51st Annual Conference: April 21-24, 2021, Nashville, Tennessee
Principles Guiding Conference Location
The ACSP Governing Board determined by creation of policy on April 25, 2020, to shift away from the traditional local host model of the ACSP Annual Conference. These are specific principles that should be considered as ACSP determines future locations for this event and other conferences and workshops.
Conference Location Based on minimum level requirements for meeting space and hotel rooms, ACSP will plan for conferences in a variety of locations across the US. Canadian locations will also be considered, as ACSP continues to deepen its relationship with the Association of Canadian Urban Planning Programs (ACUPP). ACSP staff will work closely with the Executive Committee and Conference Committee in making decisions about conference location.
Conference Transportation Acknowledging the motivation of attendees to minimize travel costs and greenhouse gas impacts and the growing number of international attendees at the ACSP conference, ACSP will target locations with a high level of access for air travel and will focus primarily on cities with hub airports. Cities with high quality public transit, including transit to/from the airport, will be prioritized.
Conference Venue and Lodging In selecting a conference hotel, ACSP will select a venue that meets minimum space requirements and require that gender neutral restrooms are available and that all conference spaces are accessible to persons with disabilities. ACSP will also prioritize cost and seek conference hotels with high quality common spaces to facilitate interaction among attendees, as well as energy and waste reduction features.
Conference Costs For each city being considered as a host, ACSP will calculate an estimated total cost of attendance figure to assess likely costs incurred by attendees for registration, lodging, air and local transportation, and food. ACSP will engage with the local convention and business bureau to seek incentives that can be used to minimize costs.
Engagement with Local Businesses and Venues ACSP will identify and compile a list of historically underutilized businesses (e.g. minority-owned, women-owned) in the conference location. The list will be shared with conference attendees, as well as with interest groups, committees, and members as they plan for events and gatherings connected with the conference. In addition, ACSP will connect with local contacts to identify local institutions that may be able to provide low cost space for additional events and gatherings.
Engagement with Local Issues In recommending future conference locations to the Governing Board for approval, ACSP staff and the Executive Committee will be attentive to local policies related to social and human rights issues that contribute to offering a welcoming and inclusive environment for conference attendees. In addition, the Conference Committee will be invited to make recommendations of local issues and organizations that should be highlighted in the content of the conference. The ACSP Executive Committee will engage with the American Planning Association in identifying key contacts in its state chapters and local planning organizations. The individuals and organizations will be sought as partners in identifying opportunities to engage with local issues and in crafting planning-related tours. Overall, ACSP seeks to have a positive impact on conference host communities and advance principles of good planning, environmental protection, and social justice through its engagement, programming, and investments.
Conference Staffing In lieu of local host universities providing graduate students for support of conference-related activities, ACSP will prioritize engagement of doctoral students in voluntary positions at the conference in exchange for reduced/no-cost conference attendance. Opportunities for doctoral students to support registration, meeting room staffing, and other conference-related activities will be advertised prior to the opening of conference registration.
Opportunities to Utilize the Value Statement to Inform Location Policy
Excellence in education and scholarship - In order to live up to this value, there is an opportunity to engage with the planning concerns of a given location and allow them to inform the conference content.
Broadly inclusive methodological perspectives and a fully inclusive range of voices: In order to live up this value it is important that the annual conference is inclusive and accessible to all. Any location chosen for the conference must be easily and affordably accessible to schools across the country.
Engagement across multiple publics: In order to live up this value it is integral that local schools, APA chapters and community resources are engaged at any location that is selected for the conference.
Education that supports inclusion and cultural competence: In order to live up to this value, it is important that the conference location changes each year to ensure that a broad range of regions and communities are included, without a region being excluded or privileged.
An inclusive and a welcoming environment within all our association activities: In order to live up this value the conference location and space must respond to the needs of all attendees and ensure that an inclusive environment is created.