Daniel Burnham Forum on Big Ideas
Confronting the Housing Crisis
September 24, 2020
This year's Burnham Forum will feature housing experts who have researched and documented the nature of the housing crisis, how it affects communities and families, and the response of policymakers and residents. These experts from the worlds of journalism, social science, and communications will provide an in-depth discussion of how we talk about housing, how we engage communities, and how we begin shifting housing policies and plans.
How the Burnham Forum Came to Be
In 2012, the Emerging Trends/Future of Planning Task Force assembled to address emerging trends in the field and the future of planning. Its charge:
- Identify top issues impacting America's communities now through the next 10 to 20 years
- Note how planning is changing and also needs to change
- Recommend how APA and its members can be most effective in meeting the challenges of the future
- Solicit members, in partnership with APA staff, through in-person and online forums, to submit their "big ideas" through digital papers, illustrations, or videos
- Review and categorize big ideas
- Present findings
The work of the task force comes to life in the annual Daniel Burnham Forum on Big Ideas.
Equitable Redevelopment and Inclusive Growth in Legacy Cities
A moderated discussion of leading local and federal policy makers will cover legacy cities' experimentation with innovative policies aimed at moving from managing decline to advancing housing, transportation, workforce, and community development policies that create new opportunities for building stronger, more sustainable communities.
Land Value Capture for Infrastructure Finance
An expert panel provided an overview of land value capture as a tool for infrastructure finance by municipalities in the U.S. Examples of projects where value capture tools have been used successfully and emerging policies were highlighted.
Smart Cities, Federal Data, and Civic Innovation
At the 2017 Daniel Burnham Forum, keynote speaker John Thompson, former U.S. Census Bureau director, discussed present-day risks to federal data, examined how lawmaker decisions are affecting federal data sources, and explored whether the 2020 Census is in jeopardy.
Prosperity Playbook: Strategies for Inclusive Growth
At the 2016 Daniel Burnham Forum on Big Ideas, speakers challenged audience members to consider how expanding affordable housing and economic opportunity through planning leads to greater opportunity for all.
Pursuing Inclusive Growth: Placed-based Strategies for Economic Growth, Social Mobility and Housing Affordability
September 27, 2015
The American Planning Association's Burnham Forum series examines the trends, challenges, and opportunities that will shape America's communities over the next half century.
The nation has been rocked by violence in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore. While many communities are experiencing rapid growth, concerns about social equity are also on the rise. How can good planning not only support economic prosperity but also address inequality and economic mobility?
Journalist and Wonkblog writer Emily Badger moderates a discussion with a panel of experts to talk about how we can achieve a vision of inclusive growth for the nation’s cities and communities.
Renée Lewis Glover
Private Capital, Public Good
September 28, 2014
Today's fiscal and political realities make private and philanthropic investments ever more important to building communities. New tools like social impact bonds are rapidly moving from concept to reality. In Washington, Congress is debating how to leverage private and nonprofit involvement in infrastructure and housing. The latest Burnham Forum will zero in on these issues from the perspectives of the investors and communities working with new partners.
John K. Delaney
Planning Our Future
September 29, 2013
APA President William Anderson, FAICP, lead the discussion. He was joined by Patrick L. Phillips, chief executive officer of the Urban Land Institute; Nancy C. Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of the American Society of Landscape Architects; and Lee Brown, FAICP, president of APA's professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners. APA CEO W. Paul Farmer, FAICP, moderated the discussion.
William Anderson, FAICP
Lee Brown, FAICP
Patrick L. Philips
Nancy C. Somerville
Paul Farmer, FAICP
Finding Your Fiscal Footing in the New Normal
February 7, 2013
Are America's communities planned for prosperity or designed for debt? Is local economic development focused on short-term returns or long-range gains? Is Main Street's economy turning the corner — and is your community heading in the right direction?
The American Planning Association's Daniel Burnham Forum on Big Ideas tooks on these issues with two of the leading minds in community planning and economic development. Together they shared lessons from the past and visions for the future.
