2018 National Planning Conference

Tracks

A Conference Within a Conference

Each NPC18 track is a carefully curated selection of sessions and activities focused on an important current or emerging issue.

Follow one track for an in-depth, wide-ranging view of an aspect of planning that interests you most or occupies your professional day. Or choose sessions from a variety of tracks. Use the descriptions below to guide you through selection.

Climate Change and Resiliency
Get Ready For Climate Change
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Climate change and natural hazards affect all areas of the country and every community should be ready to address their potential impacts.

Find out what planners have learned about reducing vulnerability and increasing ability to withstand natural hazards, adapting local economies and land-use policies, retrofitting buildings, maintaining water delivery and other public infrastructure, and enhancing emergency communication systems.

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Development and the Natural Environment
Balance Human Needs With Environmental Health
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Through citizen engagement, plan making, capital improvements, development review, and other activities, planners promote fiscally sound decisions and investments that protect and restore natural environments, conserve resources, and build sustainable communities.

These sessions will highlight local, regional, and national efforts to balance human needs with the long-term viability of surrounding environments. Explore how plans and regulations affect the equitable distribution of the benefits of ecosystem services.

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Managing Change in Communities
Meet Today's Challenges In Long-Range Plans
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A wide range of sessions covers the fundamentals of long-range planning and touches on planning issues that concern all communities.

These include housing and density, affordable housing, growth management, urban/rural and wildland/urban interfaces, gentrification and displacement, re-urbanizing suburbs, compatible redevelopment in older communities, revitalization, public facilities, and state and federal laws that affect regional and local planning.

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Planning, Economic Development, and the Economy
Build A Thriving Local Economy
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Local economies are greatly influenced by national and state policies, and communities are challenged to find the best approaches to economic development.

Presenters will share lessons learned and examples of successful local and regional efforts to support job creation, workforce development, and economic activity that maintain or enhance residents' quality of life. Come away with new ideas and valuable insights about effective planning for local economic development.

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Planning and Innovative Government
Discover Where Innovative Planning Works, And Why
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Get an earful of success stories that spotlight innovation and excellence in a broad swath of planning practice.

Topics include zoning, codes, and ordinances; comprehensive plans; state, regional, and county planning; big- and small-city planning; government transparency; and creative management. Sessions will present case studies, research, and innovative leadership techniques to help you take your agency to a higher level.

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Planning Careers
Advance Your Career With A Little Help From Your Friends
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Many planners explore new career paths or pursue specialized interests.

Sessions in this track bring planners together to share challenges, experiences, and hard-won knowledge that have shaped their professional development. Learn more about the remarkable diversity of planning careers, get help making important career decisions, and acquire sound advice about finding the right answers to ethical dilemmas.

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Planning for Inclusiveness and Social Justice
Expand Diversity And Social Equity In Planning And Communities
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Learn about efforts to foster diversity and equity within communities and the institutions of planning.

Sessions emphasize issues of particular concern to minority communities (e.g. gentrification and environmental justice); examine various aspects of planning through the lens of equity, diversity, and justice; and focus on the distinctive circumstances and concerns of planners with disabilities and in certain demographic populations.

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Public Health and Planning
Plan For Improved Public Health
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Nationwide, local governments are incorporating public health goals and objectives into their plans, policies, and processes.

They affect all aspects of community life — from clean air and water to social equity — and influence where people live, acquire healthy food, and exercise and play, as well as how they get from place to place. Learn about these timely topics as well as environmental justice, parks, open space, and greenways.

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Successful Messaging for Public Engagement
Reach The Audience You Want With The Message You Intend
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Transparency — an essential requirement for planning success — depends on reliable, trustworthy communication between planners and the community.

Discover the best traditional and social media tools for engaging community members — including underrepresented and disadvantaged populations — and achieving measurable results. Determine what your agency wants and needs to learn from the public, and identify leadership skills that will help you achieve desired outcomes.

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Technology and Big Data
Make New Tech And Big Data Work For You
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It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the abundance of data sets and analysis tools that are now available to planners. With so many choices, how can you determine what data and which tools best advance your community's goals?

Explore new planning concepts and technologies and get the knowledge and essential skills you need to use complex data and sophisticated applications.

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Transportation
Enhance Your 21st Century Transportation Planning Skills
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Acquire the new skills you need to keep up with rapid changes in transportation planning spurred by new technologies and changing personal preferences.

For example, public transit, biking, and pedestrian travel and safety have become prime considerations in street design; planners must adapt. Sessions in this track also cover how large transportation planning projects — including rail and airport planning —are planned and executed.

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Urban Design and Preservation
Create Or Preserve A Beloved Community
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Communities of lasting value incorporate historic preservation, cultural resources, community character, and exceptional urban design.

Communities built on principles of interrelated patterns of land use, transportation, and urban form foster qualities we all desire in the places we call home: neighborliness, sustainability, and economic efficiency. Sessions address how to achieve such communities, touching on urban design, public art, historic preservation, and new urbanism.

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