With foresight in mind, planners can guide change, create more sustainable and equitable outcomes, and establish themselves as critical to a thriving community.
APA Foresight is about understanding drivers of change that are outside of our control, how we can prepare for them, and when it is time to act. Let's use the future to create great communities for all!
Interested in learning more? Reach out to Petra Hurtado, Director of Research and Foresight, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2023 Trend Report for Planners
The 2023 Trend Report for Planners, developed in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, features more than 100 existing, emerging, and potential future trends that APA identified as relevant to planning. The trends are structured within three timeframes (Act Now, Prepare, Learn and Watch), which indicate the urgency of planners' action.
Using the Future to Create Dynamic Plans
Using the Future to Create Dynamic Plans gives planners the ability to imagine multiple plausible futures, use the future in our work, and plan with the future. This interactive self-paced training includes how to use strategic foresight in planning with applicable tools and methodologies to equip planners with the essential skills needed to navigate change and understand how future uncertainties may impact communities.
APA Trend Universe
All trends and signals from both the 2023 Trend Report and the 2022 Trend Report are now also available online in APA's Trend Universe where they will be regularly updated, reflecting the accelerating pace of change of today and tomorrow. Here, you can find existing trends (act on them now!), emerging trends (start preparing for them!), and potential future trends (keep watching and learn more about them!), all organized around seven general themes. APA's Trend Universe is developed together with partners, experts, and practitioners, as part of APA's Trend Scouting Foresight Community.
A Foresight Community is a multidisciplinary group of select experts who meet regularly through a series of facilitated workshops. The community members are thought leaders in their fields and are chosen based on their ability to provide forward-thinking perspectives. APA currently convenes two types of Foresight Communities: "deep dive" communities on specific foresight topics (such as the recently concluded community on Artificial Intelligence) and a trend scouting community dedicated to trend scouting and horizon scanning. Read more about APA's Foresight Communities and the important work they do.
Topics We're Exploring
On this page, you can search for resources that provide background or policy guidance on the effects of artificial intelligence on communities and the practice of planning.
This PAS Memo equips planners with an understanding of AI concepts and their potential implications, and discusses the role of AI in larger trends connected to digital governance and civic data in planning.
This PAS Report previews the emerging changes associated with autonomous mobility and advises planners on how to prepare for and manage these transitions to ensure their communities reap the benefits — and avoid the pitfalls — of AV technology. Created in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
This collection gathers resources that provide background on autonomous vehicles and examples of how their widespread adoption will impact the transportation network and the built environment, as well as recommendations for policies that communities should consider to prepare themselves.
This edition of PAS QuickNotes explores how local governments, planners, and policy makers can leverage the value of innovative vehicle technologies like UAM to prepare for the future and transform transportation systems for the public good. Created in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
This PAS Report provides an overview of the tools needed by planners to help their communities understand the challenges associated with climate change, and the most critical actions to best mitigate and respond to its impacts.
Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States. This PAS Report provides holistic guidance to help practitioners increase urban heat resilience equitably in the communities they serve.
digitalization and smart cities
This report identifies how this ongoing process of digitalization is driving change in the world and what this change means for planners and their communities. Created in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
From this page you can search for resources that provide background and policy guidance on smart cities, as well as examples of local plans, policies, and programs that illustrate how cities and counties are applying ICT to improve local government and enhance livability, sustainability, or resilience.
This PAS Report defines the smart city, offers a framework of three interconnected "ecosystems" to help planners better understand smart city systems, and describes the elements that must be integrated to make a city truly smart.
Making Sense of the Future
This edition of PAS QuickNotes introduces the concept of foresight to help planners imagine and prepare their communities for the future.
In this article, Petra Hurtado, PhD, APA's Research Director, explores emerging topic areas with the potential for high impact on the profession and low preparedness in the planning community. Created in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
In this article, APA Research Director Petra Hurtado, PhD, and APA Research Associate Alexsanda Gomez, explore seven need-to-know trends, and what they mean for planners in 2023
Scenario planning enables professionals, and the public, to respond dynamically to an unknown future. On this page, you can search for resources for your community.