The PIA Congress will be a special one in 2017, as PIA celebrates 50 years of Australia’s most prestigious planning event. So it is appropriate that we hold this 50th anniversary Congress in Australia’s oldest city – Sydney – which, in 2017, will celebrate its 229th birthday. As we look back with pride on how far Congress and PIA have come since the early days of RAPI, we can also look back with pride and awe on how far Sydney has come – from a British penal colony first settled in 1788, to a world-class metropolis that hosted the turn-of-the-millennium Olympic Games. In looking back, we equip ourselves to look forward with a deeper and more thoughtful perspective – and to seize the unique opportunity presented by Congress to explore, discuss and plan how to ensure not only this vibrant city, but the modern, multicultural country of which it is an icon, should continue to grow.
‘Growing up, growing out’ is the theme of PIA Congress in 2017. They are two terms that planners are very familiar with, and which are more relevant than ever in this era of rapid population growth, demographic change and urbanisation. PIA have produced numerous policy pieces around these themes over the past few months, setting the stage for several of the focus areas of the PIA Congress: Growth, Density, Design, Economic Development, Democracy and Engagement in Planning and Disruption. Congress is really where planning policy is brought to life – through keynote presentations that excite and inspire; through plenary sessions that provide practical information and real-world insight; and through the social functions that bring us together as members of a relatively small but fascinating industry – one that touches on virtually all aspects of modern life in one way or another.
We know that Australia is one of the most liveable countries in the world, encapsulated in that postcard scene we all know in our mind’s eye of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge soaring over shimmering blue water. But our ability to maintain such a high standard of life is entirely dependent on how we continue to grow up and grow out in the face of the 21st century’s pressures. More than any other occasion on the planning calendar, Congress is an opportunity to talk about these challenges together and remind ourselves what planning can and should be achieving – the difference that each of us, individually as professionals and collectively as a profession, can make to the cities and regions that make up our beautiful, diverse and unique country.
I look forward to seeing you all in Sydney 3- 5 May 2017.
|Registration Open||NOW OPEN|
|Program Released||NOW AVAILABLE|
|Full Papers Due||TBA|
|Welcome Reception||3 May 2017|
|Trade Exhibition||3 – 4 May 2017|
|Gala Dinner||4 May 2017|