2019 Call for Session Proposals

Call for Session Proposals

SNEAPA 2019: Rethink Reinvest • Renew

October 17+18

MassMutual Center, Springfield, MA


The Call for Session Proposals is now closed. Thank you for all your responses - we have a record 96 Session Proposals to review! We anticipate making final decisions mid-summer.


Proposal Submission Deadline: Extended! JUNE 21st 11:59 pm

Submit Proposals at https://forms.gle/bhiNogxktyUi8pmU7

Questions: programs@sneapa.org

Downloadable PDF (please note that the PDF has not been updated with the extended deadline): 2019 SNEAPA Call for Sessions Final.pdf 


Share your expertise and experiences in planning, development, and related fields by submitting a session proposal for the 2019 Southern New England American Planning Association (SNEAPA) Planning Conference. The Massachusetts Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-MA), in collaboration with the Rhode Island and Connecticut Chapters of the American Planning Association, is hosting this annual event at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA on October 17 and 18, 2019.

The SNEAPA Conference attracts up to 700 planners, engineers, architects, landscape architects, academics, students, and other professionals in the public, private, institutional, and non-profit sectors from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the surrounding regions.

Session Proposal Format

We seek session proposals that will provide attendees with knowledge and skills necessary to apply best practices in planning, design, and public engagement. Priority will be given to sessions that are engaging to the audience and provide hands-on training and skill-building. In addition to general sessions that will be widely-applicable and interesting to our attendees, the 2019 SNEAPA Committee is seeking proposals that tie in with this year’s conference theme of Rethink Reinvest • Renew, are interdisciplinary in nature, provide participants with an opportunity to build their professional skill set, or are new and exciting with a focus on current trends in planning. Specifically, the conference committee would like to offer sessions that focus on: reinventing in post-industrial cities/communities, adaptive reuse and neighborhood revitalization (mill buildings, malls, big box stores, etc.), integrating story telling into your planning projects, implementing pop-ups, public art, place-making, or similar projects, creating “third spaces”, and technical or skill building sessions such as mediation, project management, running a good meeting, plan reading, site plan review, etc.

New for SNEAPA 2019 is the addition of Fast and Funny Sessions. By popular demand, the SNEAPA Committee is offering an opportunity for planners to show off their funny side! A variety of five- to ten-minute presentations will be assembled into a full session block designed to entertain and inform attendees. These presentations should be short, funny, and/or creative. Session proposals should focus on a specific project, planning passion, short story, or visual essay from a personal point of view.

SNEAPA 2019 will also offer a limited number of APA Division-sponsored sessions. Presenters wishing to offer a Division-sponsored session must get the endorsement of the APA Division’s Committee Chair. A list of APA National's Divisions can be found at: https://www.planning.org/divisions/.

Session Relevance

All session proposals shall offer a professionally-relevant learning experience to planners, students, and other professionals interested in local or regional planning, community engagement, infrastructure, and regulatory process. Certified planners will look to your session for a specific educational opportunity that can be used for AICP Certification Maintenance (CM) credit. If you feel your session would also qualify for another organization’s continuing education program, please include that in your proposal.

Session Length

Proposals should be designed for a 75-minute session. However, some 60- or 90-minute sessions may be available on a competitive basis.

Session Proposal Review Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed on their:

  • Creativity and strength: The Conference Committee is seeking new and exciting sessions that have not been presented at recent planning conferences.
  • Completeness: Incomplete session proposals will not be accepted or reviewed. If you are proposing an interactive session, please be sure to include all the details.
  • Relevance to conference theme, current planning trends, and professional skill-building.
  • Diversity, quality, and relevant background of presenters: The Conference Committee seeks multidisciplinary sessions with presenters from multiple professions and/or organizations.
  • Applicability of topic to all three states (with the exception of sessions submitted as Local Interest): Sessions should provide information and learning objectives that are relevant to a wide array of conference attendees.
  • Educational objectives: With very few exceptions, sessions should be eligible for AICP CM credits. Sessions that meet the educational objectives of another professional certification program are encouraged.
  • Session format/audience participation/engagement: All session formats will be considered, but we hope to go beyond an hour of PowerPoint presentations with Q and A.

Session Proposal Content

Proposals will be judged on quality and completeness. Proposals must include the following information:

Title: A short, interesting title that accurately reflects the focus of your session.Topic: Please choose one of the following topics from the drop-down menu.

