APA's Community Assistance Program provides place-based assistance and advisory services to communities, regions, and neighborhoods. The program engages planning professionals and demonstrates the benefits of planning to communities around the country.

Community Assistance Program

The American Planning Association participates in a variety of projects and programs that provide direct support to communities. These range in scope from the free resources offered by APA’s website, to the Planning Advisory Service to Community Planning Assistance Teams and international assistance.

Community assistance also includes efforts of APA chapters and divisions, such as the City Planning & Management Division's planning department peer review program and APA chapters' support of CPATs.

2015 Community Planning Workshop

Belltown Neighborhood, Seattle

The 2015 Community Planning Workshop will focus on a neighborhood just to the north of downtown Seattle. Belltown is one of the most densely populated areas of the city with many outstanding assets and features, but the community faces a number of challenges. Join other planners from around the country as they meet with Belltown residents and stakeholders and discuss ideas for their future.

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Program Characteristics

Programs and activities within the Community Assistance Program have several characteristics in common. They: 

  • Assist with place-based concerns.
  • Further APA's key messages about planning: how planning fosters choices, creates places of lasting value, and enables citizens to make collective decisions about their communities' futures.
  • Constitute a sustained effort on behalf of both the host community and APA.
  • Engage members and foster relationships among constituents.  
  • May include elements of social justice and equity.

Program Information

APA Community Assistance Program (CAP) Training Webinar

This CAP Training Webinar is intended for professional planners, community organizers, and citizens interested in community planning. AICP members will gain a more nuanced set of skills related to organizing and participating in community workshops and other public engagement strategies. Viewers will also learn effective ways of participating in public forums by developing new ways of eliciting input and important feedback from residents and stakeholders.

Community Planning Workshops

As part of the National Planning Conference, the American Institute of Certified Planners sponsors the Community Planning Workshop, a one-day event that engages community leaders, citizens, and guest planners in discussing and proposing specific solutions to urban planning challenges.

Community Planning Assistance Teams

Through Community Planning Assistance Teams, top experts from APA's membership volunteer their time and expertise to work with communities on a variety of focused planning projects around the United States.

Planning Advisory Service

APA's Planning Advisory Service is a community of planners — the kind of neighbors who don't mind sharing the contents of their toolbox. PAS subscribers are a click or a call away from the best practices and innovative solutions they need to get the job done.

More Information

For more information on APA's Community Assistance Program, please contact CAP@planning.org.