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Submit Your Session Proposal for APA WA 2023

Call for Sessions

Submissions have now closed. 

Preparing your Proposal | Submittal CriteriaPresenter Registration | AICP CM Credit Requirements

The Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA WA) invites you to submit your session proposals for the 2023 Annual Planning Conference, to be held October 11-13, 2023, at the Davenport Grand Hotel in Spokane, WA.

The theme of the 2023 conference is Leading the Change: Ideas from Around the State. Change is the one constant in our profession. And this year introduces a wealth of it, with new planning requirements from the legislature, updated regional planning guidance, and growing community expectations for effective involvement in governance, not to mention adjusting to the new post-Covid normal in our communities. These changes touch every Washington community, and planners are responding creatively to the challenge. This October we'll learn from each others' experiences and position ourselves to lead the change.

The conference will provide the opportunity to share and network with your professional planning colleagues from around the state (and beyond) to share ideas in these changing times. You are encouraged to propose sessions and mobile workshops that address any planning-related aspect, however, the following descriptions provide guidance to focus your session:

Community Engagement, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

What tools and techniques are essential to ensuring our plans, policies, programs, and project siting authentically represent full participation by the whole community, including the historically underrepresented?   How do we know when we get it right and ensure all voices have been heard and represented, not just the loudest and most accessible? What steps is your community taking to address systemic racism in its policies, plans, and codes?

Transportation and Mobility Challenges

A community’s transportation network is one of its most valuable assets.  How can planners help to make this system work for all multi-modal users, including non-motorized and accessibility considerations?  How is sustainability being incorporated into mobility plans? What can we learn from projects that did or didn’t go according to plan?

Sustainability, Climate Change, Resiliency, and Green Energy

Planners are focused on incorporating sustainability and climate change into their plans and programs. How can communities and systems remain resilient under the pressures of growth and change?  What strategies are being implemented in both urban and rural settings and the spaces in between? How are communities incorporating strategies for considerations such as sea level rise, decarbonization, and sustaining tree canopies?

The Regulatory Environment and Long-Range Plans

Cities and counties are in the process of conducting periodic reviews of their comprehensive plans under the Growth Management Act. How are you incorporating mandatory updates?  How is your jurisdiction seeking public input, including input from tribes and historically underrepresented interests?  How are these policies informing regulatory updates?

Affordable Housing and Infrastructure Planning in the Built Environment

Municipalities are preparing their Housing Action Plans to address housing needs, options, and increase the supply of affordable housing for diverse populations in response to recent state legislation. How are you responding to the new state requirements and what lessons have you learned from successfully framing the issues for the public to increase understanding and support to increase housing options?  

The Planning Practice: Ethics, Succession Planning, Skill Building

In this time of change, what ethical challenges have you encountered and what can you share with your fellow planners about incorporating ethics into your practice? How is your organization identifying future leaders and preparing them to step into leadership positions? What new skills do planners need to navigate the changing landscape?  

Also, keep in mind that the Chapter wants to be able to offer CM-approved sessions, including those that address the mandatory topics of Ethics, Planning Law, Equity, Sustainability, and Resilience.  Learn more about the criteria for these specific mandatory CM credits.


Please contact the APA Washington Office at (206) 682-7436 or [email protected]

Your Session Proposal

How to Prepare Your Proposal:

TOPIC and PRESENTERS:  The first thing is to decide on your topic and think through the story to be told and who are the best people to tell that story.  You are welcome to invite non-planners to present if their comments add to the topic. Please shape sessions to be consistent with Certification Maintenance requirements, including the four mandatory CM credits (see Criteria for CM Mandatory Credits (

The following information will be requested during the submission process. 

  • Session Title
  • Session Description, including the objectives of the session
  • Short summary of session - limit of 150 words (for conference marketing)
  • Session Format (Point/Counterpoint, Panel Discussions, Moderated Debate, Interactive Workshops, etc.)
  • Proposed Session Length (Between 45-75 minutes) and if you would be willing to adjust the time of your session, depending on program needs
  • Session Coordinator Contact information
  • Presenters - names, contact information and biographies.
  • Moderator (if appropriate for panel)  - names, contact information and biographies.
  • Audio visual requirements
  • You will need to submit a completed CM form (which will include some of the above information) once your session is selected

Submittal Criteria

Complete submission form, by July 16, 2023.

The Program Committee will select conference sessions considering the following criteria:

• Proposal provides the information requested above.

• Sessions that are unique, engaging, and, while not mandatory, address aspects of the conference theme.

• Sessions that include APA members, although, sessions offering a panel with diverse perspectives (e.g., multi-disciplinary views, geographic diversity, etc.) are also desirable.

The Program Committee is responsible for overseeing the content of each session and, as the conference program develops, edits to proposals, suggestions for additions, or other changes may be requested to better balance each session.

Registration Information

• Presenters will receive free admission for the day they speak or 50% off the full conference.

• We do not pay honoraria or reimburse for travel or lodging expenses.

• Members of sessions selected will be notified once conference registration is live

AICP - CM Credits

Conference Sessions will offer AICP Certification Maintenance, so session organizers are asked to structure their proposals to be consistent with the CM learning objectives. Please fill out the session form below. Please reference CM learning criteria in structuring your session so you can ensure that the chapter can acquire CM credits for it (if the session lends itself to that.)

Submissions have now closed. 

If selected, you will be contacted by a Program Committee member to complete a CM form.