Over 300 City Planners converge on Champaign!

The American Planning Association is the primary professional organization for city planners across the country. The Illinois Chapter of the APA is one of the largest chapters in the country with over 1,500 members. Each year the APA-IL conducts an annual conference with three days of educational conference sessions, mobile workshops, social events and training for Plan Commissioners. This year Champaign hosted the conference from September 19-21 at the Hilton Garden Inn. Over 300 members from across the state came to Champaign to not only learn, but to experience the community. This included a walking tour of the redevelopment projects in Campustown, Midtown and Downtown. The City also partnered with the Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau to host a restaurant-hopping event in downtown called “Savor the Flavor.” Planners from around the state continue to be impressed with the vibrancy of the heart of the City and the many infill projects that are completed or underway. Many attendees are University alums coming back to the community for the first time in many years. The Planning Department has several ties to the Illinois Chapter of the APA. Rob Kowalski, Assistant Planning Director, currently serves as President and TJ Blakeman, Planner II, serves as Secretary and also co-chaired the conference. Several other staff members worked hard to showcase Champaign as a cutting-edge, micro-urban community for planning.