Current Research Projects

Autonomous Vehicles: Planning for Impacts on Cities and Regions

APA and its partner organizations 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.

Building Coastal Resilience Through Capital Improvement Planning

APA and ASFPM are working to mainstream a variety of techniques to help practitioners incorporate climate, flood, and hazard data into local and regional capital improvement plans. They are working with regional partners in Savannah, Georgia, and Toledo, Ohio. The end products will include a PAS Report and on-site training program.

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.

Helping Communities Plan for Climate Extremes

APA, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, and the University of Illinois are working with five pilot communities in the Chicago metropolitan area to find ways to incorporate sound climate science into their local planning efforts. Findings in the form of a guidebook, data analysis guide, and a set of case studies will be disseminated to planners, floodplain managers, and practitioners nationwide with a special focus on replicability in the Great Lakes region.

Innovations in Planning and Public Engagement for Community Resilience

In this FEMA-funded project, APA and its partners are producing online models and tools for community visioning and scenario planning for post-disaster recovery.

Multimodal Planning at the Megaregional Scale

Through this project, APA 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.

NOAA Digital Coast

Digital Coast is a partnership with NOAA to review new planning tools for coastal communities, assist in using and accessing those tools, and in helping advance coastal zone management policy.


Through an overarching collaborative strategy that brings together members of APA and the American Public Health Association, this project is building local capacity to address population health goals and promote the inclusion of health in non-traditional sectors.

Planning Information Exchange

In cooperation with the Association of State Floodplain Managers, APA is conducting a series of quarterly webinars for practitioners on hazard mitigation planning and its connections with recovery planning and preparedness.

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.

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.

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.

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.