Access resources from APA Divisions about emerging issues of interest to both planners and the public: Aging and Livable Communities, the Changing Face of America, and Smart Cities and Sustainability.

APA Divisions Initiatives bring focus to both the breadth and depth of planning challenges in local communities and neighborhoods throughout the nation. Divisions are rich in knowledge resources and expertise and can help guide fundamental transformative planning rooted in the unique needs of place to communities that are livable for all.

The diversity of interests represented by each Division frame this transformation from a variety of perspectives — mobilizing opportunities for insightful discussion and a context for meaningful decision making. Initiatives provide access to a repository of resources about emerging issues of interest to both planners and the public.

If you are interested in contributing to this effort, please contact Marj Press at for more information. You also may contact any Division Chair to find out how to get involved in a division.

city skyline with a base of gears underneath

Smart Cities and Sustainability

Planners occupy a critical place in the advancement of Smart Cities. They use a spectrum of data to derive benchmarks that measure outcomes and indicate how plans are improving our cities.

Planning, however, is not simply a field of measurement. Data provides the information, from which planners apply critical thinking and community input to identify opportunities for the future.

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Aging and Livable Communities

The Aging of America provides an extraordinary opportunity for planners to create plans and policies and help develop and redevelop communities that are more age friendly ... and, therefore, more livable. 

According to Deborah Howe, Baby Boomers "will swell the ranks of those aged 65-plus from 34.8 million in 2000 to a projected 70.3 million in 2030, ultimately representing 20 percent of the U.S. population."

Divisions are rich in knowledge resources and expertise that can help guide the fundamental transformation to communities that are livable for all. Divisions can help frame this transformation rooted in the unique needs of place and community.

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Older couple with bicycle

Changing Face of America: Planning for a More Dynamic Population

US puzzleThe U.S. population is incredibly mobile and ever changing. Here are just a few of the trends from the 2010 Census and the literature that will affect planners over the next decade:

Minorities as the majority — The face of America is changing, becoming more diverse; many metros no longer have a single racial/ethnic majority. How do planners need to adapt to cultural imperatives and invent new approaches to civic engagement?

The population is aging — The workforce would be declining if not for immigration. How do we foster economic growth while supporting an increasingly more dependent population?

Re-urbanization — There has been something of a "back-to-the-city movement," and formerly declining cities are again growing, some in unexpected ways. What should planners do to create the 21st century city?

Shrinking Cities and Suburbs — Some cities, and suburbs, are shrinking, facing a permanently smaller population. Foreclosures have depopulated entire neighborhoods in both urban and suburban communities. How can planners address the key issues in these communities?

Planners have the training and skills to forge the future, and the Divisions will be there to help.

Read more about population-related topics

Archived Initiatives: Airports and Food

Learn about past initiatives of the Divisions Council: Airports in the Region and Food Systems.

Airports in the Region

Food Systems

Interested in APA Divisions?

Where do you see yourself? Do you see yourself in a leadership role? Taking the next step in your career? Advancing ideas that matter? Then you should see yourself in an APA division. Our divisions are communities of professionals with shared interests. They give their members opportunities to discuss ideas, contribute to national policy work, develop conference sessions, build partnerships, and more.

Join a division