Plenary & Keynote Sessions


Texas is uniquely poised to be an incubator for national transportation solutions. We have an active network of entrepreneurs, technology industries and major universities with top-tier transportation research centers, and we are facing some of the country’s most challenging traffic congestion problems and mobility equity issues. Texas grows on average by about 1,100 people per day. As a result, transportation leaders have taken unprecedented steps to address the challenges of congestion, safety, and connectivity.

The APATX19 Opening Plenary will feature three transportation experts who are leading a new era of transportation in Texas. From micro-mobility advancements, to air-taxis, to a complete redesign of the Houston METRO Bus System, these experts are breaking new ground in the transportation and mobility field.


Thursday, November 7, 2019 | 8:30am - 10:00am


Chad Sparks

Director - Strategic Campaigns & Business Development at Bell Helicopter

Steve Stoler

Director of Media Relations

City of Plano

Christof Spieler, PE

Author of Trains, Buses, and People: An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit

Vice President and Director of Planning at Huitt-Zollars

Andy Boenau, AICP

Principal, Mobility-as-a-Service Lead, Stantec

Chair, ITE Transportation Planning Council


Welcome Remarks

Waco Mayor

Kyle Deaver


State of APA-National

Kurt Christiansen, FAICP - APA President

Hear from APA President Kurt Christiansen, FAICP about ongoing APA national initiatives and new organization priorities recently established. 

Making Space for Creativity and Innovation

Keynote Speaker Candy Chang

Where do good ideas come from? Through historic inspirations and personal experiences, Candy Chang shows that innovation rarely comes from a flash of genius, but instead from an open-minded attitude of curiosity and experimentation. She demystifies her path to show how her meandering journey led her to create her most famous projects, and how each of us can embrace our eclectic backgrounds to make our own discipline. She also shares how her experiences as an introvert led her to create participatory public art projects, and how the moments when we struggle most can be turned into our greatest opportunities to serve others. From a street art project that grew into a nation-wide startup to the global Before I Die project, now in over 2,000 cities, Chang discusses strategies that can be applied to all communities, from workplaces to neighborhoods, and shares tools that have helped her cultivate her own creativity.

Ticket Required for Keynote and Lunch

Ticket Included with Full or One Day Registration 

Additional Tickets - $60



Thursday, November 7, 2019 | 12:00pm - 1:45pm


Public Engagement: The Vital Leadership Skill in Difficult Times

Speaker: Ashley Labosier

Executive Director

Davenport Institute for Public Engagement & Civic Leadership

From the local level to the global, public leaders today are faced with an array of challenges that often bring into question the legitimacy of institutions, and the role of citizens in solving public problems. Recent failures in governance demonstrate the need to look at public policy in a new way that understands the limits of government along with the opportunities for informed and engaged citizens.

Friday, November 8, 2019 | 8:30am - 10:00am



AICP Commission Update

Deborah Alaimo Lawlor, FAICP, PP - AICP Commission President

Hear from the AICP Commission President Deborah Lawlor, FAICP about ongoing AICP initiatives and big changes that are coming to the Certification Maintenance Program.


Annual APA-Texas Chapter Awards Program

Claire Hemphil, APATX Awards Chair

The APA Texas Planning Awards Program recognizes individuals, organizations and communities for outstanding contributions to planning in Texas.  The Awards Committee evaluates nominees based on originality and innovation, engagement, implementation and effectiveness, quality, and promotion of planning.

Ticket Required for Awards Luncheon

Ticket Included with Full/One Day Registration 

Additional Tickets - $60


Friday, November 8, 2019 | 12:00pm - 1:45pm



Form-Based Design Standards for Smaller Communities

Speaker: Randall Arendt 


Randall Arendt is a landscape planner, site designer, author, lecturer, and an advocate of “conservation planning”. He is a leading international speaker on the topic of creative development design as a conservation tool. 

Ticket Required

Not Included with Full/One Day Registration 

Tickets - $15


Friday, November 8, 2019 | 2:00pm - 3:30pm


In recent years, many communities disappointed with the results of conventional zoning – which has often produced ugly strip malls along highway corridors and inappropriate single-story redevelopment in town centers – have turned to new approaches to better control the appearance of new buildings. Unlike typical zoning, these approaches provide criteria and standards governing the physical shape and placement of proposed construction.

Form-based coding (FBCs) is one approach that primarily regulates land uses and their density/intensity, shifting the emphasis to controls on building size and placement. However, Peter Katz, founding executive director of the CNU and cofounder of the Form Based Codes Institute, has expressed concern that FBCs may face difficulties in achieving the wide acceptance that he and fellow advocates seek. 


A new approach that has emerged is even simpler and shorter, employing design standards that are added to existing zoning or “site plan review” ordinances, typically for downtowns and highway corridor areas. Another big advantage is that they can often be created in-house by staff at bare-bones cost or with minimal consultant time. This approach, called “form-based design standards” (FBDS) can be a good choice for smaller communities with populations under 15-20,000. For example, Davidson NC (population 12,400) and Freeport, ME (population 8,400) have achieved extremely impressive results over the past 20 years with form-based design standards, employed in conjunction with existing or updated zoning ordinances. In both cases, officials and staff closely examined FBCs and concluded that the FBDS approach would meet their needs very well in a far simpler and less expensive way. The regulations that these municipalities have adopted could provide useful models for other communities with limited financial or staff resources.

Attend this APATX19 Special Featured Session to learn more about the elements and applicability of Form-Based Design Standards, and how this new approach could be applied in your community. 

Conference Location: 

El Paso Convention Center

APA-Texas Website: