I had the opportunity to visit the Rail Park in Philadelphia as part of the conference, which serves as their local version of a High Line. It is being built in phases and looks poised to be a useful walking and cycling path in the city.
Name: John Higdon
Degree Program: MASTER OF URBAN PLANNING
Conference Host Organization/Institution: American Planning Association (APA)
Conference/Competition Name: APA National Planning Conference
Conference Term: Spring Conference Start Date: 2023-04-01 Conference End Date: 2023-04-04
What were your takeaways from this conference/case competition?
I was surprised to see the wide range of sessions available at APA NPC23, included ones I attended on urban agriculture, transportation funding, housing equity, and transportation design. One of the major takeaways I had was that local planning offices throughout the country attended in order to take ideas back to their parts of country, something I think is extremely positive for the field in general.
How will your participation in this conference/case competition support your professional development?
I spent a lot of time in the exhibition hall speaking to recruiters and experts in the planning field, which served as great networking. There were also several networking events dedicated throughout the weekend, and I attended many of these which supported my professional development.
What are some next steps or action items this conference/case competition inspired?
One next step that I've already taken is I applied to a position with ESRI, which I had not previously considered. They had a strong presence at the conference and I spoke to a recruiter who told me about a position that was a good fit for me at their New York office. This was a great connection and I look forward to keeping on eye on their job listing page to see if anything else becomes available.
What are some tips or best practices that you would like to share with other Wagner students who attend a conference/case competition?
One tip is to go to as many sessions and events as possible, but don't burnout. These conferences can be exhausting, and its up to you to know when to take a break and go be a tourist in whatever new city the conference is in. I took a long lunch on more than one day in order to allow myself to recharge after a long morning.
Wagner Areas of Impact: Cities, Education, Government, Housing, Inequality, Race, and Poverty, International Development, Transportation