Message from Creigh Rahenkamp
APA-NJ Vice President for Conference Services
Things are starting to get into full swing as we start to plan for our January 2015 annual conference. As was the case last year, our formal “call for sessions” is decidedly informal! We invite your participation, support, and suggestions for content. If you have a fully formed session with content and speakers, I’m happy (very!) to get that level of detail. On the other hand, if you want to suggest a topic that you would like to hear more about, or a speaker you think we should recruit, please share that as well. We do a lot of session building and merging and any input is good input.
APA-NJ has been experimenting the past few years with formats and we have settled on a pattern for our content. Thursday is our day of “planning craft” – a focus on skills development, education, and the practice of our profession. We will again offer 5 or 6 specific, substantive tracks that will include planning law, redevelopment/economic incentives, environment and several tracks that vary by year.
This year we will have a track on innovations in planning for healthy communities that will take us past consciousness raising and agreeing it is a good thing, to the point that we talk about actual concrete steps in planning and zoning practice to start achieving results. I am also working on an energy track that will focus on the zoning issues that are arising from new types of fuel (CNG stations and integrating electric charging stations) and related issues. We still have room for at least one additional topic and ideas to fill in our traditional tracks.
Friday will continue as our day of broad sessions covering a full range of topics. The emphasis on is planning done well – reporting on successes in the field, updates on changing regulations, the launch of new programs and innovative approaches applied in our communities. We need lots of good stories to tell on Friday!
With its greater focus on the practice of our profession, Thursday’s lunch will host the return of the Chapter’s professional awards and recognition and Friday’s lunch will host our keynote.
SO HOLD THE DATE…..You will want to be in New Brunswick on January 29 and 30!
Session Suggestions – We Want Your Ideas!