Infrastructure in Focus: Resources to Strengthen Your Foundation in 2017

Infrastructure is in the spotlight and people are speculating how the new administration might address the nation's infrastructure challenges.

Planners are uniquely suited to help address the country's infrastructure challenges, while focusing on how investments in infrastructure can and will impact our communities. Now more than ever, planners continue to play an important role in strengthening our communities by employing thoughtful planning practices that adhere to the ethical principles of the profession.

APA has a number of resources available to assist our members in day-to-day and long-term decision making on infrastructure issues. Check out some of the infrastructure-related highlights in this round-up of resources.

Transportation Infrastructure

The 606 was an abandoned, elevated rail line transformed into a park and trail system that now serves 80,000 residents in Chicago.

Infrastructure can help improve the health and safety of a community. This Plan4Health grant recipient used pop-up traffic calming demonstrations to illustrate how small changes can make roadways safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.


Planning for Shared Mobility

PAS Report 583

Short-term transportation access can increase mobility, cut vehicle emissions, and make stronger connections between walking, cycling, and transit. A recent PAS Report, Planning for Shared Mobility, explores how communities have embraced the shared economy. This PAS Report, and the results of decades of expert research on planning topics, are now just a click away. APA members have access to all current and archived Planning Advisory Service digital publications.

Planning and Broadband: Infrastructure, Policy, and Sustainability

PAS Report 569

Is your community planning for broadband infrastructure? Learn how high-speed broadband can help reduce auto dependence, promote job creation, pursue smart growth, and spark civic engagement through the Planning and Broadband PAS Report.

Hear how a 2015 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision enabled Wilson, North Carolina, to expand its municipal broadband infrastructure to increase connectivity and support the inner workings of the community. Rodger Lentz, AICP, chief planning and development officer for the City of Wilson, and Will Aycock, general manager of Wilson's Greenlight Community Broadband, share their insights in this podcast.

Green Infrastructure

Water infrastructure can be overwhelmed during heavy rainstorms. Watch how Philadelphia is shifting from gray stormwater management infrastructure to green — or sustainable — infrastructure.

APA's Green Community Center is working on two green infrastructure applied research projects. The Greater Baltimore Wilderness: Green Infrastructure for Regional Resilience focuses on conserving, restoring, and enhancing regional green infrastructure to benefit the people and wildlife of central Maryland. And the Great Urban Parks Campaign is working to bring green infrastructure to underserved communities.

Learn more: Explore the effectiveness and some of the economic implications of many common green infrastructure practices in the May/June 2012 PAS Memo "The Effectiveness of Green Infrastructure for Urban Stormwater Management."

Funding Infrastructure

The challenge of funding for infrastructure improvements or new infrastructure is a huge hurdle for municipalities and even the federal government. Learn how to update your community's transportation plan for today's fiscal climate. Enjoy "Infrastructure, CIP, and Alternative Transportation" APA on-demand education, free for the month of January.

Road (Funding) Rage

Planning — May 2015

Exactly how to fund the infrastructure the country needs remains unanswered. In this May 2015 Planning magazine story, "Road (Funding) Rage," the author explores the highway funding crisis gripping the nation.

Resilient Infrastructure

Disasters can threaten existing infrastructure. Read how communities can consider more resilient protection for existing and future infrastructure in this briefing paper from APA's Hazards Planning Center.

Learn more: Check out the August/September 2015 Planning magazine, a special issue about resilience.

Top image: An L train passes over the 606, an urban park and elevated trail stretching 2.7 miles across four Chicago neighborhoods. Photo by Kelly Wilson.

January 11, 2017