2018 APA-NYM Chapter Annual Conference “Save the Date” & Call for Session Proposals

Play a Part in 2018’s Premier Planning Event in the NY Metro Area

The APA New York Metro (APA-NYM) Chapter Annual Conference is a first-class event that brings together hundreds of planners, appointed and elected officials, students, and allied professionals. Whether your goal is to contribute expertise and help drive change in the field of planning, learn from your peers and adopt new practices, or connect with like-minded planners who are solving everyday challenges like yours, make plans now to join APA-NYM on November 16, 2018.

Local planning topical areas will shape the conference program, with an overall focus on infrastructure in the NY Metro area—including housing, transportation, open space, climate change resiliency and other infrastructural needs in the region.

Session proposals will be accepted until Wednesday, June 20, 2018. To submit your session proposal, please email office@nyplanning.org with the subject “APA-NYM 2018 Annual Conference Session Proposal” and include your proposal as an attachment in Word format. APA-NYM will notify everyone who submits a proposal of its acceptance or rejection for the APA-NYM Annual Conference by mid-July, 2018.

Session proposals should include a title, topical area, short and long description, learning objectives, and list of speakers. Please refer to “What Should Be Included in a Proposal?” below for a full list of session proposal requirements.

Conference sessions will undergo robust peer review to promote quality and consistency in our programming.

  • All proposed sessions will align with an identified topical area (see below), with an overall focus on infrastructure in the NY Metro area.
  • Submitters can indicate whether their content should qualify for Certification Maintenance law or ethics credit. Peer reviewers will confirm if the content qualifies and if confirmed, AICP will approve the appropriate credit eligibility.
  • Submitters can indicate whether their proposal content significantly relates to inclusiveness and/or social justice, which is encouraged.

We seek proposals that offer the potential of quality sessions on important topics that span APA-NYM members’ professional interests and that align with local planning topical areas listed below. Propose a 75-minute presentation concerned with any facet of planning that is represented within a topical area listed below. Sessions must fill 75 minutes with educational content, but how to do that is up to the proposer. Consider different formats like conducting a debate, having an interactive conversation with the audience, or facilitating a panel discussion. Consider a facilitated group discussion or a presentation that incorporates research. Your proposal should indicate the roles of speakers, panelists, and the audience if it entails more than a typical question-and-answer period.

Planning Topical Areas:

  • Diversity
  • Economic Development
  • Environment
  • Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization
  • Transportation
  • Urban Design
  • Arts and Culture
  • Waterfront
  • Zoning and Legislation

A Note on Audience Participation

While audience participation may integrate more naturally into some topics than others, APA-NYM encourages all submitters to incorporate audience engagement into their proposals. Examples include polling, formal Q&As (audience members submit questions in writing; a panel member or other session participant may answer a subset of questions), or starting the session with a question that requires audience members to interact. Please do not feel limited by these examples. We encourage you to select or devise an audience participation method that suits the proposal type and topic. We want to excite participants with new learning experiences. If you include enhanced audience involvement, be sure to point it out in your session proposal.

What Should Be Included in a Proposal?

  1. Choose a title that accurately depicts the content of your session.

The title should be able to stand alone and clearly convey what your presentation will cover.

  1. Determine the planning topical area with the APA-NYM audience in mind.

APA-NYM strives to provide a balanced conference program for our target audience. Your proposal must identify which topical area best fits the content of your session.

Please also indicate whether your proposal content significantly relates to inclusiveness and/or social justice, which is encouraged.

  1. Describe your proposed session and identify learning objectives.

Include two descriptions of your session: short (no more than 40 words) and long (no more than 200 words). Conference attendees will see the short description, so make it an effective sales pitch. Tell your potential audience why this is a can’t-miss session.

In the long description, outline the session by describing the format and the roles of the moderator, speakers/panelists, and the audience if it entails more than a typical question-and-answer period.

Describe how your session will engage the audience. Detail why your proposed session will be memorable, unique, and compelling and how it will enlighten and absorb the APA-NYM audience.

Your proposal must specify three (3) learning objectives to attract the appropriate audience for your topic. The learning objectives should be clear, measurable, and achievable.

  1. Identify the speakers

Include a complete list of confirmed speakers. If your speakers are invited but not yet confirmed, please indicate that in your proposal. Sessions with confirmed speakers will be prioritized.

We suggest recruiting a representative panel. Avoid choosing all the speakers from the same firm or agency, and try to include a mix of planners in the public sector, private sector, non-profit sector, and academia, as well as non-planners and elected officials as appropriate.

Some proposal types require additional elements. Be sure to review and comply with the specific requirements for the type of session you are proposing.

Proposal Review

All proposals received will be peer-reviewed to ensure that sessions chosen for the program reflect innovation and diversity in planning research, practice, education, and professional development.

APA-NYM will notify everyone who submits a proposal of its acceptance or rejection for the APA-NYM Annual Conference by mid-July, 2018. The proposal submitter is responsible for notifying other individuals named in the proposal of APA’s decision.

Descriptions of different formats that can be used in session proposals:

Conduct a Debate

A debate is an engaging way to present opposing views about a topic. Generally, a debate includes a moderator and presenters to represent each side of a controversial topic. The debate may consist of the moderator stating a proposition, one side presenting affirming arguments, and the other side presenting dissenting arguments. Alternatively, the moderator may pose pointed questions to which each debater responds with his or her views on the topic. Time for rebuttal and audience questions can be incorporated.

When submitting a proposal with a debate, please describe the topic, participants, format, major points likely to be argued or the questions to be posed, and the debaters’ expertise vis-à-vis the topic.

Conduct an Interactive Conversation with the Audience

Typically, one or two experts on a topic serve as hosts. This session type is well suited to helping attendees with problems they are currently facing, discussing new developments in an area, and building networks among people with similar interests. These sessions usually begin with explanatory or introductory information and move on to involve the audience in an activity.

Proposals for conversation-style sessions should name the topic, explain why it is appropriate for this session, name one or two experts to serve as hosts, and describe the expertise of each host vis-à-vis the topic. Although the expert host(s) may make a short opening presentation, most of the time should be devoted to answering questions from the audience and promoting discussion and networking.

Conduct a Panel Discussion

In a panel discussion, the organizer plays a very active role, moderating a three- or four-person panel and ensuring that all panelists have the opportunity to speak. The moderator can pose questions and facilitate audience questions. Panel discussions should generate spontaneous interaction among panelists and between panelists and the audience. Diverse perspectives among panelists is important to the session’s success.

A proposal that includes a panel discussion should describe the session structure or format, the issues or topical areas to be discussed, and some key questions that will either be addressed primarily by the panel or supplemented with questions generated by the audience. Be sure to describe how your session will engage the audience.

Incorporate Research

Research-based sessions highlight promising emerging and innovative research ideas, best practices, or case studies. Speakers should summarize the researcher’s topic and work in relation to theory and practice and describe the results of recently completed or ongoing planning research. A session might include a panel of researchers working on complementary projects, pair one or more researchers with practitioners who contributed to or are using the research, or individuals who are qualified to comment on the research findings.

Proposals based on planning research presentations should describe the work in progress or proposed. A synopsis of the topic should include the central research question, results, supporting evidence, and implications.

Contact 2018 Conference Chair, Kovid Saxena, at ksaxena@samschwartz.com for questions related to the conference, and Chapter Treasurer, Shachi Pandey, atshachi@mudworkshop.com for sponsorship opportunities.