On March 31st, Savannah State University – the Georgia’s oldest public HBCU hosted the Fifth Annual Urban Planning Conference. This year’s conference theme is “Equity Planning: Creating Diverse and Inclusive Communities”. The conference offered a total of 20 concurrent sessions and two plenary sessions that explored equitable development and advocated for policies and practices that mitigate systemic inequities in housing, transportation, economic opportunities, and living environments.
A total of 43 presenters from many institutions including Georgia Tech, University of Georgia, University of Florida, University of Miami, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, SCAD, Savannah State University, U.S. Census Bureau from Atlanta and planning agencies from many cities including Sandy Springs, Atlanta and Savannah presented their papers in the conference. All lectures were approved by the APA for certification maintenance credits for AICP holders.
The keynote speaker in the conference was Dr. Matias Valenzuela. Dr. Valenzuela is the Director of the Office of Equity and Social Justice in King County, WA. His office is a countywide effort to address the root causes of inequities working with all county agencies and the community. He presented and discussed the implementation of The Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan that collectively established a set of values to achieve a goal of equity and social justice for all residents of King County, Washington.
The Chatham County Commissioner presented a Proclamation Plaque to the Master of Science in Urban Studies and Planning at Savannah State University for hosting the annual Urban Planning Conference. The Plaque was presented by Commissioner District 6 Jay Jones during the Opening Plenary Session of the conference to Dr. Deden Rukmana, the coordinator of Urban Studies and Planning program at Savannah State University.
Two local TV stations covered and broadcast the conference as you can see in the links below: