2021 Call for Session Proposals


SNEAPA 2021 @ A Distance

A Virtual Conference

October 28+29, 2021


Proposal Submission Deadline EXTENDED to September 24th at 11:59 pm EST

Submit Proposals: https://forms.gle/dWtrdv1qiqbKUC748

Questions: programs@sneapa.org

Download the call for sessions here: SNEAPA 2021 @ A Distance- Call for Sessions.pdf


The Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island Chapters of the American Planning Association are excited to co-host the SNEAPA 2021 Virtual Conference on October 28 and 29, 2021.

We are planning for up to 500 participants at the virtual conference but may be able to accommodate additional attendees if there is sufficient demand. All sessions will be recorded and will be available to participants (for CM credit) following the conference.

Share your expertise and experiences in planning, development, and related fields by submitting a session proposal for the 2021 Southern New England American Planning Association (SNEAPA) Planning Conference. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, SNEAPA 2021 will be online-only. Due to the virtual format, we will only be offering one (1) or two (2) sessions during each block so we will only be offering a limited number of sessions. The Conference Committee encourages you to submit forward-looking sessions that will help participants adapt to the “new normal.”

As with last year’s Virtual SNEAPA, the Conference Committee expects to work more closely with session organizers than in past years. We will be offering a limited number of sessions, so session organizers/speakers must expect to meet (virtually) with the Conference Committee up to twice before the conference. If requested by the Conference Committee, the first meeting will occur during the session review process to help the Conference Committee make its final selections. There will be a required “dry run” the week before the conference to ensure that everyone is able to connect and operate the platform. Additionally, all presentations must be submitted in advance of the conference.

Do not submit a session proposal if you are unable to commit to these meetings or submitting a final presentation by October 15, 2021.

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. In addition to general session that will be widely-applicable and interesting to our attendees, the 2021 SNEAPA Committee is seeking proposals that: include content that helps planners adapt their work to our changing world; addresses how the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to affect the communities in which we work; and/or provide an interdisciplinary approach/view to or/of our profession’s critical challenges. We are also seeking sessions that address racial and social equity and include diverse panelists/speakers.


Session Outline

Please provide an outline of your session. Include major topics and subtopics and identify which speaker(s) will be responsible for which section(s) of the presentation.


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.


Session Length

Proposals should be designed for a 60-minute session (including q+a/discussion). Law and Ethics sessions will each be 90-minute sessions.


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 and technical requirements.
  • Relevance to 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 as well as presenters from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities.
  • Issues relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion should be woven into all session proposals.
  • Applicability of topic to all three states: Sessions should provide information and learning objectives that are relevant to a wide array of conference attendees.
  • Educational objectives: sessions should be eligible for AICP CM credits.
  • Interaction with Conference Committee: Selected session organizers and speakers will have the opportunity to meet (virtually) with the Conference Committee during the proposal review process.


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.
    1. Affordable and Market Rate Housing
    2. Community Engagement and Public Participation
    3. Economic Development/Finance, Community Revitalization, and Community Development
    4. Environmental, Energy, or Infrastructure Planning/Permitting (including Sustainability, Resiliency, and Adaptation)
    5. Ethics or Law
    6. Land Use or Zoning and Ordinances/Bylaws
    7. Municipal Planning (Including Small Town/Rural Planning)
    8. Planning and Public Health
    9. Social Justice, Equity, and Diversity
    10. Transportation and Transit Planning
    11. Other (please provide)


  • Abstract: Provide a short summary that clearly identifies the background, methods, outcomes, and conclusions of your session. (200 word limit)
  • Outline: Provide an outline of your session identifying major topics, subtopics, and which speaker(s) are responsible for presenting the content. (200 word limit)
  • 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)
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Please explain how your session will incorporate social equity, diversity, and inclusion into the content and/or how your session relates to APA’s equity and social inclusion agenda including who we plan for and who we should be planning for in terms of the country’s changing demographics. A session can meet this objective in multiple ways, some examples include, but are by no means limited to: including speakers who come from diverse or typically-marginalized populations, examining your session topic through an equity lens, sharing inclusive projects and efforts in low-income and/or minority communities. Please consider creative approaches. (100 word limit)
  • Presentation Format: Define the format of the session (workshop, panel, etc.); explain how your session will engage the audience and what technology (beyond a traditional webinar platform) you might need. If you are proposing an interactive session format, please clearly specify what type(s) of engagement or activity attendees will participate in. (100 word limit)
  • 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 (60 minutes = 1 CM credit) and that only the portion of the activity meeting CM criteria is registered for CM credit (300 word limit)
  • Session Organizer / Conference Contact: Identify the organizer of your session. This person will be SNEAPA’s contact for your session and will be responsible both for submitting your session presentation before the conference and coordinating a “dry run” with conference organizers and session speakers. Provide name, organization, email address and phone number for Contact.
  • 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 on the SNEAPA website.
  • Presenter Biographies: A short biography is required for each presenter (100 word limit per presenter; maximum of four speakers/presenters, including moderator, per session)


    Notes and Requirements for Speakers/Presenters

  • All speakers and presenters MUST register for the SNEAPA Conference. Due to this year’s online format, we are unable to offer complimentary registration for speakers. Please contact us at programs@sneapa.org if this presents a unique hardship.
  • Due to the virtual format, the Conference Committee is limiting the number of speakers/panelists to no more than four (4) per session. This includes your session organizer and/or moderator.

SNEAPA does not reimburse speakers for any conference-related expenses.


Submission of Session Proposals + Timeline

The deadline for submitting proposals is September 17, 2021 at 11:59 pm EST. Late or incomplete proposals will not be accepted. The Committee asks that you submit session proposals at https://forms.gle/dWtrdv1qiqbKUC748. Questions can be emailed to programs@sneapa.org.

The Conference Committee expects to work more closely with session organizers than in past years. Since we will be offering a limited number of sessions, this year’s review process may include a virtual meeting with speakers/panelists and the Conference Committee. It is anticipated that these meetings will occur between September 20 and 30. Depending on the number of responses, the Conference Committee may complete an initial review prior to scheduling these virtual meetings or may meet with all session proponents or a selection of session proponents. For this virtual meeting, session organizers and speakers will be asked to expand upon their session proposal and share an outline of their proposed presentation. Session organizers will be notified of the Conference Committee’s decisions by October 1, 2021.

Final presentations must be submitted to the Conference Committee by October 15th and the Conference Committee will schedule a “dry run” of each session between October 18th and 26th. The session organizer and all speakers, panelists, and moderators are required to participate in the “dry run” to ensure that everyone is familiar with the conference’s platform.

Important Dates



Session Proposals Due

September 17 at 11:59 pm EST

Meeting with Conference Committee

(as necessary)

September 20 – 30

Conference Committee Decisions

October 1

Final Session Presentations Due

October 15

Mandatory Dry Run

October 20 - 26

SNEAPA @ A Distance Conference

October 28 - 29