APA-IL Conferences and Events

The Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association takes pride in offering the highest quality educational opportunities for our members.  Scroll down the page for information on past conferences.

2020 APA-IL State Conference

September 16-18, 2020 |  #APAIL2020

Held virtually!

Future APA-IL Conference Locations


  • 2020 State Conference - Held online.

  • 2021 State Conference - Normal, IL

  • 2022 State Conference - Chicagoland

  • 2023 State Conference - Chicagoland


Conference information will be sent via the APA-IL listserv, posted to ilapa.org, and our social media pages.

Questions or comments regarding future Conferences can be emailed to Chapter.


Past APA-IL Conferences

2019 APA-IL State Conference

September 25-27, 2018

Evanston, IL



We were excited to be back in Evanston for a 3rd time to showcase the best in Illinois' urban planning. This conference broke all the Chapter records! Thank you to all our speakers, sponsors, and attendees.

2019 APA-IL ISS Spring Conference

June 6-7, 2019

Decatur Civic Center, Decatur, IL


2018 APA-IL State Conference

September 26-28, 2018

Springfield, IL


This 40th anniversary state conference was a conference of firsts! First time we've held our state conference in Springfield. First time we've held sessions en route to the conference (via Amtrak)! First time we've had an evening light show!  

2018 Joint APA-ISS APA-STL Spring/Summer Workshop

Spring 2018

Collinsville, IL

2017 APA-IL State Conference

September 13-15, 2017

Naperville, IL


We broke our attendance records in Naperville! Our attendees experienced the new Hotel Indigo along with the Naper Settlement and the Naperville Municipal Center. 

2017 APA-IL Illinois State Section
Spring Conference

June 1-2, 2017

Moline, IL

2016 APA-IL State Conference 

September 28-30, 2016 | Venue Six10 - Hilton Chicago | Chicago, IL

Hosted by the American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter

Click here for the Conference Program

This year’s Conference was, by all accounts, a tremendous success! With 573 registered attendees and 22 sponsors, we had a record-breaking year with these being the largest numbers in APA-IL conference history.  READ MORE > >

2015 APA-IL State Conference

October 7-9, 2015 - Marriott - Downtown Normal

Hosted by the Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association


Click here for the Conference Program


The twin cities of Bloomington-Normal offered the perfect laboratory to explore numerous planning concepts include Downtown revitalization, sustainable choices, historic preservation, and town-gown relations.  Thank you to our 300+ attendees and our generous sponsors!

2014 APA-IL State Conference

October 1-3, 2014

Hilton Orrington Evanston, Evanston, IL


Click here for the Conference Program


We’re thrilled to be back to our regular state conference after taking last year
off to devote resources to hosting the National Planning Conference. We’re also glad to be back in Evanston where we set a record for attendance in 2011. The conference provides you the chance to pack in great sessions, unique mobile workshops, and fun social events over the two-and-a-half day event. A special thanks to all of our conference volunteers, our conference chairs- Mark Muenzer and Kon Savoy, AICP and our conference consultants-Neela and Keith Johnston of I3 Events.

2013 APA National Conference

April 13-17, 2013

Chicago, IL


The APA National Conference was a huge success in Chicago despite a little cold weather. Did you know nearly 5,500 people attended the conference? This represents the highest attendance since 2008 in Las Vegas.  The Illinois Chapter's Local Host Committee was responsible for organizing mobile workshops, special events, local exhibits, orientation tours, selling merchandise and much more. The number of volunteer hours put forth by so many dedicated Chapter members is truly amazing. Thanks to everyone involved. A portion of ticket sales from mobile workshops and special events, along with local sponsorships feed directly back to the APA-IL for annual program funding. Thank you volunteers and let’s do it again in 10 years!

2012 APA-IL State Conference

September 19-21, 2012

Hilton Garden Inn, Champaign, IL


Click here for the Conference Program


Another successful Chapter Conference was held in September in Champaign, IL. Over 300 attendees and speakers enjoyed three tracks of conference sessions, mobile workshops, keynote speeches and great networking events. A big thank you to TJ Blakeman, AICP from the City of Champaign and Libby Tyler, FAICP from the City of Urbana for co-chairing the conference and making it a success.


2011 APA-IL State Conference

October 5-7, 2011

Hilton Orrington Evanston, Evanston, IL


Click here for the Conference Program


The 2011 Conference was wildly successful (wild = BoURBAN Sprawl). The survey results are in and attendees all agree - Evanston was the place to be. Whether you were able to take part in all 3 days of activity, or stop in when you had a chance, we had over 550 very pleased attendees! Thank you to our co-chairs, Courtney Kashima, AICP and Barbara Cates - a job well done!

