2018 National Planning Conference

Fun: Nightlife and Cities

Sunday, April 14, 2019 from 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. PDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198133

Location: 2004

Add to My Log


  • Identify nightlife challenges facing vibrant cities nationwide.
  • Understand how planning, policy, and design impact nightlife.
  • Discover emerging best practices in planning for nightlife.


In cities across the country, new residential developments are rising up in vibrant neighborhoods historically defined by rich nightlife, including restaurants, bars, and music venues. But while nightlife attracts people to neighborhoods and contributes greatly to local economies, without adequate planning the convergence of residents and nightlife creates inevitable compatibility issues: conflicts over sound, trash, traffic and other considerations.

While the critical intersection of nightlife and planning has not received much attention, in recent years a growing international network of nightlife advocates, economic development professionals, and city administrators has begun developing innovative strategies for planning and policymaking to support the continued vitality of nightlife and culture in cities.

This session highlights examples of how a lack of effective planning contributes to conflicts and leads to reactive policymaking. Examine a range of innovative strategies in land use, zoning, design and adaptation being applied or explored to improve nightlife districts in San Francisco; Austin, Texas; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Seattle.

Showcased practices include "agent of change” legislation to ensure compatibility between entertainment venues and residential developments, creative approaches to zoning for live music, and the application of CPTED principles to promote safety in nightlife districts.

This course is approved to offer 1.25 LUs (AIA).

Session Speakers

Benjamin Van Houten
San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development
San Francisco, CA

Brian Block, AICP
City Of Austin - Economic Development Department
Austin, TX

Sarah E. Hannah-Spurlock
City of Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, FL