FutureShape is the first-ever research agenda for the planning profession, to be used by funders, researchers, and others as a guide to prioritize research activities worldwide. The multi-year effort has identified five broad research themes and 18 planning issues that will impact the future of our communities and the work of planners.

The themes include:

  1. Disruptors and megatrends
  2. Climate change, resilience, and sustainability
  3. Equity, inclusion, and sustainability
  4. Healthy and livable communities
  5. Plan making and implementation

Read more about FutureShape and how its timely priorities will help the planning profession play a role in creating more resilient, equitable, and sustainable communites.

A Research Agenda for the Planning Profession

Cover of FutureShape: A Research Agenda for the Planning Profession

FutureShape is a signature cause of the APA Foundation. This report presents the FutureShape research agenda, calls on key planning stakeholders to use the agenda in their work, and summarizes the process steps that informed the agenda.


Steering Committee

Mary Kay Peck, FAICP (Chair)
MKPeck Associates

Leo Asuncion, Jr., AICP
State of Hawaii

Kurt Christiansen, FAICP
Formerly at City of Azusa

Don Elliott, FAICP
Clarion Associates

Rodger Lentz, AICP
City of Wilson

Mike McAnelly, FAICP
Texas Chapter, APA

Plans and Plan Making Workgroup

Bob Barber, FAICP (Chair)
Orion Planning + Design

Nader Afzalan, PhD
Urban Footprint

Eugenie Birch, PhD, FAICP
University of Pennsylvania

David Rouse, FAICP
American Planning Association

Chris Silver, PhD, FAICP
University of Florida

Jennifer S. Vey
Brookings Institute

Jordan Yin, PhD, AICP
Alabama A&M University

Built Environment Workgroup

Brian Campbell, FAICP (Chair)

Whit Blanton, FAICP
Forward Pinellas

Robert Cervero, PhD
University of California, Berkeley

Reid Ewing, PhD
University of Utah

Justin Moore
NYC Public Design Commission

Arthur "Chris" Nelson, FAICP
University of Arizona

Mike Sanio
American Society of Civil Engineers

Sagar Shah, PhD, AICP
American Planning Association

Plan Implementation Workgroup

Bob Mitchell, FAICP (Chair)
Robert P. Mitchell, FAICP Consulting

Tom Dallessio
Formerly at Next City

David Morley, AICP
American Planning Association

John Mullin, PhD, FAICP
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Peter Pollock, FAICP

Nancy Stroud, FAICP
Lewis, Stroud, & Deutsch

Mildred Warner
Cornell University

Environmental Management Workgroup

Peter Lowitt, FAICP (Chair)
Devens Enterprise

Armando Carbonell, FAICP
Lincoln Land Institute

Kurt Culbertson
Design Workshop

Justin Hollander, PhD, AICP
Tufts University

Laurie Johnson
Laurie Johnson Consulting

Bob Leiter, FAICP

David Rouse, FAICP
American Planning Association

Kathleen Wolf, PhD
University of Washington