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.

Lurie Garden, Millennium Park, Chicago

Priority Areas

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

  • Green/Blue Infrastructure
  • Green Energy
  • Green Transportation

Learn more

Featured Projects

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.

All projects

Work With Us

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


Great Urban Parks: Green Infrastructure in Underserved Communities

APA is pleased to announce a new $2.5 million project to improve environmental and social outcomes in underserved communities through green infrastructure in local parks. This two-year collaboration with the National Recreation and Park Association and Low Impact Development Center will support on-the-ground projects in local communities and will also help develop resources and training programs on green infrastructure for park, recreation, planning, and other professionals.

Learn more

Logo 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.

Learn more about the roundtable