Several Menlo Park planners joined colleagues from around the world at the American Planning Association
’s National Planning Conference in San Francisco. The April 13-16 event provided a rare opportunity for several staff members to attend since the conference was held in the Bay Area. Menlo Park planners were able to collaborate and learn from a record 6,400 conference attendees, representing every state and 30 different countries.
The conference was a blend of mobile workshops and in-person seminars that covered a diverse range of planning and community development topics. Staff attended sessions on different strategies to address affordable housing, transit-oriented development, homelessness prevention and support services, short-term vacation rental enforcement, home sharing options, streetscape innovations and strategies to retain independent retailers in local commercial districts.
Staff also attended employee-related sessions that focused on the retention and attraction of staff to local municipalities and how to address the ongoing 'silver tsunami' of retirements that are presently affecting public sector organizations. The conference is always a great opportunity to reconnect with fellow planners and Menlo Park staff returned to the office with renewed energy for the planning initiatives taking place in our community.