APA Board Update Winter 2014

By Rodger Lentz, AICP – Board Director from Region 2

The national planning conference is quickly approaching and I am really looking forward to being in Atlanta at the end of April. I hear that the local host committee is ready to show us what Atlanta is all about! Thank you for your hard work. If you haven’t registered I hope you will make plans to attend. Whether you want to learn about brownfields, transit, economic development, neighborhood revitalization, the Atlanta Beltway, or other planning best practices, the Atlanta conference has a lot to offer. If you want to spend even more time in Georgia, consider registering for the post conference trip to Savannah, one of my favorite places to visit.

As was announced late last year, longtime APA CEO Paul Farmer, FAICP is retiring. The APA Board has been hard at work developing a selection process and attracting top candidates for this opportunity. We have reached out to chapter, division and student leaders and the AICP Commission to help us learn what qualities we should look for in our next CEO. The Board has also met with APA staff to learn where they think the organization can go over the next decade. Between now and this summer applicants will be vetted and interviews held. We hope to announce Paul’s successor early this summer.

Several task forces have been established by APA President, Bill Anderson, FAICP and endorsed by the Board of Directors. Many will be holding sessions at the Atlanta conference to share their work. They include:

  • The Emerging Issues Task Force continues after its initial creation by Mitch Silver, AICP and will identify emerging planning issues in the spans of 5, 20, and 50 years into the future.
  • The Consumers of Planning/Engaged Citizens Task Force is charged to develop a strategy for APA to meaningfully engage citizens who are not professional planners through programs and electronic communications.
  • The People and Places Task Force will develop an APA strategy for addressing changing demographics and how communities can best accommodate these trends.
  • The Legislative and Policy Committee along with academics, practitioners and citizens will develop a policy paper on Aging Population and Hazard Mitigation.
  • The City Planning and Management Division will lead an effort titled “The Planning Agency of the Future” and will develop models that will include information on technology impacts; services required; differentiations for large and small communities; firms of all sizes; and fiscal implications.
  • A report on Smart Cities and Sustainability will be developed jointly by the Sustainable
  • Communities, Transportation, and Technology Divisions that will highlight the use of information technology to further more sustainable and resilient cities and regions. 
  • A white paper on Planning for Economic Development, which outlines the history and tradition of planning for economic development, will be prepared jointly by the Economic Development and Housing and Community Development Divisions. 
  • A Retired Member Task Force is working on development of a strategy for retaining retired planners as members so that they can provide value to the organization through volunteerism, mentoring, and teaching.
  • A Water Task Force will prepare a report with recommendations regarding water and planning, both for the U.S. and globally.

The AICP Commission will lead a broad‐based initiative to identify the “core competencies” of planners with engagement of members of the academy and others. A forum is planned at the Atlanta conference to hear member ideas.

Several of these efforts will report their findings at the Atlanta conference. Look for sessions in the conference program. Others will continue their work through 2015. Hopefully you will find the work of these task forces beneficial to you whether you are a member of a planning commission, an elected official, a practicing planner or a planning student.

We have had quite the winter across Region 2! Spring will start peeking through the ice and snow soon enough. Spring in Atlanta brings great weather and this year a chance to learn from planning practitioners from across the country. I hope you will join us. I look forward to seeing you there.

I’ll be tweeting about the conference and other planning topics, you can follow me @lentztweet.