News Release: September 14, 2016

Connecting Federal Policy to American Communities

APA’s three-day Policy and Advocacy Conference explores policy implications.

WASHINGTON, DC — Creating smart, equitable communities is the focus of this year’s American Planning Association (APA) Policy and Advocacy Conference. The conference is Sunday, September 18, through Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at the Loews Madison Hotel.

The three-day conference provides an in-depth look at how federal policies and initiatives impact local planning decisions made in communities around the country. Conference participants will have an opportunity to directly hear from and ask questions of key leaders and administration officials.

The opening plenary, The Daniel Burnham Forum on Big Ideas (Sunday, September 18, 5:30 p.m.), will provide a first-look at Prosperity Playbook, the new U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) digital toolkit to help communities create greater shared prosperity in America’s cities, towns, and regions. The Burnham Forum speakers are Harriet Tregoning, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Community Planning and Development, HUD;  Honorable Sly James, Mayor, City of Kansas City; and Honorable Kasim Reed, Mayor, City of Atlanta.

Monday’s sessions will focus on how planners can contribute to creating more equitable communities through the use of data, placemaking, and livable streets. Featured speakers include:

  • Julián Castro, Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Aden Van Noppen, Senior Policy Advisor, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Rohit T. Aggarwala, Chief Policy Officer, Sidewalk Labs
  • Mara Liasson, National Political Correspondent, NPR
  • Janette Sadik-Khan, Principal, Bloomberg Associates
  • Stockton Williams, Executive Director, Terwilliger Center for Housing, Urban Land Institute

The conference concludes on Tuesday when APA members head to Capitol Hill to meet with their respective legislators. APA members have intimate knowledge of how policy decisions are impacting their communities. Additionally, APA members will be asking their legislators to support appropriations and urban parks.

The APA Policy and Advocacy Conference is open to anyone with an interest in promoting good planning practices. On-site registration is available at the Loews Madison Hotel in the Montpelier foyer.

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning — physical, economic and social — so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. Members of APA help create communities of lasting value and encourage civic leaders, business interests and citizens to play a meaningful role in creating communities that enrich people's lives. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. For more information, visit

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Roberta Rewers, APA, 312-786-6395;