California Studies Association

The latest news, events, and perspectives from the CSA

Society for American City and Regional Planning History, Oakland Conference Oct. 15-18

Leave a comment


To All Urban Historians, Planners, Activists, and Academics in the Bay Area and Beyond:

The conference organizers are very pleased to announce the upcoming 13th National Conference on Planning History, taking place in Oakland, California October 15-18, 2009.  The event is sponsored by the Society for American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH).  The preliminary program and conference registration forms, as well as travel and hotel information, are available on the conference website:  Interest in the meeting has been remarkable, with the number of paper and panel proposals up 20-25% over all previous SACRPH meetings.

The conference location, the Oakland Marriott City Center, is accessible by BART (Oakland City Center / 12th Street Station) and is convenient to the 880 and 980 Freeways.

Local Highlights: While the conference is international in scope, a number of events focus on the Bay Area itself. These include:
– A Thursday pre-conference tour entitled “Democracy on the Ground in West Oakland: Immigrants, Migrants, and the Development of an African-American Community”;
– A Thursday night address by Richard Walker of the University of California on “West Oakland and the Bay Area Region”;
–  A Friday morning plenary roundtable on regional equity, focusing on the East Bay;
– A Friday lunch plenary featuring pioneering urban planners of the Bay Area;
– Sunday morning tours of Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley, and Marin;
– Papers and sessions throughout the conference on local and regional topics such as urban renewal in San Francisco; Chinatowns in San Francisco and Oakland; gay neighborhoods and the geography of sexuality in San Francisco; the 1906 earthquake and its aftermath; race and housing in Fremont and Richmond; and many, many more.


All paper sessions will take place between 8:30 am on Friday, October 16, and 6:30 pm on Saturday, October 17.  The conference schedule and full registration includes receptions Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, breakfast Friday and Saturday, and lunch Friday and Saturday.  In addition to the paper sessions and round tables, we’d like to draw your attention to two New Media sessions, an undergraduate and Master’s student poster session, a proposal-writing workshop and reception for graduate students, and the screening of a documentary film-in-progress allowing participants to provide feedback to the director.  The book exhibit, open on Friday and Saturday, has a record number of participating presses.

The Thursday and Sunday events (Thursday’s Oakland symposium, and the Sunday tours) require separate registration, as explained in more detail on the website.  The Thursday tour of West Oakland promises a fascinating look at the multifaceted history of a neighborhood.  The four Sunday tours will take advantage of the rich variety of the Bay Area:  Historical Development and Ethnic Change in Oakland; Berkeley Architectural Tour; Urban Renewal in San Francisco; and finally, North of the Golden Gate: Growth Control, Open Space, and Alternative Agriculture on the Urban Fringe.


We have worked closely with the Northern California chapter of the American Planning Association to ensure that the conference will bring together scholars and practitioners.  AICP members can earn Certificate Maintenance (CM) credits for many activities at the SACRPH Conference. More information about AICP’s CM program can be found at


Questions about the conference?  Please e-mail


Student volunteers are needed both before the conference (to help with local arrangements) and during the conference (to staff the registration desk and provide AV support).  Each three-hour shift will qualify a volunteer for one free day of conference registration.  This is a great opportunity to meet with the leading scholars and practitioners in the fields of urban planning, urban history, architectural and landscape planning and history, urban design and preservation.  Please contact Stephanie Dyer at or Asha Weinstein Agrawal at for details.

We look forward to seeing you in Oakland.

With best wishes,

Robin F. Bachin, SACRPH President
Alison Isenberg, SACRPH President-Elect and Program Committee Co-Chair
Owen Gutfreund, Program Committee Co-Chair
Jim Buckley, Local Arrangements Co-Chair
Gail Sansbury, Local Arrangements Co-Chair
Stephanie Dyer, Local Arrangements Co-Chair

More on SACRPH: SACRPH is an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to promoting scholarship on the history of planning cities and metropolitan regions.  Its members come from a range of professions and areas of interest, and include architects, planners, historians, environmentalists, landscape designers, public policy makers, preservationists, community organizers, students and scholars from across the country and around the world.  SACRPH publishes a quarterly journal, The Journal of Planning History (, hosts this biennial conference, and sponsors awards for research and publication in the field of planning history.  For further information please consult


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s