It’s the New Year and the 2018 California Chapter Conference in San Diego will be here before you know it! Start the new year right by submitting a session!

The opportunity for planners in the San Diego region to highlight the great work we’ve embarked upon or accomplished comes around every eight years – and 2018 is our year!

You’ve probably seen the Call for Submittals for sessions for the conference to be held October 7 – 10 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina on Harbor Island. The submittal period for session proposals is open NOW until January 31 so now is the time for you to capture those thoughts you’ve had about what you’d like to have seen at recent conferences and submit a proposal for consideration at our home conference. This is our opportunity to craft in-depth and thought-provoking discussions to show off the planning we’ve been doing in our region.

The Conference Host Committee this year has developed four intriguing tracks to implement the theme of Shaping Our Future: Planning Places for All. The Call for Presentations details those tracks:

Following each conference, attendees are surveyed about their experience, the conference venue, and ideas on how to improve the conference tracks and the 2017 attendees were eager to share their ideas for 2018. Below are a few of the suggestions for topics of value that last year’s attendees indicated they’d be interested and for which the Conference Host Committee believes expertise exists among us in this region:

  • Concepts they can put to use; innovative techniques that will bring results; and approaches that they can implement in the first day back in the office.
  • Appeal to a diverse group of planners, those working in regional agencies and smaller communities, and urban areas as well as suburban and rural parts of the state.
  • More interactive sessions with clear learning objectives and takeaways to apply to a range of situations.
  • Topics on public engagement and community outreach, especially how to maximize communication with constituents, how to effectively use social media, and how to achieve outreach goals on limited budgets.
  • Innovation in permitting systems and planning department websites that provide usable tools to constituents and the profession.
  • Examples of how agencies are planning for unique changes and reports on Climate Action Plans that have resulted in changed practices.
  • New transportation technologies and addressing the shift from VMT.
  • Latest efforts to respond to new state legislation on a variety of topics on housing such as affordable housing, short term rentals and enforcement, homelessness, senior housing and alternative housing design.

Committed Conference Host Committee members have been at work for several months preliminarily developing the structure for the conference educational program and special events. Session Tracks have been developed and the submittal period for soliciting sessions from individuals across the Chapter is currently open. The Student Subcommittee has begun to develop a program that will provide career development and networking opportunities for university students around the Chapter. Over 15 mobile workshop ideas are being developed to highlight our natural environment and development projects that are shaping the region. And, of course, fun events for conference attendees. If you think it’s too late to get involved with the conference now that 2018 is here, it’s not! There will be opportunities to volunteer at the conference as well as opportunities to assist with the mobile workshops and special events. Look for upcoming announcements.

So, the Committee urges you to submit a session for our conference highlighting your expertise, a successful program, or even a lesson you’ve learned that shines a light on the best of San Diego Section members, agencies, and firms. The submittal link is: