National Planning Conference

Lincoln Institute Experts to Share Insights at 2021 National Planning Conference
By Emma Zehner, Maio 4, 2021


The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy will lead conversations on how to equitably plan resilient communities at the American Planning Association’s National Planning Conference, which will be held virtually May 5 to 7, 2021, and be centered around themes such as addressing legacies of inequality, planning for resilience in a changing climate, and reinventing after COVID-19. Over the course of four sessions, Lincoln Institute experts will share insights on triabl access to clean water, scenario planning, and anti-racist planning practices, among other topics. The Lincoln Institute also collaborated on a pre-recorded video tour—featuring a mix of interviews, site visits, and conversations—that highlights planning efforts in Boston, which is the virtual host of the conference.

The Lincoln Institute will also host a virtual booth, and offer free e-publications, including the 75th anniversary edition of the quarterly magazine Land Lines and two new Policy Focus Reports, focused on exploratory scenario planning and strategies for addressing the high cost of rental housing. At the booth, the Lincoln Institute will give away one copy of Design with Nature Now, a definitive book inspired by Ian McHarg’s seminal text on ecological design in urban planning, first published more than 50 years ago.

Further details about Lincoln Institute sessions can be found below.



3:15-4 p.m. CDT | Tribal Access to Clean Water: Public Health Emergency

Jim Holway, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Phoenix, Arizona
Bidtah Becker, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority
Anne Castle, Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment, University of Colorado
Daryl Vigil, member, Jicarilla Apache Nation and co-facilitator, Water & Tribes Initiative
Heather Tanana, University of Utah


  • Learn about the lack of access to clean water for Native American Tribes and how to recognize long-standing institutionalized racism.
  • Understand how planners can work with Native American communities and other indigenous cultures.
  • Learn from Native American perspectives on long-term water management challenges.


1:00-1:45 p.m. CDT | Exploratory Scenarios to Prepare for Uncertainty

Heather Sauceda Hannon, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Robert Goodspeed, University of Michigan
Brett Fusco, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission


  • Identify the use cases for exploratory scenario planning.
  • Learn about low-cost, low-technology strategies you can implement now to address urgent issues.
  • Examine the resources and tools that can help with exploratory scenario planning implementation.

2:00-2:45 p.m. CDT | How to Tackle Anti-Racism Planning Practices

Heather Sauceda Hannon, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Armando Carbonell, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Emily Liu, Louisville Metro Planning and Design Services
Andrew Trueblood, DC Office of Planning
Andrea Durin, Bureau of Planning and Sustainaility, City of Portland


  • Identify significant planning issues facing the nation’s 35 largest cities.
  • Learn from the innovations being used to deal with challenges such as gentrification, affordable housing, and homelessness.
  • Get examples of cities’ techniques for tackling racist zoning and policies.


10:00-10:45 a.m. CDT | City Digital Twins: The Virtual Lab for Planners

Petra Hurtado, American Planning Association
Heather Sauceda Hannon, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Neda Mohammadi, Georgia Tech
John E. Taylor, Georgia Tech
Carolyn Bennett, Boston Planning & Development Agency


  • Learn what a digital twin is and how it can be used in planning.
  • Understand the benefits as well as the risks of using digital twins.
  • Find out how to get started and how to integrate digital twin tools in daily planning work.

3:30-4:15 p.m. CDT | Spotlight Session: Drivers of Change and the Future of Planning

Petra Hurtado, American Planning Association
Heather Sauceda Hannon, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy


  • Learn about foresight and understand the difference between foresight and visioning.
  • Understand existing and potential new trends and their possible impacts on planning.
  • Examine how trend patterns will affect the planning profession and what new processes and skills planners will need to navigate change.

4:30-5:00 p.m. CDT Spotlight Discussion: Drivers of Change and the Future of Planning

Petra Hurtado, American Planning Association
Heather Sauceda Hannon, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy



Emma Zehner is communications and publications editor at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Photograph: The annual conference was originally slated to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, and will feature several virtual sessions focused on planning in the Boston metropolitan region. Credit: Rui Mesquita CordeiroiStock/Getty Images Plus.