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2024 State Conference: Registration & Program are Live! #APAIL24

Updated: May 28

The 'i's' have it!

Registration & program are now live for the 2024 APA-IL State Conference!

September 25-27, 2024 iHotel & Illinois Conference Center, Champaign, IL

In this announcement: program, mobile workshops, lunches, social events, and revisit the 2012 conference in Champaign-Urbana!

Early-bird registration rates end August 16, 2024 at 11:59 PM CST.

A big high five to everyone who submitted sessions for this year's conference! So many of you are doing iMPACTFUL planning work throughout Illinois. Pat yourselves on the back for helping to make Illinois communities great!


Program Highlights


On day 1, dive into a range of planning from award-winning projects and ethical considerations to youth sports development and e-commerce strategies. Don't miss the insightful plenary speaker Ahmadou "Mo" Dramé!

The second day tackles critical planning topics like migrant arrivals, equitable transit access, promoting health equity, and brownfield redevelopment. Get creative with engaging sessions like "Jeopardy! Zoning Edition" and learn from a hands-on workshop on designing depression-resilient spaces.  Don't miss the inspiring plenary address by Clare Killman!

Day 3 of the APA-IL Conference equips you with practical skills and knowledge. Master development engagement strategies, tackle the missing middle housing issue, and ace your AICP exam prep course. Explore innovative approaches like "Better Diagrams Better Codes" and "University Of Illinois Campus Landscape Sub-area Plans: Prototyping as a tool to Achieve Climate Resilience." Learn about solar development opportunities, riverfront revitalization strategies, and centering equity in zoning practices.

photo of bus on road
MTD's Hydrogen Cell Buses (credit: MTD)

Whether by bus, bike, or feet, we're going to get you up and moving through the community!

  • Reimagining Neil Street Plaza - The Heart of Downtown

  • Campustown Streetscape/ Stormwater Walking Tour

  • More Than Just A Pond and Pipes-Creating Beautiful Community-Focused Places with Stormwater Projects

  • Realizing Missing Middle Housing Through Incremental Zoning Reforms

  • Hidden Infrastructure: The Future of Artificial Intelligence and Waste

  • The Making of Jefferson Parkway

  • Restoration + Recreation: Finding Balance at the Buffalo Trace Natural Area

  • Walking Tour of UIUC South Campus

  • Public Art & Placemaking in Downtown Urbana

  • Senior Housing on the Prairie

  • Riding on Sunshine - MTD Hydrogen Bus Ride & Facility Tour



TUESDAY, SEPT. 24: Trivia Night @ Murphy's Pub

  • If you're coming in town on Tuesday, the eve of the conference, be sure to join us at Murphy's Pub for Trivia Night!

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 25: Awards Ceremony & Reception

  • Raise a glass to excellence! The APA-IL Awards Ceremony celebrates the inspiring achievements of planners across Illinois. After the ceremony mingle with colleagues at the reception, included with your registration. Network with sponsors and fellow planners, share best practices, and celebrate the future of planning over delicious food and appetizers.

Extend Wednesday Night's Festivities!

2023 Murder Mystery Dinner shown above. 2024 is an all new experience!
  • After the Awards Reception, head out and explore the vibrant nightlife of downtown Champaign! We'll provide convenient shuttle service to whisk you away after the reception.

  • Join a special Alumni Reception Hosted by the University of Illinois Department of Urban and Regional Planning! All conference attendees are welcome to continue the celebration at Maize at the Station. Mingle with faculty, students, and fellow planners in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 26: Urban Planning Murder Mystery Dinner - All New Experience for 2024!

  • From the team that brought you the world’s first planning murder iNTRIGUE! Bring your deerstalkers, magnifying glasses, and sense of adventure to the Illinois Mascot Awards, sponsored by Lotsodough & Sons Corporation!

outdoor seating area
Lots of Lunch Options!


You know the lunch drill... however, this year we're changing it up.

For all conference attendees, we offer two convenient options for lunches each day:

  1. Order a boxed lunch, $20 - You can stay at the conference center and pre-order a delicious box lunch to enjoy during the conference lunch break. This is a hassle-free experience, allowing you to focus on the conference activities and sit with other attendees, without worrying about finding a place to eat.

  2. Explore - Alternatively, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture by exploring Champaign-Urbana's diverse dining options during the conference break. We will provide maps and suggestions via the app and at the conference.

3 people standing and talking
Plentiful sponsorship connections!


If your organization is looking to gain exposure and support the conference, don't forget to read over our 2024 Sponsorship Prospectus. It's your ticket to becoming a valued partner of the APA-IL.

We can't express enough how grateful we are for early interest and participation in the conference planning process. Our sponsor's enthusiasm and commitment inspire us to make this event truly exceptional.



The beautiful iHotel is connected directly to the Illinois Conference Center. You can't stay any closer to the conference. Early booking ensures you'll be at the heart of the action. Deluxe King or Two Queens: $189.

Limited space is available. Paula says don't wait.


Students ride bike on campus. (source: Daily Illini)

Complimentary parking is available at the venue. Please note that your registration includes bus access and bike share credit for your use throughout the conference.

We encourage you to bring your own bicycle to the conference but will also have free bike-share bikes and bus passes for all. Champaign-Urbana is a small, flat, contiguous urban blob with bike-friendly infrastructure, including dedicated bike lanes and ample bike racks, which will make your cycling experience smooth and hassle-free. Pedaling through the city's tree-lined streets is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the great outdoors. Click out this MTD video about bike boxes in town! So much bike related iNNOVATION!



street with cars and buildings
Campustown - What a transformation!

🏗️ Transformation: Champaign-Urbana has undergone some transformative changes since APA-IL's last conference in Champaign in 2012. This conference is your chance to see it all first hand.

PS - Scroll down to the 2012 conference slideshow below!

🚍 Explore: There will be 11 mobile workshops that will take you to see the planning hot-spots in Champaign-Urbana as well as nearby Savoy and

🎤 Sessions: 60+ sessions and mobile workshops in 3 days? That adds up to a lot of CM credits.

🤝🏽 Network: It's not all about professional development; it's about forging connections too! Rub shoulders with like-minded urban planners, decision-makers, and industry rockstars.

🤣 Shenanigans: We're not just all business; we know how to have a good laugh too! Brace yourself for unexpected, playful, and hilarious moments because learning is at its best when you're having a great time!



It's hard to believe that the last conference APA-IL held in Champaign-Urbana was 12 years ago! Who needs experience when you have youthful enthusiasm? We all have learned a lot since then, thankfully. Here are some photos from memory lane.



Contact Paula Freeze, Executive Director, at


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