October 6-8, 2021

We’re excited to announce the 2021 Joint TAPA/GPA Fall Conference will be an in-person conference! The conference will take place at the Chattanooga Convention Center in Chattanooga, TN and is a joint event with the Tennessee Chapter of APA. The conference format can always go virtual if needed, as safety is our highest priority.

There is still time to register. Onsite pricing is now in effect.

Register Today!

Download the Mobile Conference Guide

COVID-19 Update

We are implementing a requirement that attendees either certify they have been vaccinated for COVID-19 or provide verification of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within the 48 hours preceding arrival at the conference.

Read Full COVID Update

Keynote Address Speaker: Charles T. Brown

Founder and Principal of Equitable Cities

“Mobility for All: The Importance of Centering Racial Equity in Transportation Planning, Policy and Research”

This presentation will highlight the importance of centering racial equity in transportation decision-making processes. It will explore how transportation inequities have and continue to result in adverse outcomes in BIPOC communities, including increases in traffic violence and crime, reductions in physical activities and access to healthy foods, and increases in social isolation and environmental toxins and other pollutants. Participants will also be introduced to Arrested Mobility, which examines how the collective racialized forces of over-policing BIPOC mobility has led to adverse social, political, economic, environmental and health outcomes that are preventable. Lastly, this presentation will surgically examine the ways in which our approaches to research, planning, policy, and design can and must be reimagined to achieve greater mobility, health, and safety for BIPOC populations.

Join us at the Fall Conference for Keynote Address on Thursday, October 7 at 12:00 pm.

Charles T. Brown

Charles T. Brown is the founder and principal of Equitable Cities, a minority- and veteran-owned urban planning, public policy and research firm focused at the intersection of transportation, health and equity. He is also an adjunct professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.

Charles is an award-winning expert in planning and policy and has been interviewed by several notable outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, VICE and Bloomberg CityLab. He is highly regarded as a keynote speaker and leads workshops on transportation, health and equity for audiences worldwide.

Read Full Bio


The Conference Guide is Mobile

The 2021 Joint Fall Conference will use the digital platform Guidebook for its conference schedule and guide.

Download the App for free on your apple or android device prior to attending the conference. Plan your sessions to attend, connect with other attendees and sponsors. At your fingertips, you can keep up-to-date on the latest information, schedule changes, learn about the speakers while you are onsite at the conference.

Once the Guidebook app is downloaded to your device, search for 2021 Joint TAPA/GPA Fall Conference.

Social Events – Thursday

Both events are hosted by GPA’s Emerging Planners of Georgia (EPG) and TAPA and are open to ALL registered attendees!

Scavenger Hunt – Chattanooga

Embark on a team-building adventure to discover the best of Chattanooga. This is a great opportunity to discover parks and public art, learn about Chattanooga’s history and new planning initiatives, and get some fresh air in a beautiful environment. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers!

Download or View the Scavenger Hunt flyer

Social Hour – OddStory Brewing Co.

Socialize with your planning colleagues at the OddStory Brewing Co. on Thursday, October 7 at 6:00 pm. Guests are on their own for dinner and beverages.

OddStory Brewing Co is located at 336 E ML King Blvd Chattanooga, TN 37403. See you there and happy hunting!


Full Conference Registration gives you access to all sessions and breaks, Wednesday Welcome Reception, Thursday and Friday Continental Breakfasts, and Thursday Lunch. The Thursday Social Event will have food and drink available for purchase.

Daily Conference Registration gives you access to all sessions, breaks and functions for the day.

  Onsite Registration
(10/2 – 10/8)
GPA/TAPA Member $275
GPA/TAPA Non-Member $315
GPA/TAPA Retired/Unemployed/ Student Volunteer $75
GPA/TAPA Planning Official $125
Wednesday Only $100
Thursday Only $150
Friday Only $100

Register Today!

Hotel Information

Chattanooga Marriott Downtown

2 Carter Plaza
Chattanooga, TN 37402

Self-Parking: $15 plus tax per day, per vehicle
Valet: $18 plus tax per day, per vehicle

Marriott reservations: 800-841-1674
(reference GA Planning Association or TN Planning Association)

Conference Schedule

Download Schedule PDF

Wednesday, October 6

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM     TAPA Board Meeting
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM     Registration
1:00 PM – 2:15 PM     Breakout Sessions

  • Equity: It’s Not a Thing, It’s Everything
  • Using Historic Preservation to Maintain Neighborhood Diversity
  • Enhancing Rural Economics and Infrastructure

2:30 PM – 3:45 PM     Breakout Sessions

  • Community Engagement During and After the Pandemic
  • Georgia Now and Forever: How Land Cover Data Can Foster Sustainable Communities
  • Regional Trails in Metropolitan Atlanta

2:30 PM – 4:30 PM     Mobile Workshop #1
4:00 PM – 5:15 PM     Breakout Sessions

  • Ethics (4:00 PM – 5:30 PM)
  • Environmental Laws & Transportation Decision-making
  • Implementing Bus Electrification Programs –  Experience of GA and TN Transit Agencies

