Calling All Young Virginia Planners with a Video Camera!

Do you idolize Jane Jacobs and Martin Scorsese equally? Well, now is your time to shine!

The APA Virginia Young Planner’s Group (YPG) is celebrating National Community Planning Month by hosting a 60-second video essay contest. Urbanists with a penchant for film are tasked to show how planning is making a difference in their communities.

“We are excited to see how planners use the video essay format to celebrate community planning in a way that is accessible to their friends, neighbors, and other non-planners,” said Abbey Ness, chair of the APA Virginia YPG.

The prompt is, "How does planning add value to your community?" Participants are encouraged to seek inspiration by exploring the APA National Community Planning Month website and reading about this year's theme of "civic engagement.” Submissions will be judged for creativity, quality, and adherence to the theme.

“We would like to see something fun that engages non-planners while also portraying the realities of planning in complex environments” Ness said. “Sometimes, planning initiatives don't turn out perfectly, and that's okay! Tell us how planning is making a difference in a community you love and what planning could do for your community in the future!”

Submissions will be accepted from Saturday, October 1, to Friday, October 21, and should be sent to as a video file or a YouTube link.

The contest is open only to APA Virginia members in this inaugural year, but the YPG hopes to open the contest to non-Virginia APA members and citizen planners in years to come.

Winners will be announced on Monday, October 31. The first prize winner will receive free registration to the 2017 APA Virginia Chapter conference. The Virginia YPG also plans to show the top five videos at the conference.

“As millennials ... we are keenly aware of the power of individuals to inform and shape public discourse,” said Ness. “It is our hope that our young planners will coalesce their passions for social justice and popular technologies to create more equitable and just communities around Virginia.”

About the Author

Samantha Schipani is APA's Great Places in America communications intern.

Top image: Cameraman. Photo by Flickr user Giorgio Montersino (CC BY-SA 2.0).

October 1, 2016

By Samantha Schipani