Green Communities Center

Climate change, water resources, and infrastructure needs are just a few of the issues facing communities today as we plan for the 21st century and beyond. Planners balance short-term and long-term interests to enhance the viability of their communities.

Through citizen engagement, plan making, capital improvements, development review, and other planning actions, planners promote fiscally sound investments and decisions that protect and restore the natural environment, conserve resources, and build more sustainable communities.

To learn how APA's Green Communities Center can help you or to discuss partnership opportunities, contact us at

Water Working Group

The Water Working Group is working to determine creative, yet practical paths forward for APA members to address the water issues in their communities.


Grants of up to $575,000 will be awarded by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) as part of the Great Urban Parks Campaign, in which APA is a leading project partner. The campaign is specifically focusing on increasing and improving the use of green infrastructure in parks — particularly those located in underserved communities.

Featured Project

Parks and Planning RoundtableLogo of skyline with center park. Text reads: The role of parks in shaping successful cities

In March 2014, APA and the National Recreation and Park Association co-hosted "The Role of Parks in Shaping Successful Cities" roundtable in Arlington, Virginia. This event allowed planning directors and parks directors from nine large cities and urban metropolitan regions to share how their cities are using parks, open space, and planning to maximize opportunities and achieve results. The roundtable yielded a white paper, The Role of Parks in Shaping Successful Cities.

Current Projects

Urban Conservation: Thinking Megaregionally

This project is a collaboration with the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative. We are working together to improve the utility and utilization of the Conservation Blueprint within populated areas for the mutual benefit of the planning and conservation professions.

Great Urban Parks Campaign

A project to improve environmental and social outcomes in underserved communities through green infrastructure in local parks.

Naturally Resilient Communities

The Nature Conservancy is working in partnership with APA and other organizations on a green infrastructure siting guide for local planners.

Regional Green Infrastructure Planning at the Landscape Scale

An APA and U.S. Forest Service collaboration on regional green infrastructure planning at the landscape scale and the associated needs and opportunities.

Multimodal Planning at the Megaregional Scale

This project will develop and disseminate clear guidance (policies, strategies, and implementation tools) for local governments and regional agencies to address megaregional issues in long-range comprehensive planning.

Greater Baltimore Wilderness: Green Infrastructure for Regional Resilience

Working through a team led by The Conservation Fund with APA as co-principal investigator, the Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition is working to conserve, restore, and enhance a regional green infrastructure network delivering multiple benefits for the people and wildlife of central Maryland.

Sustaining Places

APA is leading an initiative to establish standards and a potential designation program for integrating sustainability into comprehensive plans. This work aims to improve plan quality while asserting the planning profession’s role as a leader in the sustainability arena.

SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership

APA and its several partners are providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to local and regional governments to help them implement solar energy in their communities.