Upper Midwest APA Conference Hosted by APA Iowa

APA Iowa Chapter


Wednesday, October 4, 2017, 8 a.m.
Friday, October 6, 2017, noon CDT

Dubuque, IA, United States


Join planners from across Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and other states for the 2017 Upper Midwest APA Planning Conference hosted by APA's Iowa Chapter. This year's conference will be held in Dubuque, Iowa from Wednesday, October 4 through Friday, October 6. Please find below a quick synopsis of the conference activities:

Progressive Dinner

On Wednesday evening, you can enjoy a taste of Dubuque featuring a progressive dinner with stops at three unique local venues.

Mobile Tours

On Wednesday afternoon, choose from tours of the Bee Branch Creek Restoration Project or Historic Millwork District, or hop on a bicycle tour. On Thursday, explore downtown mixed use redevelopment and upper story housing, or take part in a real-time transit planning exercise to expand transit service in Dubuque.

awards ceremony Reception

On Thursday evening a reception and Chapter Awards will be held at a historic site. Light appetizers and two drink tickets will be provided.

Exhibit Hall

The exhibit space will be open to conference attendees from 3:00 to 5:00 pm on Wednesday; 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday; and 7:30 a.m. to Noon on Friday.

Mentor Match

Back by popular demand, the Upper Midwest conference will offer experienced and emerging professionals the opportunity to make connections and share advice about career and professional development in person. To facilitate this connection, there will be a “meet-up” event on Thursday, October 5th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. The location of the “meet-up” will be announced with the final conference program. This is not a traditional shadowing mentor program and may be used as an opportunity to simply connect with a practicing planner and learn more about the field of planning, to review a resume, or to get tips on finding jobs and brush up your interview skills. Mentor pairs are encouraged to make the most of their match by communicating in advance of the conference and then meeting several times during the conference and attending events together.

Space is limited and matches will be assigned on a first come/first served basis. You must register for the program as a mentor or protégé.

Mentor Match Registration Deadline: Wednesday, September 20, 2017.


Upper Midwest APA Conference Partnering with Growing Sustainable Communities Conference

For the 2017 Upper Midwest APA Conference, the Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-IA) has partnered with Growing Sustainable Communities (GSC) to hold their respective conferences consecutively at the same venue to allow potential registrants to attend both conferences if they wish.  The 10th annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference will be held in Dubuque at the Grand River Center on October 3-4.  The Upper Midwest APA Conference will be held at the same venue from October 4-6.  

Two registration options for the GSC Conference exist to meet your needs.  In the past, APA-IA has provided programming on Wednesday afternoon.  This year, the Wednesday afternoon programming is supplied by the GSC Conference.  Registrants of the Upper Midwest APA Conference can register a la carte for portions of the GSC Conference in two ways:

  • Full 2-day registration to GSC conference (Register at www.gscdubuque.com)
  • One-day registration to GSC conference (Register at www.gscdubuque.com)
  • Wednesday luncheon keynote speaker (Register as part of your regular APA registration)
  • Wednesday mobile workshops (Register as part of your regular APA registration)

Those who attend both conferences will receive $10 off their registration to the GSC Conference.  If you plan to attend both conferences, please register for the Upper Midwest APA conference first.   Upon registration completion, you will receive a confirmation email that will include a code for $10 off the GSC registration.

We hope you’ll take advantage of this unique opportunity! 


Conference Site and Hotel Reservations

This year's APA conference will be held in the Port of Dubuque at the Grand River Center located at 500 Bell Street. Situated along the magnificent Mississippi River, the Grand River Center is adjacent to deluxe lodging, gaming and entertainment venues on the Port of Dubuque, including: waterpark, museum and aquarium, restaurants, river rides, marina, and bowling. The Grand River Center is within walking distance of historic downtown Dubuque, or catch the free Summer Trolley.

Room blocks have been reserved at two properties: Grand Harbor Resort & Waterpark, connected to the Grand River Center and the Holiday Inn.


Grand Harbor Resort & Waterpark

350 Bell Street

Dubuque, IA 52001

$109/per night plus tax for single or double occupancy. For each additional person, $10 charge.

Toll Free: 866-690-4006

The resort room block has been reserved until Monday, September 4, 2017.

The Grand Harbor Resort’s onsite indoor waterpark offers 25,000 square feet of wet fun for the entire family. Waterpark experience includes waterslides, tube rides, rope ladders, waterspouts, water chutes, squirt guns and powerful water cannons as well as a lazy river, activity pools, and two giant hot tub whirlpools plus the “four story splash” – 350 gallons of water dumped every eight minutes from Huck Finn II Treehouse! Rate does not include Waterpark tickets. Waterpark closed Monday-Wednesday, reopening at 4 PM on Thursday.


Holiday Inn

450 Main Street

Dubuque, IA 52001

$94 per night plus tax for single and double occupancy

P: 563-556-2000

The room block has been reserved through September 3, 2017.



Basic Registration Rates

Full Conference

Includes admission to all sessions, breakfast, Keynote Luncheon and reception on Thursday; breakfast and Keynote presentation on Friday.  Does not include the Wednesday night progressive dinner.

Payment must be received by: September 27, 2017 Paper after September 27 or Onsite
APA/Chapter Only Member $175 $200
Non-Member $225 $250
Full-Time Student $50 $75
Full-Time Student + Submission to Student Poster Contest Complimentary Complimentary
Planning Commissioner $150 $175

Thursday conference

Includes admission to all sessions, AICP Ethics session, breakfast and the Keynote Luncheon on Thursday.  Does not include admission to the reception on Thursday. You may also choose to register for Wednesday activities.

Payment must be received by: September 27, 2017 Paper after September 27 or Onsite
APA Member and Non-Member $140 $165

Friday conference

Includes admission to all sessions, AICP Law session, breakfast and the Keynote Presentation on Friday.

Payment must be received by: September 27, 2017 Paper after September 27 or Onsite
APA Member and Non-Member $100 $125

Changes and Cancellations

All registration cancellations and changes must be received by e-mail to registrationchanges@planning.org by September 27, 2017, to be eligible for a refund. There will be a $25 processing fee for cancellations and changes.


For registration questions e-mail confregistration@planning.org or call (312) 334-1250.

Resource URL


Contact Info

Naomi Hamlett, nahamlett@dmgov.org