·       Local (Springfield and Pioneer Valley) Interest

·       Law or Ethics

·       Mobile Workshop: If you have a mobile workshop idea in mind, please email us at programs@sneapa.org ASAP so we can work with you on logistics and planning!

·       Technical Tools and Professional Skill Building

·       Fast and Funny

·       Interdisciplinary or Planning-Adjacent

·       Reinventing Post-Industrial Cities/Communities

·       Adaptive Reuse and Community Revitalization

·       Affordable and Market Rate Housing

·       Community Development

·       Community Engagement and Public Participation

·       Economic Development/Finance

·       Environmental, Energy, or Infrastructure Planning/Permitting

·       Land Use or Zoning and Ordinances/Bylaws

·       Municipal Planning (Including Small Town/Rural Planning)

·       Natural Resource Preservation/Conservation

·       Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Planning

·       Social Justice, Equity, and Diversity

·       Sustainability, Resiliency, and Adaptation

·       Transportation and Transit Planning

·       Urban Design, Historic Preservation, and Creating New Public/Community Spaces

·       Other (please provide)

3.     Abstract: Provide a short summary that clearly identifies the background, methods, outcomes, and conclusions of your session. Please indicate if it is endorsed by a Division. (200 word limit)

4.     Takeaways: Clearly define what information, concept, or idea you want your audience to take away from your session. Identify why this information is relevant and important for your audience to know. (60 word limit)

5.     Theme: Explain how your session links to this year’s conference theme (as applicable). This year’s theme is Rethink Reinvest • Renew. (100 word limit)

7.     Presentation Format: Define the format of the session (workshop, panel, hands-on, etc.) and explain how your session will engage the audience. If you are proposing an interactive or hands-on session format, please clearly specify what type(s) of engagement or activity attendees will participate in. Indicate presentation length and any specific requests for the room layout, equipment, or materials. All rooms will have microphones, projectors, laptop computers, screens, and internet access (though wi-fi strength for video streaming is not guaranteed).

8.     AICP Certification Maintenance (CM) Criteria: Describe how your session offers a professionally-relevant learning experience and meets the educational needs of a typical AICP-Certified planner. Sessions must meet the CM Eligibility Criteria: 1) Activities must (a) meet a planning related objective, (b) be unbiased and non-promotional, and (c) communicate a clearly identified educational purpose or objective; 2) Activities must (a) be led by one or more experts on the subject matter discussed, (b) use learning methodologies and formats that are appropriate to the activity’s educational purpose, (c) involve the use of materials that do not include proprietary information, and (d) be timed in a manner consistent with the time for which the activity was registered for CM credit (75 minutes = 1.25 CM credits) and that only the portion of the activity meeting CM criteria is registered for CM credit (300 word limit)

9.       Other Professional Certification: If applicable, explain how your session meets the educational requirements of another professional certification program (such as ASLA, AIA, PE, LEED AP, etc.).

10.   Session Organizer / Conference Contact: Identify the organizer of your session. This person will be SNEAPA’s contact for your session and will be responsible for submitting your session presentation before the conference. Provide name, organization, email address and phone number for Contact. If this is a division-sponsored session, please provide contact information for the appropriate Division(s) Chair.

11.  Contact Information for Session Presenters: Provide each presenter’s name, title, organization, professional credentials (AICP, PE, AIA, LEED AP, etc.), email address, and phone number. If the presenter’s professional credentials are not listed here, they will not be listed in the conference program or on the SNEAPA website.

12. Presenter Biographies: A short biography is required for each presenter (100 word limit per presenter)

Notes and Requirements for Speakers/Presenters

All speakers and presenters MUST register for the SNEAPA Conference. Presenters who attend the conference only to present their session will not be charged a registration fee. Unfortunately, we cannot include meals, any other sessions, or other conference-related activities or expenses for presenters who do not pay for the conference.

SNEAPA is not responsible for handouts, shipping, handling, or storage of materials while at the conference or for any lost or stolen materials or equipment. SNEAPA does not reimburse speakers for parking or any other conference-related expenses.

Submission of Session Proposals

The deadline for submitting proposals is June 21, 2019. Late or incomplete proposals will not be accepted. The Committee asks that you submit session proposals at https://forms.gle/bhiNogxktyUi8pmU7. Questions can be emailed to programs@sneapa.org.