the duration of the conference. This conference was future-focused, featuring the announcement of the APA Foundation’s FutureShape and an opening keynote on digital revolution and globalization.


2018 | New Orleans

Derreck Kayongo inspired planners during the opening keynote at NPC18 in New Orleans. APA photo by RIverside Photography.

Derreck Kayongo inspired planners during the opening keynote at NPC18 in New Orleans. APA photo by RIverview Photography.

The city was lively as it celebrated 300 years the week of NPC18. Keynote Derreck Kayongo kept the energetic theme as he ended by leading attendees in song and encouraged all the planners in the audience to lift voices from all members of their communities.


2019 | San Francisco

Conference attendees doing yoga at the Presidio on Monday at NPC19. Photo by Emily Pasi.

Conference attendees doing yoga at the Presidio at NPC19. Photo by Emily Pasi.

NPC19 was a record-breaking hit for over 6,000 planners in San Francisco. NPC19’s keynotes called on planners to address equity, diversity, and inclusion, and to find your strength to be an everyday leader. And Plan It Rock, the California-based band made up of fellow planners, well, rocked!


Top image: Closing session attendees at NPC18 in New Orleans. APA photo by Riverview Photography.


About the Author
Stephanie Arteaga is an APA marketing associate.

January 31, 2020

By Stephanie Arteaga