APA Interact May 15, 2019

Make Infrastructure Week count

Planners, roll up your sleeves! It's Infrastructure Week and time to advocate for more and better investment in America's transportation systems. Three issues are shaping federal debates — FY 2020 appropriations, surface transportation (FAST Act) reauthorization, and a standalone infrastructure bill. In our blog, APA Policy Director Jason Jordan outlines the politics in play and points out when and where your advocacy matters most.

Question #1 is how to pay for both a $2 trillion infrastructure investment and FAST Act reauthorization that addresses both short- and long-term needs. Jordan lays out APA's six-part plan for transportation funding. We urge you to share our plan with your elected officials.
Ideas from Congress

Elected officials are proposing funding solutions ...
  • Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), and Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) introduced legislation that would raise the federal cap on private activity bonds for surface transportation and freight improvement projects.
  • More than 100 members of Congress signed on to a letter from Municipal Finance Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) supporting the preservation of municipal bonds used to strengthen transportation infrastructure, affordable housing, parks, and schools.

... and introducing ideas for next year's FAST Act reauthorization:

  • Rep. Blumenauer's PLACE Act would create a federally funded clearinghouse to study the influence of autonomous vehicles on land use, transportation, real estate, urban design, municipal budgets, the environment, and social equity. APA President Kurt Christiansen, FAICP, voiced support and emphasized the importance of this research to "(help) communities get our AV future right."
Planners adapt to smarter infrastructure

In communities, planners are managing evolving technologies — like small cell infrastructure and electric scooters — that influence local infrastructure. APA's Catherine Hinshaw marks Infrastructure Week with a look at how technology is changing existing infrastructure and how it intersects with the public right-of-way.


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Family Scholar House receives HUD Secretary's Award

The nonprofit Family Scholar House in Louisville, Kentucky, provides comprehensive services for single-parent families and educational support for youth who have aged out of foster care. FSH volunteers connect participants with community resources and advocate on their behalf to reduce barriers to education and career employment. Almost all participants transition to stable housing. Family Scholar House received this year's HUD Secretary's Opportunity & Empowerment Award at NPC19 in San Francisco.
Planner Profile: Amit Price Patel's global view of affordable housing 

Architect, planner, and urban designer Amit Price Patel, AICP, AIA, has worked on affordable housing around the world from South Africa to California. He says planners need insight into allied professions to understand what drives decisions, how to collaborate, and when to push back.
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Update: AICP exam prep resources

AICP Exam Prep 3.0 will not be available for purchase after May 31, 2019, although every purchaser will have access through the end of the viewing license. We thank the volunteers who developed the product in 2012 as we shift our focus to providing free exam prep materials and supporting the Chapter Presidents Council's update to its AICP Exam Study Manual. Questions? Email AICP@planning.org.
Uncover JAPA

Get to know the Journal of the American Planning Association — APA's academic journal of record. New editor Ann Forsyth recently kicked off a series of blog posts that explore articles from JAPA's recent and archival issues, emphasizing their practical implications. APA members can subscribe to JAPA for as little as $36 a year.
New podcasts for planners

James Rausse, AICP, former president of the APA New York Metro Chapter, recently launched a podcast series: POV: Planning & Organizational Visioning.
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Interact is a member e-newsletter of the American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners.