Green Communities Center
Planning for a New Energy and Climate Future
The American Planning Association worked with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute on a three-year research project on the integration of energy and climate issues into planning practice. Funding for the project was provided by the Surdna and George Gund Foundations and APA's Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy Division.
The project aimed to help planners incorporate energy and climate considerations into their work and assist communities and regions to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, transition to renewable energy, and adapt to a changing climate.
Climate Change Report
Planning for a New Energy and Climate Future, the culmination of a three-year research and education project on the integration of climate change and energy issues into planning practice, was prepared by APA in collaboration with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the University of North Carolina Asheville.
Planners have an important role to play in helping communities meet energy needs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and adapt to a changing climate. While most planners recognize the significance of these issues, they are still working to translate these imperatives into on-the-ground plans, actions, and regulations.
The report presents fundamental information about energy and climate change, provides a framework for how to integrate energy and climate into the planning process, and offers strategies for communities to address energy and climate across a variety of issues, including development patterns, transportation, and economic development. Case studies illustrate communities that have already begun taking steps in these areas.
PAS subscribers received this report as part of their subscription. It is available to everyone for purchase in the APA Store.
Listen to a roundtable discussion with the coauthors of Planning for a New Energy and Climate Future—Suzanne Rynne, AICP, manager of APA’s Green Communities Research Center; Jan Mueller, Senior Policy Associate with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute; and Scott Shuford, AICP, Planning and Development Director of Onslow County, North Carolina.
Energy and Climate Resources
APA Policy Guide on Climate Change (pdf)
PAS QuickNotes 13: Climate Change and Energy (pdf)
PAS Essential Info Packet 18: Planning and Zoning for Renewable Energy (pdf)
PAS Memo, January/February 2009: Integrating Energy and Climate into Planning
PAS Memo, March/April 2006: The Role of Planning in the New Energy Era
Energy and Climate Database
This database provided examples of communities that have taken steps to integrate energy and climate change issues into planning, states that have addressed climate change issues in plans or policies, and other relevant documents to help planners understand and address energy and climate change. It was developed in 2010 by APA's Green Communities Center, in collaboration with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, as part of the Planning for a New Energy and Climate Future research project. The Energy and Climate Database is no longer active, but a record of the resources contained within it may be accessed here.
The APA/EESI partnership launched two national surveys in 2005 and 2007 to assess the current state of planners' capacity, knowledge, and educational needs concerning the integration of climate change and energy issues into community planning.