What Sessions Made the Top 10 at NPC17?

APA's 2017 National Planning Conference drew more than 6,300 APA members and leaders from planning, government, and more to New York City in May.

NPC17 was filled with energy and excitement, and 10 sessions in particular had attendees buzzing. All 10 (and more than 160 others) are available as on-demand recordings from APA, and most offer CM credit.

As a bonus, everyone who registered for NPC17 has access (for free!) to every session recording. The NPC17 recordings are generously sponsored by WSP USA.

Ethics Case of the Year

The best attended session of the conference! AICP’s Ethics Committee presented “Ethics Case of the Year,” which includes real-life case studies. Eight distinctive ethical scenarios are posed and reviewed, covering the most commonly faced ethical dilemmas for planners. CM | 1.50 | E

21st Century Street Design

How should transportation planning and design processes change to encompass all modes? How we plan, design, and engage with people in street design needs to evolve. What two important changes are starting that evolution? Embracing collaboration across disciplines and creating meaningful engagement opportunities for community members and stakeholders. CM | 1.25

Sign Regulation after Reed v. Gilbert

Reports of the death of sign regulation have been greatly exaggerated. This session covers typical issues with sign regulations following SCOTUS’s Reed v. Town of Gilbert decision, and suggests options for changing regulatory strategy to respond to the risk of challenges in the post-Reed era. CM | 1.50 | L

Market-Driven Strategies for Successful Corridor Redevelopment

As municipalities face build-out scenarios and strip commercial corridors continue to decline, investment and redevelopment of aging, low-intensity commercial corridors become increasingly important. Attendees came away from this session with a range of defensible, practical, and applicable market-driven strategies for redeveloping commercial strip corridors. CM | 1.25

Tactical Urbanism: People and Pavement

How can local governments alter policies to enable grassroots tactical urbanism? Once you have the program, how can it be implemented? Participants left this session with practical policies and steps to help create bottom-up projects in their communities. CM | 1.25

Ordinances: Best Practices to Follow, Pitfalls to Avoid

Planners are called upon to draft, use, and interpret many types of documents. Although these documents and actions have legal implications, little of a planner's formal education is spent on the nuances of good writing and the importance of clarity. Attendees left this session with practical tips on identifying the legal issues, evaluating their documents for clarity and logical organization, and avoiding the most common pitfalls in the drafting process. CM | 1.50L

Driverless Cars: Changing How You Plan

One of NPC17’s trending topics was driverless cars and what they will mean for cities. With the arrival of autonomous vehicles on our streets now imminent, how should planners guide their introduction? Three national experts discuss how quickly the market for AVs will emerge, how they will influence development patterns and more, and which regulations need to be revisited and revised to manage the coming change. CM | 1.25

Ethics: Navigating the Grey Matter

What is the AICP Code of Ethics? Why should you care, and how does it affect your work? Learn about the importance of the AICP Code of Ethics through real-life scenarios and hypothetical situations that illustrate important issues in ethical planning. CM | 1.50 | E

Zoning Cities: Toward a Simpler Future

Would zoning be more effective if it regulated less? That was the argument of this session. The convoluted codes of the past and present, which are hard to follow, easy to challenge, and often provide marginal results, may need to become simpler in order to become more effective. CM | 1.25

Leading with Staff Reports

This session surveys the existing literature on how to write staff reports, reviews their legal basis, and shares excerpts from top-notch examples. It also provides tenets — based on APA’s “Planning Office of the Future” task force report — for the next generation of staff reports: experimentation, entrepreneurship, storytelling, and incorporating video and other technologies. CM | 1.25

Top image: NPC17 Mobile Workshop tour of Central Park in New York City. Photo by Joe Szurszewski. 

About the Author
Dustin Calliari is APA's content marketing associate.

July 17, 2017

By Dustin Calliari