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Land Use Planning Contingent to Converge in Santa Barbara Sept. 11-14

More than 1,000 professionals from around California are expected to attend the conference

The Central Coast Section of the American Planning Association will host the California Chapter’s Annual Conference Sept. 11-14 at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd. in Santa Barbara.

The conference provides unparalleled opportunities for planning practitioners, educators, students, elected or appointed officials, researchers and community activists who are committed to promoting sound city and regional land use planning practices.

More than 1,000 professional planners from around the state will spend up to four days in Santa Barbara presenting, studying and collaborating on the technical, legislative, legal and political aspects of land use. They will take advantage of more than 75 conference sessions, nationally renowned keynote speakers, mobile workshops and more than 200 exhibits, networking activities and special events.

Land use planning is a subject that covers many disciplines, so attendees can look forward to hearing from industry leaders on the following subjects transportation planning, flood protection and legislation, renewable energy projects, air quality and climate change, water resource planning, smart growth and urban design, energy efficiency and green building, housing trends and anti-NIMBY legislation, historic and cultural preservation, hazards mitigation, CEQA reform, local redevelopment, GIS and mapping technologies, state and local government finance, stormwater regulations, social media and public engagement, local government ethics and sustainable agriculture.

More than half of the attendees will be senior-level local government or consulting planners, managers or directors. Many of the attendees are also presenters. The conference is one of the major opportunities for student planners to network for jobs and show off their research. Students come from major universities with programs in city planning or environmental management, such as Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Pamona, UC Davis, UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, UC Berkeley and more.

The conference also offers perfect opportunity for freshly appointed planning commissioners from around the state who want to absorb some of the basics of the profession, dive deep into the history of the trade or learn about new legislation that will affect their local communities’ land-use decisions.

“Excitement is building in the local planning community as we prepare to host the 2011 conference at the popular beachside Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort,” said Paul Wack, AICP, a conference co-chair and a professor with the Cal Poly City and Regional Planning Department. “This summer-ending conference event will offer a fabulous setting for planners from across the state to meet, network and learn about new challenges and opportunities. We look forward to showing off the tremendous achievements that are the result of decades of strong land use planning on the South Coast, and we hope that planners from around the state will take advantage of this highly walkable and bicycle-friendly community, in addition to the traditional learning environment that APA will provide.”

The conference will include a festive Opening Reception at the Santa Barbara Zoo, a California Planning Foundation Auction to raise funds for student scholarships, an Excellence in Planning Awards Luncheon, Diversity Summit, consultant’s reception, free student sessions and more.

The Central Coast APA serves Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Click here for more information about the organization and the conference.

— Lynne Binder is the conference coordinator for the California Chapter American Planning Association.


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