On November 2nd and 3rd the Graduate Program in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Iowa hosted the annual Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) conference. This year’s topic was, "Making Great Communities Happen." Mobile workshops included trips to the Coralville River Landing project, Iowa City's new urbanist neighborhood, and to Plaza Towers, a large redevelopment project in downtown Iowa City. There were a number of sessions on the issues of green and sustainable design, legal issues in planning, and historic preservation. Individual sessions included visualization and virtual reality technology in planning, GIS applications, the American Community Survey, multi-jurisdictional planning, downtown loft living, trails planning and Iowa City's post-tornado planning.
Don Brandes, Jr., a nationally recognized and award-winning planner and landscape architect, gave the keynote address during the Thursday lunch at the Levitt Center. Later that evening an awards reception was held in the newly refurbished 1842 Old Capitol Museum.
The conference was organized by Pam Butler and Alan Peters, assisted by the APA's Tom Treharne from the City of Marion. We hope to Podcast a number of the sessions - stay tuned.