This event was presented in partnership with the City of Raleigh and Raleigh Economic Development
Emil Malizia, FAICP
Charles Marohn Jr., AICP
Planning in the Fourth Dimension
Broadband as a public good. Online participation as stakeholder engagement. Physical anchors of the community as network anchors. Planners planning beyond the concrete. Big ideas made a big impression at the April 2013 Burnham Forum on Big Ideas.
Conceived by Anna Ricklin, Manager of the APA's Planning and Community Health Research Center, cofounder of Texican Michelle Lee and senior field analyst at the Open Technology Institute Greta Byrum shared their work and thoughts on community building through information technology.
Lee asked how the digital community helps to form neighborhoods larger than our daily walksheds. Online resources and networks connect us to information about our offices, schools, gyms, bars, or other places we frequent but wouldn't traditionally identify as our neighborhood. Socially, we interact with people online we may never have elsewhere, or would have lost touch with long ago. While critics of these phenomena argue that online encounters limit the sincerity of relationships, most accept the associated opportunities for resource sharing and community activism.
Digital inputs can build something tangible. Lee pointed to the planning for New York City's bikeshare program as an example. In addition to public meetings and charrettes — the traditional methods of stakeholder engagement — an online "suggestion box" of sorts reached a much broader audience. Visitors dropped pins on the "Suggest-a-Station" map; these locations were then endorsed and discussed on the site. Over 10,000 suggestions and over 55,000 endorsements contributed significantly to the program's site selection. Michelle attributed the success of this system to both the immediate visibility of the sites, and the convenience of online response.
The negative externalities associated with lack of access to broadband are obvious, and it is unfortunately unsurprising that lower income residents who cannot afford individual subscriptions suffer. Greta illustrated this point through an Open Technology Institute project in San Francisco, identifying the overlaps of low broadband home subscriptions with public housing:
Enter community-driven wireless networks. In some places, they already exist at the citywide level, such as Berlin's open wireless radio network Freifunk. At the neighborhood scale, the physical pillars of the community serve as nodes (housing wireless routers) which share bandwidth, and with this increased bandwidth, increase internet access to the surrounding community. Churches and schools are often eager to share, and see this sharing as an extension of their missions:
Red Hook Initiative WiFi, in Brooklyn, New York functions solely as a local area network (an intranet). The system stores information on a server locally, and circulates it just within its surrounding geographic area. It recently garnered attention after Superstorm Sandy, when commercial networks failed, but Red Hook users were able to text in their needs to the local system.
These projects ask us: how has communication informed the perception of the public good? Depending on how it is distributed, broadband is already functioning as a public good. Certain information and data are too. New points of access, and new ways to connect and share continually shape our lives, and are accompanied by increasing privacy concerns. Particularly as local governments use digital means to engage the public, security is essential. When we expand our definition of public goods, conflicts inevitably pop up.
With broadband as a potential public good, what's next? Or, as we advance as a society, perhaps the more appropriate question is: What isn't a public good?
International Trends, Domestic Impacts
September 30, 2012
"Take your head out of the sand — global conditions do affect the U.S."
As U.S. planners confront the key issues outlined by the presidents of AIA, ASLA, and APA, in the inaugural lecture, they will find that international trends affect the domestic scene in tangible ways. The global economy as shaped by demographic shifts and resulting changes in settlement patterns, energy consumption, and food security, is transforming the world of today and tomorrow and tracks directly into our cities and regions. This phenomenon will be reflected in how we think about sustainability and resilience in our own metropolitan areas and presses upon us an urgent need to frame our current work responsively.
Eugenie L. Birch, FAICP
The Next 50: Planning, Architecture, and Landscape Architecture
July 12, 2012
How will the emerging trends in America over the next 50 years impact the planning, architecture, and landscape architecture professions? How will the design professions guide America's communities? The presidents of the American Planning Association, the American Institute of Architects, and the American Society of Landscape Architects share their perspectives on the next generation of changes within their professions.
Mitchell J. Silver, AICPMitchell J. Silver, AICP, President, American Planning Association.
Jeffery Potter, FAIAJeffery Potter, FAIA, American Institute of Architects.
Susan M. Hatchell, FASLASusan M. Hatchell, FASLA, American Society of Landscape Architects.