Climate Change Resources
APA provides its members with information and resources to do their jobs effectively and advocate for best planning practices in the communities where they work. The environmental and economic impacts of climate change on communities are a continuing focus of APA's research efforts. In fact, climate change was rated the top priority by APA members who responded to the Research Agenda Task Force Survey.
In January 2017, the Kresge Foundation recognized APA as one of nine urban-focused professional membership organizations for its efforts to educate members on climate change issues.
The following climate change resources are available from APA. See the Disaster Recovery Resources page for additional hazard mitigation information.
Policy Guides and Frameworks
APA's policy guides represent the collective thinking of our members on positions of both principle and practice. They represent APA's official position on issues central to building communities of lasting value.
APA conducts applied, policy-relevant research to identify, evaluate, develop, and disseminate best practices that address key issues for the planning profession. Below are highlights of completed research initiatives with a climate-change focus.
This multi-year effort examines how places can be sustained and how places themselves sustain life and civilizations. As part of this initiative, APA developed the Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places Recognition Program that defines a set of principles, processes, and attributes to guide comprehensive plan creation.
How Cities Use Parks for Climate Change Management, City Parks Forum Briefing Papers
Green Infrastructure and Post-Disaster Recovery, Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery Briefing Papers
"Using Smart Growth to Adapt to Climate Change," Zoning Practice, February 2017
Climate Change and Energy, PAS QuickNotes, No. 13
Brooklyn/Baybrook Community Action Plan, Community Planning Assistance Team Report, Baltimore, Maryland
PAS Reports, Memos, and QuickNotes
PAS Memo is a bimonthly publication written by practicing planners that offers insights and case studies.
"Evaluation of Network of Plans and Vulnerability to Hazards and Climate Change: A resilience scorecard." Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 81, No. 4, 2015
"That Unwelcomed Stranger Called Climate Change" Planning, October 2015
"Global Changes, Local Impacts." Planning, October 2015
"A Rising Tide of Engagement: The profession leans in on climate change." Planning, August/September 2015
"A Higher Tide: Planning for Sea-Level Rise." Planning, August/September 2015
"A Model of Climate Proofing." Planning, March 2013
"Climate Adaptation and Sea-Level Rise in the San Francisco Bay Area." Planning, January 2012
"The Devil Is in the Delta." Planning, January 2012
"Is Anyone Listening as Climate Change Speeds Up?" Planning, December 2011
Roundtable discussion with the coauthors of Planning for a New Energy and Climate Future.
"Wetrofitting" Urban Neighborhoods — Tuesdays at APA
Tools for Great Lakes Planners in NOAA's Digital Coast — Tuesdays at APA
Arlington County's "Community Energy Plan" — Tuesdays at APA
Planning Information Exchange (PIE) Webinars
The Planning Information Exchange (PIE) quarterly webinar series is sponsored by APA and the Association of Flood Plain Managers, with funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The webinars are free.
"Rising Seas" Closing keynote by John Englander, oceanographer and author of High Tide on Main Street.
"NOAA Supporting Resiliency" by Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, former Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. NOAA and APA have a long history of collaboration focused on helping communities cope with drought and floods, improve water quality, and reduce coastal inundation among other threats. Learn more about the work underway and how NOAA is working to build living and thriving communities.
Best Practice Examples
Broward County Climate Change Element, Broward County, Florida
2014 National Planning Excellence Award for Environmental Planning
2012 National Planning Award for a Best Practice 2012
Green City, Clean Waters: Philadelphia's 21st Century Green Stormwater Infrastructure Program, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2015 National Planning Excellence Award for Implementation
Resilient New Orleans – Strategic Actions to Shape Our Future City, New Orleans, Louisiana
2016 National Planning Excellence Award for a Best Practice
Urban Forestry Code Revisions Project, Tigard, Oregon
2014 National Planning Excellence Award for a Best Practice
Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, New York City
2012 Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan
APA offers opportunities for members to connect with others who share their interests.