Community Planning Assistance Teams

APA organizes volunteer planning teams tailored specifically to a community's needs. Members offer their time and expertise to people and places where additional resources are needed. This program is supported through donations.


  • By pairing a multidisciplinary team of expert planning professionals from around the country with community members, key stakeholders, and relevant decision makers, the place-based initiative seeks to foster community education, engagement, and empowerment.
  • Each team is selected for the specific expertise needed on the project to offer pro bono assistance in developing a framework or vision plan that promotes a sustainable, livable, economically vibrant, and healthy community.
  • Communities facing a range of challenges including, but not limited to, social equity and affordability, economic development, sustainability, consensus building, and urban design are well-suited for assistance through the program.
  • Projects focus on localities with a demonstrated need for assistance, where planning resources and expertise may not otherwise be available.
  • CPAT projects are collaborative efforts with shared responsibilities. CPATs and communities work together throughout the process.
  • APA contributes the time of its staff and volunteer experts while the recipient communities cover travel costs.

APA Wants to Help Your Community!

Proposals from or inquiries about projects from communities are accepted anytime

How do I know if my project is ready for a CPAT?

CPATs offer a tremendous amount of work and expertise, but projects must be focused enough to accomplish the objectives. The timing must also be right. Is the community ready to address the issues or goals of the project? How will a CPAT build on any of your previous efforts? What do you intend to change as a result of a CPAT project?

Review our Community Checklist (pdf)

CPAT Community Proposal Form (pdf)

E-mail to receive an auto-response with an outreach template.

Attention Planners! Want to Give Back?

Experienced planning professional? Want to help a community by joining a team? Sign up now!

Fill out the online volunteer form

Related Resources

Current projects

Yarborough, Belize City, Belize

West Melbourne, Florida

Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Completed projects


North Beach, Maryland

Spanish Fork, Utah

Helena, Montana

Deerfield Beach, Florida


Hartsville, South Carolina

Shreveport, Louisiana

Unalaska, Alaska

Lyons, Colorado

Pine Hills, Orlando, Florida


Laney Walker / Bethlehem, Augusta, Georgia

Franklin, Tennessee

La Feria, Texas


Wakulla Gardens, Florida

Dubuque County, Iowa

Seven Ranches Area – Maricopa, Arizona


Story County, Iowa

Crestdale — Matthews, North Carolina

Program History

The CPAT program was relaunched in 2011 and has grown significantly since that time. The practice of providing pro bono technical assistance to communities is not new to APA, however, with volunteer teams dating back to 1995.


Buzzard Point, Washington, D.C.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

South Bend, Indiana

1995Inaugural Project

Greensboro, North Carolina

2005-2008Katrina/Gulf Coast Recovery

Slidell, Louisiana

Mandeville, Louisiana

Henderson Point, Mississippi

New Orleans, Louisiana