The use of technology is integral to how communities are communicating and engaging their citizens to plan for the future. Rapidly evolving tools for community design and decision making are creating new opportunities to enhance public involvement, share information, and make more informed decisions in cities and towns throughout the country.

The American Planning Association (APA) Technology Division links you with others who share your interest in the use of technology in land use planning and community development. The division consists of members with a common interest in the uses and impact of technology in planning the future of our communities.

Our mission is to:

• Exchange information about planning applications that incorporate and are improved through the use of technology;

• Explore potential applications that may offer benefits to the profession;

• Inform and educate all members of the APA about solutions that work; and,

• Advocate for best practices in the use of technology to support planning.

Join and be part of an exciting effort to improve planning through the use of innovative technologies.

• Receive a newly redesigned quarterly newsletter with insightful articles that will inform your work

• Share your thoughts on and experiences with planning technology and learn from others testing and applying new applications in real planning situations

• Volunteer to help coordinate our sponsored sessions at the annual National Planning Conference and/or other Tech Division activities

• Participate in applied research activities

• Ask questions and receive answers from the experts about planning technology and applications

Join the Technology Division

Planning for Smart Cities Seminar

September 15, 2015 • Lexington, Kentucky

CM | 3.0

Tech companies, entrepreneurs and even college students are developing new, innovative technology applications for smart cities. These technologies allow planners to collect and crunch massive amounts of data from crowdsourcing, open source data and the "Internet of Things." City officials are using this data to analyze how humans interact with their environment and to develop applications to improve quality of life by reducing traffic congestion, predicting demand for city services and pro-actively addressing public health issues. Automated technologies help cities monitor urban infrastructure systems in real time so they can continually adjust operations to changing conditions. GIS mapping, scenario planning and augmented reality help leaders communicate and present information to engage citizens in decision making.

The APA Technology Division and Broadband Communities are partnering to offer a seminar, "Planning for Smart Cities." This seminar is designed for planners and broadband professionals to explore the collaborations and partnerships that will be necessary as industrial age cities transition to smart cities. Key objectives are:

  • American Planning Association (APA) Smart City Task Force — Learn about the APA Task Force initiative that is examining how planners, and localities, are currently using smart city technologies as well as examining smart city trends in the future
  • Smart City Readiness — Communities can promote investment in broadband Infrastructure through a number of policy and administrative actions. Learn how to lay the groundwork for creating a gigabit ready city and hear about successful case studies and tools from other communities.
  • Broadband Planning Processes — Review planning process and different models for broadband deployment and learn how city planners can contribute to these efforts.

Kathleen McMahon, AICP, will facilitate the seminar. McMahon has degrees in city planning and information technology and has practiced in the area for 20 years. She is currently co-chair of the APA Smart City Task Force and Chair of the APA Technology Division.


Smart Cities and Sustainability Task Force

The Smart Cities and Sustainability Task Force, which is a collaborative initiative between the Sustainable Communities, Technology, and Transportation Planning Divisions of APA, seeks to research and report on how technology advances are changing the field of planning and our communities, identify best practices, and demonstrate how planners can lead on these important changes.

Learn more and engage with us