Dive Right In to NPC19’s Interactive Sessions

2019’s National Planning Conference offers an exceptional array of game-changing sessions and events, provides outstanding educational experiences, and the opportunity to expand your professional perspective. We do this, in part, with our expert-led debates and interactive sessions.


If you’re looking for a good debate, you’ve found the right place! NPC19’s session debates include a moderator and several presenters to represent each side of a controversial topic. Time for rebuttal and audience questions will be incorporated.

Parking Maximums: Development Barriers and Opportunities

Sunday, April 14 | 1–2:15 p.m. CM |1.25

Reducing the parking footprint is key to creating a vibrant, walkable community. In order to accomplish this, cities are altering zoning codes to prevent parking oversupply, developers require the support of financial institutions, and planners must understand the systems used by all to enable more sustainable development.

This session provides an open debate between planners and developers. The panel includes a real estate consultant, a banking professional, an active transportation planner, and an advocacy group leader.

Political Expression and Planning Ethics

Sunday, April 14 | 10:30 a.m.–noon CM |1.50 | Ethics

Where do professional ethical obligations end and personal freedoms begin? Is it appropriate to serve on neighborhood boards, to be elected to public office, or to work on behalf of an issue or candidate campaigns while serving as a professional planner? Shouldn't opinions be heard? Is it ethical to publicly support a political candidate or referendum? Do the answers to these questions differ with a public versus private planner?

This session will provide a debate between a panel of urban planners who bring their own varied interpretations and backgrounds to the table.

Interactive Sessions

If a debate isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, you should join NPC19’s topic experts in an interactive session. This session type is well suited to helping attendees with professional problems they may be currently facing, discussing new developments in an area, and building networks among people with similar interests. These sessions usually begin with explanatory or introductory information and move on to involve the audience in an activity.

Sea Level Rise Planning Beyond 1.5°C

Monday, April 15 | 8:30–9:45 a.m. CM |1.25

October 2018’s special UN report on climate change found that unprecedented global changes must be made within the next 12 years to avoid warming above 1.5° Celsius. Globally, planners and experts are grappling with the urgent need to adapt to these risks. San Francisco and New York City have already begun to incorporate resiliency measures into zoning and coastal management, seeking guidance from tools like the Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines (WEDG).

Participate in an interactive discussion with the planners who have led city and regional efforts to adapt to these urgent hazards. Learn how to prepare cities for an uncertain future with regards to sea level rise and coastal risks.

African American District Strategy Confronting Gentrification

Monday, April 15 | 1–2:15 p.m. CM |1.25

California’s San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles areas have, historically, been destinations for African Americans in search of greater opportunities. These locales have developed and protected cultural heritage, as well as historic and economic sustainability strategies to respond to gentrification. In order to understand where these communities stand, it is important to understand the historical context.

Walk down a historic timeline of the African American community in San Francisco, learn about demographic shifts, and major planning projects that have had significant impacts. Hear from community stakeholders as they share their process, as well as representatives from the city’s Planning Department and Office of Economic and Workforce Development. 

View the Program and Register Now

If you haven’t already, you can register for NPC19 here. You can also view NPC19’s inclusiveness and social justice-related activities as well as the full program to get a better understanding of all 325-plus sessions offered this year!

Top image: Interaction at the 2018 National Planning Conference in New Orleans. APA photo by Riverview Photography.

About the Author
Nicole G. Smith is APA's interim senior content marketing associate.

March 19, 2019

By Nicole Smith