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.

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Water and Planning

APA is actively engaging members to identify the needs and priorities of and provide resources to planners who are focused on water issues in their communities.

Getting Ready for Autonomous Vehicles

APA and its partners, along with 85 of the nation's top thinkers on AV, are developing a playbook for cities and regions to maximize the benefits and minimize the potential negative consequences associated with the deployment of autonomous vehicles.

Featured Project

SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership

From September 2010 to July 2016 APA worked with national partners on the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs), an initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Through this effort, APA and its partners provided outreach, training, and technical assistance to local and regional governments to make it easier for residents, businesses, and property owners within their jurisdictions to use solar energy. We are pleased to offer a variety of reports, sample plans and regulations, briefing papers, and more to assist in planning for solar energy.

Ongoing Projects

Creative Placemaking in Planning

APA is part of a collaboration that is developing planner-friendly tools, vetted by the public art field and APA's Arts and Planning Interest Group, to increase planners' competencies in working with artists on creative placemaking projects.

Urban Climate Action Network

The Urban Climate Action Network is a national climate change youth corps created to empower high-school aged teens and their communities to address climate change in their communities by providing leadership training, technical assistance from scientists and experts, and the resources of a national network.

Autonomous Vehicles: Planning for Impacts on Cities and Regions

This multi-phase project began with a symposium to identify what cities and regions need to do to prepare for autonomous vehicle technology, and in late 2017 will offer a searchable, curated resource collection on autonomous vehicles (including reports, webinars, and more) and a playbook of actions (to include key issues for land use planning, transportation planning, and fiscal impacts).

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.

Regional Green Infrastructure and the Wildland-Urban Interface

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.

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.

Green Communities Blog Posts