More than 6,000 urban, rural and regional planners from across the country and abroad are in San Francisco this week to attend the American Planning Association's (APA) 2005 National Planning Conference at San Francisco's Moscone West convention center from Saturday, March 19 to Wednesday, March 23. Planning experts will address topics such as bicycle and pedestrian planning, disaster mitigation, wild fires, safe growth, new urbanism and affordable housing.
The conference offers more than 300 sessions addressing the challenging issues of growth and change communities face across the country. Special conference tracks include safe growth, small town and rural planning, new urbanism, the planner's role in food systems, and housing.
The conference opened on Sunday morning with a keynote address by Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation and former president of the University of Pennsylvania, where in 1994, she made history as the first woman named president of an Ivy League institution. Her talk focused on the restoration of the fabric and economic vitality of the University of Pennsylvania's distressed urban neighborhood. This revitalization required a strategic approach with interventions at multiple levels, including improving safety, enhancing housing, developing economic capacity, creating retail, and restoring quality public education. The university's approach was informed by research and planning literature and its own expertise and experience. The plan led to the development of an urban campus which is reknit into the surrounding community.
After a full day of sessions, the fabulous opening reception was held Sunday evening at Fort Mason Center, once an active military facility and now a thriving cultural center within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This National Historic Landmark lies on the edge of San Francisco Bay, with spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.
Thanks to Chris Steins