2010 APA-IL State Conference

September 22-24, 2010

Bloomington-Normal, IL


Click here for the Conference Program


3 days

6 mobile workshops, 25 sessions

56.25 CM Credits offered

206 registered-attendees

49% of registered attendees were AICP/FAICP

10% of registered attendees were students

57% of registered attendees attended the full conference


2009 APA-IL State Conference

September 24-26, 2009

Downtown Hyatt Regency, Chicago, IL


Click here for the Conference Program


To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Plan of Chicago, APA-IL is hosted a memorable Upper Midwest Conference. Special thanks to the co-chairs Ty Warner, AICP and Kon Savoy, AICP who made no little plans. The Conference was built around a core of 40 mobile workshop sessions, bringing attendees into one of the world’s greatest cities and surrounding suburbs, immersing them in locations that made the Plan of Chicago a Midwestern legacy.

2008 APA-IL State Conference

October 29-31, 2008

Hilton Garden Inn, Champaign, IL


Click here for the Conference Program


The APA-IL and American Society of Landscape Architects jointly held this year's Conference which included 35 individual sessions focusing on a variety of urban planning and landscape architecture issues. This year's conference was highlighted by Keynote Addresses from former Milwaukee Mayor and CNU President John Norquist and APA President-Elect Bruce Knight, FAICP. Combine all of that with four mobile workshops including a visit to the Twin Groves Farm Wind Farm in McLean County, IL and and Opening Reception at UofI's newly completed Colonnade Club at Historic Memorial Stadium. Thank you to Conference Chair TJ Blakeman, AICP.

2007 APA-IL State Conference

October 10-12, 2007

Pere Marquette Hotel, Peoria, IL


Click here for the Conference Program


Thank you to co-chairs Craig Hullinger, Ben Vyverberg, and Ann Viger, ASLA

2006 APA Upper Midwest/APA-IL State Conference

October 4-6, 2006

Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, IL


Click here for the Conference Program


 “Great Planning Begins at Home” was the theme of the conference.  It served as the Illinois Chapter’s annual conference, but also included themes and participation from our neighbors in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota.  This is just a preview of some of the details (more will be told in our next newsletter), but here are a few of the numbers.

-  400 or so members and friends were in attendance

-  175 enjoyed an elegant evening at the Historic Hotel Baker in St. Charles

-  28 stimulating sessions, from GIS tools to Zoning Law to Latino Affairs

-  3 fun mobile workshops looking at downtowns, bikeways, and smart growth

-  9 awards given to great Illinois planning products

-  2 provocative keynote addresses covering media relations and politics

-  Thousands of hallway conversations exchanging ideas and making new contacts

-  2 under par was the winning team score for the Friday golf challenge

-  18 corporate sponsors, a new record for our conference sponsorship

These are just some of the highlights of our conference which was packed with people, ideas, and activities. Thank you to co-chairs Rob Kowalski, AICP and Phil Bus.

2005 APA-IL State Conference

June 9-10, 2005

Starved Rock State Park, Utica, IL


Click here for the Conference Program


This year's Conference was the last hurrah at Starved Rock and included wonderful training sessions and not-to-miss traditional special events such as the 6th Annual Starved Rock Shuffle fun run/walk, pub crawl & progressive appetizers, fun/games/movies back at the lodge, and the 8th Annual President's Cup Golf Outing.

2004 APA-IL State Conference

May 19-21, 2004

Starved Rock State Park, Utica, IL


Click here for the Conference Brochure


At the 2004 Annual Chapter Conference roughly 127 attendees learned about professional development and planning management during two full days of educational tracks.  Highlights of the conference included an enlightening address from Tom Cowan, president of Community First and past Chapter award winner, a packed awards luncheon presenting 14 awards in a variety of categories to recipients from across the state, and a special presentation from Christopher Duerksen, AICP, Author of “Aesthetics, Community Character, and the Law”.   The conference also featured an AICP Professional Development Workshop. To read the complete Conference Summary, click here.

2003 APA-IL Annual Chapter Conference

June 12-13, 2003

Starved Rock State Park, Utica, IL


Click here for the Conference Brochure


The 2003 Annual Chapter Conference was another great success.  Close to 140 registrants came to learn about “Leaving a Legacy” through professional development and planning management tracks.  Highlights included an inspirational speech by Gene Bunnell, author of “Making Places Special”, a packed awards luncheon presenting 17 awards in a variety of categories to recipients from across the state, and the special honor of an address from APA President, Mary Kay Peck. To read the complete Conference Summary, click here.



The American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter (APA-IL) is the premier authority on urban planning issues and professional development for Illinois' urban planners.


The APA-IL is the official membership association for practicing planners in the State of Illinois.  We strive to inform, educate, and connect our members to resources and tools that advance the practice of planning throughout the state.  We pride ourselves on "Creating Great Communities for All" in Illinois.  




American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter

c/o NIU Center for Governmental Studies
148 N. 3rd St.
DeKalb, IL 60115


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