For the first time since 2019, the Esri International User Conference will be in person…and thank goodness. Attendance looks like it will be very close to pre-pandemic levels, which is even more inspiring. As of today, there are nearly 1,000 attendees working in the planning, housing, or economic development industries. Since I’m unabashedly partial to these attendees, I wanted to put together some events that those of you in the community development field will want to add to your agenda.
- There are several sessions focused on the work being done with ArcGIS Urban, including:
- Understanding Geodesign – Tuesday at 10:00 in Room 30D
- Introduction to ArcGIS Urban – Tuesday at 2:30 in Room 4
- Implementing Planning Workflows – Wednesday at 10:00 in Room 33 and Thursday at 10:00 in Room 30A
- There will also be some enlightening presentations from users. A few I would recommend:
- A Regional Approach to Smart Planning – Wednesday at 1:00 in Room 29A
- Leveraging GIS for Community Engagement – Wednesday at 2:30 in 29A
- Next-Gen Applications for Future Planning – Thursday at 8:30 in Room 29B
- Creating Affordable Housing Strategies – Thursday at 10:00 in Room 29B
- Civic inclusion is still a highly-prevalent topic, and there are sessions that show how ArcGIS Hub makes this a reality on Tuesday at 1:00 in Room 30A, Wednesday at 8:30 in Room 30B, and Thursday at 4:00.
- If you didn’t know that there are a few dozen apps…free, fully-supported, open-source, configurable apps…dealing specifically with planning and economic development, you need to attend the ArcGIS Solutions for Local and State Government session Thursday at 8:30 in Ballroom 6. I mean, it’s in a ballroom. You know it’s important.
- The Living Atlas is an incredible resource for planning and GIS professionals. You’re missing out if you’re not taking advantage of this. We provide an overview of it on Tuesday at 10:00 in Room 2 and then dive into how it is used to create policy maps on Wednesday at 10:00 in Room 4. If you have anything to do with forming policy in your government, this is a must-attend session.
- Our Planning and Economic Development Special Interest Group is Wednesday at 11:30 in Room 28D. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to this. We will have a very short briefing on our platform for planning, a quick update from the ArcGIS Urban product manager, Silvia Casas, about the road ahead for Urban (you don’t want to miss her), and some amazing planning work in 3D by our sponsor Houseal-Lavigne Associates. But, the vast majority of our time is to facilitate discussions between you, us, and our partners about how you’re using GIS for planning and how you’d like to be using GIS for planning.
- Later on Wednesday at 4:00, I’ll be presenting on Trends in GIS for Planning and Economic Development Professionals in Demo Theater 13 in the Esri Expo.
- The Esri Expo is back. From Tuesday through Thursday, we will be in the Community Development section of the State and Local Government Island. Please come by and tell us your story. In all sincerity, that’s why we’re there….to learn from you and see how we can better support your very necessary work.
Finally, since some of us have been out of practice being at the UC and so many of you will be there for the first time, I wanted to offer a few nuggets of wisdom:
- Plan your agenda ahead of time. You’ll be overwhelmed by the choices you have. Many of the most popular technical sessions are offered multiple times.
- Along those lines, plan for plenty of time in the Esri Expo. It closes Thursday afternoon. The Expo provides an opportunity to meet team members focused on a specific industry (like Planning), a specific product (like ArcGIS Urban, Hub, or Pro), meet with business partners, new startups, and more.
- Wear comfortable shoes. The San Diego Convention Center is enormous. On average, I’ll walk between 5-6 miles.
- If you live east of the Rockies, you will find San Diego to be very dry and you’ll end up drinking more water than normal. The evenings cool off fairly well. As someone that lives in the Southeast a week in San Diego in July is a welcome respite.
We can’t wait to see you out in San Diego in July. If you have questions about putting together an agenda, please don’t hesitate to reach out directly to your Esri account team…or just shoot me an e-mail. We all want to make sure this is a rewarding experience for you. Safe travels and we’ll see you soon.