"It takes a Planner" was the conference's theme this year with this messaging throughout.
Opening Keynote Session at Conference
Name: Griffin Mills
Degree Program: MASTER OF URBAN PLANNING
Specialization: MUP-City and Community Planning
Conference Host Organization/Institution: American Planning Association
Conference/Competition Name: APA- National Planning Conference
Conference Term: Spring Conference Start Date: 2023-03-31 Conference End Date: 2023-04-03
What were your takeaways from this conference/case competition?
Some key takeaways from this conference was the wide range of planning issues that are happening across the country. It was interesting to get perspectives from planning professionals who may work in more rural or suburban areas, and learning the difference between NYC planning and other municipalities. I also got to learn more about climate issues and the intersection of planning which was new since I haven't taken a course at Wagner yet about that.
How will your participation in this conference/case competition support your professional development?
Participation in the conference will support my professional development in the long term since it opened my eyes to the wide range of career pathways. I was able to attend sessions on transit, housing, and resiliency where I learned about work being done at various levels of government and in different sectors. Learning about different pathways allowed me to do some more reflection on what I want to do and how I want to get there.
What are some next steps or action items this conference/case competition inspired?
Some next steps for me that the conference inspired was to continue doing my own research and readings into topics that interest me. Even if Wagner does not necessarily offer a class in an area I want to learn more about, there is plenty of research being done in it anyway and I should take the liberty to read up on interesting issues. I think there is so much for me to learn in this early stage of my urban planning career.
What are some tips or best practices that you would like to share with other Wagner students who attend a conference/case competition?
Some tips I would recommend are warning future MUP students that the conference can be long and lengthy and to prioritize sessions that you are learning something new in. My favorite sessions were ones where I felt I didn't know much about the topic area, and I much preferred those sessions then trying to attend every single transportation session for example. Going to a diverse set of sessions is key to getting the most out of the APA conference.
Wagner Areas of Impact: Cities, Government, Housing, Inequality, Race, and Poverty, Transportation