By: Arlinda Heineck
Each spring, the American Planning Association
(APA) conducts a national conference. This year, over 6,000 practitioners from cities across the nation as well as from 31 different countries came together to exchange ideas, explore new trends, and learn from leading professionals about challenges, solutions and best practices that are shaping the planning profession. Five staff members from the Community Development
and Public Works
Departments attended the conference, which was held in New York City from May 6-9, 2017. With hundreds of sessions offered, attendees were able to select from a variety of wide-ranging planning topics, including placemaking, civic engagement, resiliency planning, housing and multimodal streets. Members even heard about the regulations related to the proximity of residential uses to pig farms. There was something for everyone! The conference also provided opportunities to explore revitalizing neighborhoods, historic resources, restoration efforts and case studies of urban design with almost 70 mobile workshops on foot, bike, bus, boat and public transit. An integral theme to all of sessions was the cross-disciplinary nature of the topics, highlighting the need for coordination with partners from public works, economic development, housing, and parks and recreation departments. All of the Menlo Park staff who attended certainly came back with new ideas, a greater passion for planning and a little bit exhausted.