SECSAO Annual MeetingMemphis Cook Convention Center

Mark your calendar!

May 18-21, 2011

The Planners Network - 2011 Conference

University of Memphis: May 18 - 21, 2011

Promoting Economic Development through Regional

Cooperation and Planning

Register Today! Registration for all attendees for the Planners Network 2011 Conference at the University of Memphis.

Conference Theme

Many Americans live in economically distressed communities where unemployment exceeds 9 percent and the poverty rate surpasses 20 percent. In these localities, economic development dominates the local policy agenda. In many cases, economic development policies focus on solutions that do not fit local contexts, whether economic, political, or institutional. Examples include the pursuit of popular "creative city" strategies within regions that lack major research universities, sophisticated arts institutions, locally based media, or firms applying advanced technology. In other regions, the economic development efforts of local governments undermine each other as they engage in unrestrained competition to attract new investment, firms, and jobs through a variety of incentives and subsidies, accelerating what some have
called the race to the bottom.

These and other economic challenges prompted the organizers of Planners Network's 2011 national conference to select "Promoting Economic Development through Regional Cooperation and Planning" as the primary conference theme. The conference's plenary sessions will examine how community organizations, businesses, trade unions, advocacy groups, and institutions of higher learning can collaborate with local governments in the creation and implementation of economic development policies designed to expand employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for poor and working class residents without harming the prospects for sustainable regional growth.

Dr. Xavier de Souza Briggs, Associate Director for General Government Programs for the Office of Management and Budget in the Obama administration, has been invited as the opening speaker for the 2011 conference. Dr. Briggs, an Associate Professor of Sociology and Urban Planning at MIT and a former senior HUD official, is the author of The Geography of Opportunity. He will discuss how local governments in lagging or slow growth regions can work together to enhance their competitive position within our global economy. Respondents will include long-time PN leader, Dr. William Goldsmith, of Cornell University, and Dr. Laura Saija, of the University of Catania in Sicily.

Preliminary Conference Schedule

Wednesday, May 18

Afternoon arrival and check-in at the University Center

Opening Plenary, 7 pm

  • Welcoming Address
  • Keynote Address: Promoting Economic Development through Regional Cooperation and Planning
  • Dr. Xavier de Souza Briggs, Associate Professor of Sociology and Urban Planning at MIT and Associate Director for General Government Programs for the Office of Management and Budget

Thursday, May 19

Breakfast on campus

Morning Plenary Presentation and Panel Discussion, 8 am - 10 am

  • The State of Progressive Planning in the Bluff City

Pre-Charette Tours and Lunch, 10 am - 1 pm

Community Charrette Activity, 1 pm - 5 pm

Participants will spend the afternoon in working teams to address current local planning challenge, side-by-side with neighborhood leaders and planners, at sites throughout the greater Memphis region.

Dinner on campus, 6 pm

Film Screening, 8 pm

  • Screening of I am a Man: From Memphis, a Lesson in Life, an award-winning documentary that describes the context of the 1968 sanitation workers strike that brought Dr. King to Memphis for his final civil rights campaign, and explores the contributions made by citizens of Memphis.
  • Solidarity Sing-Along! (Pete Seeger, eat your heart out!)

Friday, May 20

Breakfast on campus

Concurrent Panel Sessions, 8 am - 9:30 am

The day's concurrent panel sessions will feature groups of presentations (12-15 minutes each) facilitated by a moderator. Among the topics to be discussed are:

  • Urban food security
  • Health and wellness
  • Transportation alternatives
  • Regional workforce and business development
  • Public school reform
  • Restorative justice
  • Youth empowerment
  • Green jobs
  • Urban design
  • International development
  • Labor rights
  • Historic preservation

Concurrent Panel Sessions, 9:45 am - 11:15 am

Lunch and Poster Session, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Concurrent Panel Sessions, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Final Plenary Presentation and Panel Discussion, 2:45 - 4:00

  • Overcoming Racial and Class Barriers to Citizen Organization: Lessons from Memphis and Other Southern Cities

Panelists include:

  • Dr. Peter Marcuse, Professor Emeritus, Columbia University
  • Dr. William Goldsmith, Professor of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University
  • Dr. Leonie Sandercock, Professor and Chair of Urban and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia

Cultural Reception, 6 pm - 9 pm

  • Reception highlighting and celebrating Memphis' famous local music, culture, and cuisine! We are planning to host the event at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in the historic Soulsville, USA neighborhood, where legends like Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Same and Dave, and Booker T and the MGs put their unique stamp on American music.

Saturday, May 21

Annual Organizing / Business Meeting of Planners Network, 9 am

Recreational Tours, 11 am

*All speakers are in the process of being confirmed

Pertinent Links:

Home Conference Site

Memphis Travel Information at Memphis Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

Registration Information:

All registration packages include meals throughout the conference and the Friday evening reception. (Saturday's Recreational Tours are not included in the base registration price.)

  • For participants seeking modest accommodations, single or double occupancy rooms will be available in the University's Richardson Towers residence hall. (Single rooms have a private bathroom, double rooms share a bathroom with an adjoining room.)
  • Conference participants who wish to arrange their own lodging (or who don’t require lodging) may choose the “no lodging” registration option. (Convenient hotel accommodations are available at the Holiday Inn located on the University of Memphis campus. Reservations can be made here.)
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Registration Package (conference, meals, lodging):

Early Registration -- Before April 1

Single Occupancy (Richardson Towers Residence Hall)

Includes conference, meals, reception, and lodging

$335

Double Occupancy (Richardson Towers Residence Hall)

Includes conference, meals, reception, and lodging

$285
No lodging (conference and meals only) $185

Late Registration -- April 1 to May 9

Single Occupancy (Richardson Towers Residence Hall)

Includes conference, meals, reception, and lodging

$385

Double Occupancy (Richardson Towers Residence Hall)

Includes conference, meals, reception, and lodging

$335
No lodging (conference and meals only) $235
  • If cancellation occurs prior to May 9, 100% of the registration fee will be returned. No refunds will be offered for cancellations after May 9.