November 4, 2010

Building Urban Planning Capacity through ECPA

APA launches the ECPA Academic and Professional Urban Planning Network with a 30-month grant from the U.S. Department of State as part of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA)

WASHINGTON, DC — A new 30-month grant from the U.S. Department of State to the American Planning Association will be used to build capacity for urban planning and promote sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of the larger global Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA).

ECPA is a voluntary and flexible framework for advancing energy security and combating climate change announced by President Obama at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in April 2009.  Countries are encouraged to suggest tangible ideas for cooperation, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, cleaner fossil fuels, and energy infrastructure.

Through the grant, APA will lead an initiative to build a cadre of urban planning academics and practitioners, a current deficit in the region. The initiative will launch November 4–5, 2010, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The program, "Sustainable Urban Planning and Energy Efficiency Construction for Low-Income Areas of the Americas," will assemble key stakeholders from the United States, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador and Dominican Republic. The goal of the program is to build broad-based support for urban planning as a tool for sustainable, climate-proof, and energy efficient development across the Americas.

The grant also will support academic network building, technical assistance to local Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) communities, U.S. study tours for LAC professionals, and communication of best practices for sustainable, energy efficient development.

"Urban planning has a major role in creating sustainable, energy-efficient communities in Latin America, the Caribbean and around the world," said W. Paul Farmer, FAICP, Chief Executive Officer of the American Planning Association. "Through their support, the State Department reinforces the role of smart urban planning in solving some of most pressing climate and energy challenges and shaping communities of lasting value."

Outcomes of the 30-month initiative will be posted to www.ECPAplanning.org, which also will serve as an interactive hub for linking domestic and international professionals.

Resources

APA’s participation in the ECPA initiative

About ECPA

Partners

Academic and Professional Urban Planning Network

Contact

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