2021 Year in Review: Six Topics That Had Planners Clicking

We all love a good year in review — so we had to share our own. Given the breadth of planning, we focused on six key topical areas where APA and its members are driving change to make a positive impact: climate change, equity, foresight, zoning reform, infrastructure, and technology.

Check out the articles, blogs, conference sessions, and reports that had members clicking.


Planners have the solutions to help community's reach their emission reduction goals. As one of APA's key legislative priorities for the year, planners were instrumental in helping advance climate change as an integral part of transportation and infrastructure legislation.

Climate Change Policy Guide

How to Overcome Local Pushback on Climate Action

Combating Climate Change Through Vacant Lot Restoration


Today's planners can change past wrongs and help communities become more equitable for all. Working together, we can take an active role in rebuilding and transforming communities. See how you can help advance equity in your community and within the planning profession.

Advancing Racial Equity Through Land-Use Planning

AICP Leads by Example on the Road to Equity

Getting Started with EDI in your office


Foresight helps planners navigate change and prepare for an uncertain future. It is not predicting the future but learning with the future to identify key trends and ensure that planners are prepared for how their work and profession may change.

Planning With Foresight

Coming Soon(ish): 6 Planning Trends on APA's Watchlist

Drivers of Change and the Future of Planning


After years of advocacy, planners are finally seeing significant federal investment in infrastructure through legislation like the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Planners will be essential to helping communities access and implement these funds in local and regional planning efforts that advance community recovery, expand transportation and broadband access, and increase resiliency.

7 Ways the New Infrastructure Package Invests in Planning

Zoom Towns: Broadband and the Culture of Connection

Building Back Better: Federal Infrastructure Legislation


From data to public engagement, technology is changing not only how we plan but how we interact. If deployed the right way, state-of-the-art technologies can help resolve the myriad challenges communities big and small face today.

Smart Cities — Integrating Technology, Community, and Nature

Artifical Intelligence and Urban Planning: What Planners Need to Know Now

Monumental Shift for Planners Starts with GIS


Planners are well positioned to be champions of local change. Zoning reform is necessary to ensure that communities can provide residents with greater housing choice at lower costs. This year, planners were instrumental in advancing zoning reform from the federal to the local level.

Advocating for Zoning Reform

3 Zoning Changes That Make Residential Neighborhoods More Affordable

Burnham Forum: The Future of Zoning



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Top Images: Holly Gallagher and Natalie Cohen; ©2021 The LEGO Group; Icon/Logan Architecture; davel5957/istock/gettyimages.com; metamorworks/gettyimages.com; ewg3D/E+/gettyimages.com

About the Author
Roberta Rewers is APA's communications manager.

December 22, 2021

By Roberta Rewers