Tech Zone

Back for its third year, the Tech Zone is the place to try out cutting-edge tools, see the latest technological advances in planning, and hear about new research in the planning pipeline.

New This Year

  • University Village — APA is sponsoring the Academic Tech Innovators Grant, a competition for two grants to support university-level planning technology research. Catch the winners' presentations on the Tech Zone stage and visit their booths in the Planning Expo to learn more.
  • Startup Station — Check out the latest in emerging planning technology from six startups and get inspired by their demonstrations on the Tech Zone stage.

Returning Favorites

  • Drop by the Tech Zone stage for a wide variety of 30-minute, tech-focused sessions — some offer CM credit!
  • Get your hands dirty at the SimSandbox — This is no ordinary sandbox! Prepare to be amazed as you manipulate a virtual landscape in real time by playing with sand. Simulate erosion, flooding, sea level rise, and much more. It's time to be a kid again!
  • Draw in another dimension with 3D printing pens. "Draw" in three dimensions by melting plastic strands.


Academic Tech Innovators Grant

Deadline: March 1, 2017

APA is proud to announce a new initiative that promotes and supports university-level research that contributes to the fields of urban planning and public policy. We invite students, faculty, and academic staff at accredited planning programs to apply for the grant, which offers all-expenses-paid attendance at the 2017 National Planning Conference in New York City.

Selected grantees will be provided space to display their work in the conference Tech Zone and time to present a session on the Tech Zone Presentation Stage. Each grantee also will receive $500 to be used for ongoing research efforts.

APA recognizes that there is a wealth of knowledge and emerging talent within a range of academic programs. The Academic Tech Innovators Grant is a way for our association to show appreciation for that work, introduce emerging technology to conference attendees, and help optimize the impact that the academic sector has on creating better communities.

This competition favors programs or individuals developing or completing the development of physical hardware or software intended to improve planning practices as well as new applications of existing technology.

APA is excited to learn about the many projects advancing the fields of urban planning and public policy and encourages you to apply or share this opportunity with others who might be interested.

For eligibility and application details, download the program fact sheet and the application form.

Email applications to no later than 5 p.m. CT on March 1, 2017.