With over 50 sessions, 200 speakers, and 700 attendees, the annual New Jersey Planning Conference is the largest land use conference in the state.  Co-hosted by the American Planning Association – New Jersey Chapter and the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, the conference aims to educate and empower planners and other land use professionals, elected and appointed officials, and citizen activists on ways to advance the art and science of good planning — physical, economic and social — to create communities that offer better and more equitable choices for how people live, work and play. 

Session Submission Information

  • Session are due no later than Friday, November 30, 2018. No exceptions will be made.
  • All sessions must be submitted on our online portal at: https://americanplanningassociation-njchapter.submittable.com/submit/127081/2019-njpc-call-for-sessions
  • The Conference Committee will be accepting sessions on a “rolling basis” meaning that the committee reserves the right to accept and inform a submitted their proposal has been accepted.
  • Each session is 90 minutes.
  • Sessions are limited to no more than five presenters (including the moderator).
  • Audio visual equipment including projector/screen, microphones, and wifi are provided in each session room.
  • We do not provide laptops! One representative of the session group is responsible for bringing a laptop with them. We provide a “Speaker Ready Room” where laptops and hook-ups can be tested with the projectors/screens found in the session rooms.

Speaker Policies

  • Speakers must register for the conferenceunless they only attend the session in which they are participating and will not be attending other conference functions. They will receive a separate badge from general attendees.
  • All speakers who will attend sessions and conference events MUST pay regular registration fees.
  • Speakers are responsible for their own hotel accommodations and travel.

How to Submit a Proposal

  1. Session Title: Choose a title that catches the audience’s attention and please don’t make it too long.  
  2. Description: The description should be between 150- 200 words and should accurately depict the content of your session and the learning objectives to attract the appropriate audience. Proposals should consider ways for sessions to be engaging, interactive, and hands-on, and consider real world scenarios to walk participants through the application of an idea or tool. This description will appear online and in our program book. Please do not use bullet points. Draft your description in narrative form. 
  3. Description Picture (optional): If you have a cool image you’d like to highlight next to your narrative, please feel free to include it! We need a high resolution .jpeg, minimum 300 dpi.
  4. Subject Matter: Determine the appropriate subject matter from our vast menu of options. The Conference Committee strives to provide a balanced conference program for our guests. Along with Certification Maintenance for professional planners, we also provide Continuing Law Education credits for attorneys. If you have an attorney as a presenter, please select “law” as one of your subject matter choices. 
  5. Session Primary Contact:This individual is responsible for coordinating with APA-NJ on any logistics and is the primary contact for all correspondence.
  6. Speakers: Include a complete list of confirmed speakers (speaker submission template). We highly suggest recruiting a representative panel. Avoid choosing all the speakers from the same organization, and try to include a mix of panelists in the public sector, private sector, nonprofit sector and academia. The following information is required:
  • Speaker Name: Including any professional designations if applicable (AICP, PP, PhD, PP, ESQ., etc.)
  • Speaker Affiliation: Title and Company/Organization/Institution
  • Speaker Biography: Narrative of 200- 300 words written in the 3rdperson that includes the speaker’s current position, professional credentials, education and 2-3 sentences describing the speaker’s expertise in the subject matter. DO NOT submit resumes or bulleted lists.

Click here to Download a PDF of Award Categories, Criteria, Eligibility, and Submission Requirements. Only electronic submissions will be accepted.  Nominations are due on Friday, November 30.

The New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-NJ) is pleased to announce its 2018 Planning Excellence Awards. These awards will honor planning initiatives, built projects, individuals and organizations that are in the forefront of planning and design in New Jersey. Recipients of APA-NJ's 2018 Planning Awards will be recognized for their achievements at an Awards Reception on Monday, October 30 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the South Orange Performing Arts Center in downtown South Orange, NJ (next to the train station).

Award Categories

Leadership Awards

Stuart Meck Distinguished Service Award:  To an APA-NJ member who has advanced the mission of the Chapter by consistently and freely giving of themselves to the Executive Committee or Chapter initiatives.

Distinguished Civic Leadership Award:  To an elected official or citizen planning advocate who has advanced sound planning in the public arena. A citizen planning advocate can be a lay member of a planning board, board of adjustment, economic development board, other appointed official, activist, neighborhood leader or head of a community development organization.

Budd Chavooshian Award for Outstanding Professional Planner:  To a professional planner for sustained contributions to the profession through distinguished practice, teaching or writing.

James W. Hughes Applied Research Award:  To an individual or organization whose applied research has affected change in New Jersey, as the substantive basis for legislative, regulatory or policy change, or as the driver of a shift in a fundamental approach to planning.

Distinguished Emerging Planner Award:  To a professional planner, 35 years or younger, who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to leadership, professional development and the advancement of the field of planning in New Jersey.

Project Awards

Outstanding Plan Award:  To a plan of unusually high merit. Examples include, but are not limited to neighborhood, economic development, conservation, transportation and other comprehensive plans. Technical reports and site plans are not eligible for this award.  

Outstanding Implementation Award:  To a specific planning project or initiative of unusually high merit for which there are demonstrated “on-the ground” results that are supported by documentable physical or social change.

Outstanding Community Engagement or Education Award:  To a planning project or initiative that has involved, or resulted in significant advancement of community comprehension of planning issues or outcomes.  Examples include, but are not limited to publications, interactive project websites, public planning and design charrettes or seminars.

Outstanding Student Project Award: To outstanding class projects or papers by a student or group of students that contribute to advances in the field of planning. The submission should be primarily the work of the students and based in New Jersey.  The students may be from any secondary education institution


Any plan, project, program, process, or report entered must have been published, implemented, or completed within three years of the date of submission. Individuals, plans, programs, projects, and reports are ineligible to receive the same award twice.

Nominators must select the most appropriate category for the submission, and may not submit the same project for multiple awards. Changes will not be allowed by the nominator after the submission deadline.  The awards jury may move a submission from an inappropriate category to another category.

Judging:  Nominators of submissions will be notified of the jury's decision by early December. Official announcements of the winning submissions will be made after all nominators have been notified. Awards will only be made in the stated categories; however, jurors are under no obligation to grant an award in any category and may choose to make multiple awards in a single category. The awards jury's procedures prohibit any communication with jurors on behalf of a nominee, except that the Chair may contact a nominator to clarify information contained in a submission. 


Originality:  The extent to which the submission presents a visionary approach or innovative concept that results in a meaningful advance to planning.

Transferability:  The extent to which there are potential applications in other areas or to other projects. In the case of an individual, to what extent does his or her work increase understanding of sound planning principles?

Quality:  To what extent is there excellence of thought, analysis, writing, graphics and sound planning principles?

Implementation:  To what extent is the project effective as evidenced by its degree of post-completion or post-adoption activity? In the case of an individual, to what extent has s/he been effective based on the implementation of her/his plans or ideas?

Comprehensiveness:  To what extent have sound planning principles been observed, especially in consideration of the project/person's effect on other public objectives?

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:  Friday, November 30, 2018

American Planning Association - NJ Chapter