The Minnesota Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA MN) is pleased to announce the 2016 Upper Midwest Regional Planners Conference, hosted by APA Minnesota in St. Cloud, MN. The conference will take place on September 28-30, 2016, at the River's Edge Convention Center.

MEMBERS: After several requests from the membership, the Awards chair is extending the deadline for the awards submittals to May 13. Student awards and scholarships will still be due June 3, 2016. All other information remains the same.

CONFERENCE THEME - The 2016 Conference Theme is Bridging the Gaps: Building Our Future Together. As we all know, Minnesota consistently ranks near the top when it comes to economy, education, health, and livability. Yet these outcomes and opportunities vary greatly depending on who you are and where you live. Our state and our region face some of the deepest and most persistent disparities at all levels, spanning race, income, employment, physical ability, age, gender, internet access, transportation, health, geography, education, environmental justice, housing, and food access. These inequitable gaps increasingly hinder the ability of people in certain communities to live up to their full potential. We hope to do better for all people in the Upper Midwest.

In practice of this year's theme of bridging gaps we are working to increase the diversity of those in attendance. We welcome our interdisciplinary partners in the field - architects, developers, elected officials, engineers, public health and community advocates - especially people working for change in communities most affected by disparities. We extend a special invitation to the planners of the future - planning students and young professionals. As this year's Upper Midwest Conference, we also invite our neighbors from Iowa and Wisconsin to join us to share how they are working for equity in their communities.

The program committee is seeking a broad range of sessions covering a diversity of presentation types and planning topics. The firm deadline for the proposals to be submitted will be March 18, 2016, with no extensions. We encourage all presenters to include the theme of the conference in their session and in their titles. Presentations that clearly address how the theme will be discussed during the session will be given preference.

If you have any questions about the forms, please contact: Raya Esmaeili at raya.esmaeili@metc.state.mn.us or Michael Palermo at mpalermo@srfconsulting.com for General Sessions and Speed Sessions. For further information concerning mobile tours, contact Chelle Benson at chelle.benson@co.stearns.mn.us or Ryan Miller at ryan.miller@ci.fergus-falls.mn.us.

Joe Janish
Joe Janish

Eric Weiss
Eric Weiss

Conference 2016 Co-chairs


American Planning Association Minnesota

9288 Beverly Drive
Breezy Point, MN 56472

phone: 1-888-882-5369 (toll free)
e-mail: registration@plannersconference.com