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM     Welcome Reception

Thursday, October 7

7:00 AM – 8:45 AM     Continental Breakfast & Registration
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM     Breakout Sessions

  • TDOT Access Management Policy Update – Where’s my Driveway?
  • Trail-Oriented Development for Everyone
  • Creative Steps to Activate Public Spaces
  • Student Presentations  

9:30 AM – 11:30 AM     Mobile Workshop #2
10:30 AM – 11:45 AM     Breakout Sessions

  • 2021 GA and TN Legislative Review: A Comparison of the Policy and Advocacy Efforts of both Chapters
  • It’s Time for Realistic TOD Plans: Avoiding the Aspirational Design Trap
  • Keep on Trucking – Regional, Statewide, and Multi-State Perspectives on Freight Planning
  • AICP Exam Session: Make No Little Plans: Preparing for Your AICP Exam

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM     Lunch, Awards, and Keynote Address: Mobility for All: The Importance of Centering Racial Equity in Transportation Planning, Policy and Research
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM     Breakout Sessions

  • Looking to the Future – Engaging Younger Generations in Planning
  • The Keys to A Successful Downtown
  • Focus on Regional: Implementing Regional Transit Development Plans and Operations AICP
  • AICP Exam Session: Environmental and Natural Resource Planning

2:30 PM – 4:30 PM     Mobile Workshop #3
3:30 PM – 4:45 PM     Breakout Sessions

  • Grant Myth Busting for Local Governments
  • Driving the Future of Climate Resilience
  • Thinking outside the box to integrate equity into transportation planning efforts in the Greater Chattanooga region: Reflecting on an MPO’s evolving approach to meeting the intent of planning requirements related to transportation equity
  • AICP Exam Session: Urban Design

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM     GPA Board Meeting
5:15 PM – 7:00 PM     Chattanooga Scavenger Hunt presented by TAPA/EPG
6:00 PM    Reception hosted by GPA EPG and TAPA – OddStory Brewing                     

Friday, October 8

7:00 AM – 8:45 AM     Continental Breakfast & Registration
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM     Breakout Sessions

  • The Bend: Leveraging Form-Based Code to Drive Industrial Revitalization in Chattanooga’s Riverfront
  • Suburban Transit(itions)
  • Lessons Learned in Rural Engagement

8:30 AM – 10:30 AM     Mobile Workshop #4
10:30 AM – 11:45 AM     Breakout Sessions

  • Georgia and Tennessee: What Can We Learn from Pandemic Flu Planning?
  • Planning for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles in Small Cities
  • Planning for Sign Code Success

Download Schedule PDF

Mobile Workshop Information

** Meet in the registration area of the Convention Center 5-10 minutes prior to the start time for departure. All Mobile Workshops will depart once registrants are checked in.

Mobile Workshop #1:  How Missing Middle Housing Meets Today’s Housing Demands

Date/time: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Transportation: Public transit, walking
Fee: $7

Cities across the country are rediscovering the utility that house-scale multi-family buildings, or “Missing Middle” housing, can provide. Participants of this workshop will first look to the past to understand how these housing forms have continued to work for generations in downtown Chattanooga’s MLK neighborhood. Next, participants will take a trip on public transit to the Highland Park neighborhood to see how contemporary examples of Missing Middle housing address walkability, affordability, and community resiliency.

Mobile Workshop #2:  The Southside and Main Street:  Lessons Learned from Urban Neighborhood Redevelopment

Date/time: Thursday, October 7, 2021, 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Transportation: Walking 
Fee: Free, but registration required

Homes in Chattanooga’s Southside neighborhoods are in high demand and Main Street has become one of the city’s most popular destinations with local shops and restaurants. How did this once derelict area turn around? Participants will learn about the redevelopment obstacles and solutions, catalytic projects, zoning changes, and continuing challenges of revitalizing urban neighborhoods.

Mobile Workshop #3:  Revitalization of Downtown Chattanooga’s Riverfront

Date/time: Thursday, October 7, 2021, 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Transportation:  Bicycle (approximately 3 miles, easy and flat).  Bicycle included in workshop fee.  Bring your own helmet.  
Fee: $10 

Chattanooga’s downtown and riverfront have undergone a remarkable transformation in the last three decades. Using Chattanooga’s bike share program, workshop participants will ride approximately 3 miles through the heart of downtown, to Ross’s Landing, past the Tennessee Aquarium, and along a section of the paved Riverwalk to the Blue Goose Hollow Trailhead. In addition to enjoying the natural scenery along the Tennessee River, participants will hear about new riverfront housing, hotels, playgrounds, and public art.

Mobile Workshop #4:  Benefits of Quality Public Spaces

Date/time: Friday, October 8, 2021, 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Transportation: Walking
Fee: Free, but registration required

This workshop will explore the value of public spaces as public assets that benefit the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of cities. Participants will visit several public spaces in and around downtown Chattanooga to observe how people interact with open spaces and hear history about the public/private/philanthropic partnerships that have helped amplify these spaces in recent years. The workshop will include discussions about the value of public art, green spaces, and the power of public spaces to foster social connections.

Thanks to Our Conference Sponsors

Click each logo to visit the sponsor’s website.

Learn More about Becoming a Sponsor