Planning Directors

Whether you're a planning director for a municipality or a region, a big city or small town, you're sure to find answers to your most pressing issues at APA's National Planning Conference. It's your best chance all year to compare notes with your colleagues in the field.


New Directors Institute

Saturday, April 26
7:30 a.m.-5:30 .pm.

Get a full day of intensive training and personal reflection for new directors and those in a new role. You'll explore the nature of leadership and learn how to:

  • Communicate with, manage, train, and inspire your staff
  • Handle fiscal crises and staffing cuts
  • Deal with your mayor and other elected officials
  • Keep a positive outlook in your new job

APA developed this dynamic training program in collaboration with seasoned directors from across the United States. If you are a new director, you won't want to miss this once-a-year opportunity to connect with your peers, get insights from a professional leadership trainer, and learn best practices from a distinguished faculty of accomplished planning directors.

Managers Institute

Saturday, April 26
7:30 a.m.-5:30 .pm.

Connect with your peers for a day of dynamic training for senior-level and rising managers. APA developed this practical, hands-on workshop with seasoned planning managers from across the United States. It's an idea opportunity to connect with other senior-level and aspiring managers as you explore:

  • Developing your management skills
  • Forging productive, fulfilling relationships
  • Creating winning ideas
  • Assuring successful outcomes
  • Building your external reputation

Whether you work in a public-sector agency or a private-sector firm, if you manage others, this is one workshop you won't want to miss.

Planning Directors Breakfast

Sunday, April 27
6:45–7:45 a.m.

Hear about exciting developments in Atlanta and Seattle from featured speakers Dan Reuter, AICP, and Ivan Miller, AICP.

Big City Planning Directors on Climate Resilient Cities

Monday, April 28
10:30–11:45 a.m.

Fast-moving events, like hurricanes and wildfires, as well as more gradual climate change impacts, like sea level rise and drought, present major challenges to our largest cities. As major centers of population and economic engines, big cities are developing adaption strategies to save lives, protect core functions, and achieve greater resilience in the face of increasing environmental risk.

Atlanta Region Planning Directors

Tuesday, April 29
10:30–11:45 a.m.

See what is (and isn't) working in and around the host city, from the people who know the area best. Watch as a dozen planning directors' paint a vivid picture of the state of city planning in and around Atlanta.

Browse the full program