The Green Communities Center advances practices that improve environmental quality, address climate change, and reduce development impacts on natural resources.

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 mprovements, 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.

Priority Areas

The Green Communities Center focuses its efforts into projects and policies that prioritize:

  • Green/Blue Infrastructure
  • Green Energy
  • Green Transportation

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Featured Projects

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.

All projects

Work With Us

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

Project Updates

The work of the Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition was highlighted in an interactive workshop held at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Baltimore on January 31, 2015.

Workshop leaders from APA, the Conservation Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the City of Baltimore Office of Sustainability together provided an overview of the coalition and the project; the connections between green infrastructure, resilience, and equity; and federal, state, and local initiatives within the project area.

Workshop participants provided input on key challenges, opportunities, and implementation priorities that will be taken into consideration as the project moves forward.

Hazardous Tree Management

In June 2014, APA and the U.S. Forest Service convened a scoping session to discuss ways to reduce disaster-related damage to the urban forest. Get more information about this effort and links to a set of briefing papers.

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The Role of Parks

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.

Learn more about the roundtable

The Role of Parks in Shaping Successful Cities