January 14, 2009

Planning Gets Full Makeover

Magazine launches a new design and additional features

CHICAGO — Planning magazine, the flagship publication of the American Planning Association (APA), debuts its new design with the January 2009 issue. The new design reflects a greater emphasis on photographs and images that tell the planning story.

"The new look builds upon Planning magazine's tradition of delivering the in-depth planning stories that our readers expect," said Sylvia Lewis, editor and publisher. "For more than 35 years, the magazine has covered planning stories around the U.S. and around the globe."

The more than 73,000 readers will enjoy a magazine ripe with new features. The "By The Numbers" column provides a quick numerical overview of important planning trends. January's issue shows that bicycling has increased 96 percent since 2003 in parts of Minneapolis. Other numbers explored this month include the Twin Cities' unemployment rates, new housing units along the area's light-rail line, and the miles of rail.

A new column called "Ever Green" will be introduced in the February issue. This column will focus on environmentally-friendly planning practices. The first column will look at the automobile industry and our misplaced focus on energy-efficient cars instead of walkable, transit-rich communities. 

An expanded "News" section greets readers at the beginning of the magazine. Feature stories include sidebars called "On a Related Topic" that provides additional information or another perspective. Resource boxes offer guidance on where to locate information on a particular subject.

"In redesigning, we built upon the strengths of the existing magazine. We also are using APA's new graphic standards to help reinforce the association's brand identity," said Lewis. 

The new magazine design is even more environmentally conscious. It is now printed on recycled paper that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. "APA continues to examine all aspects of its business so that it can make smarter environmental decisions," said Lewis.

The January issue profiles the host city of the upcoming 2009 National Planning Conference in Minneapolis. Stories look at the planning successes and challenges facing Minnesotan communities, such as:

  • A Noble History by Judith A. Martin explores the Twin Cities' long history of smart planning decisions;
  • Trouble in Lake Country by Jay Walljasper and Sam Newburg examines the growth challenges facing the much-loved lake communities; and
  • Getting That Old Transit Religion by Steve Berg looks at how Minnesotans are transitioning from automobiles to a rail focus.

Magazine milestones

Planning magazine began in 1972 under the American Society of Planning Officials (a precursor to the American Planning Association). Before that, Planning was a multiple-page newsletter sent to members.

The magazine later added two-color printing to its production and then introduced a four-color printing process in 1983. The January 2009 issue marks the first cover-to-cover overhaul of the magazine since 1983. Over the past 26 years, minor enhancements and adjustments were made to the design and layout of the magazine.

View the evolution of Planning magazine at www.planning.org/planning/redesign.

"Planning continues to stand out among other association publications because it covers a broad spectrum of issues instead of maintaining a narrow focus," Lewis said. "Throughout the magazine, the editorial content provides a balanced view of the planning issues and challenges facing our communities."

Planning magazine's paid circulation is 43,000; it has a pass-along readership rate of 30,100. It is published 11 times a year with special issues focusing on the environment, transportation, and Great Places in America.


Roberta Rewers, APA, 312-786-6395; rrewers@planning.org