APA Recovery Workshop

Planning in a Post-Sandy World

Protecting people, strengthening communities

As the lights have come back on in New York and New Jersey, the region has looked to the future. How can planning create a more resilient region? Who will make the tough decisions? And how will they change the way people live, work, and play along the coastal shores?

For an entire week in April, the American Planning Association examined the critical questions in a series of free workshops focused on long-term solutions for stronger communities. Participants learned about:

  • Connecting disaster recovery to long-range community planning
  • Using an Interim Recovery Ordinance to resolve land-use issues
  • Finding funding and meeting state and local requirements
  • Adopting mitigation planning for more resilient communities

Click on the workshop links below to find the agenda, PowerPoint presentations, small group breakout session notes, and other information from each of the five workshops APA presented.

This series of free workshops was supported in part by The Planning Foundation's "Disaster Recovery and Planning" fund.

Full Day Workshop

View resources from the full-day workshop, The Planner's Role in Facilitating Community Recovery, held on April 1, 2013.

Half Day Workshops

View resources from the half-day forums held in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Central Jersey, and South Jersey on April 2-5, 2013.


Barry Hokanson, AICP, was a subcontractor in FEMA's long-term recovery program from 2005 to 2011, working with communities in Louisiana, Texas, and Tennessee. His urban planning experience, covering almost five decades, includes environmental and development regulations, stormwater and floodplain management, emergency response planning, and post-disaster recovery planning in urban and suburban areas. He is an active member of the Natural Hazards Mitigation Association.

Laurie Johnson, AICP, has studied most of the world's major urban disasters, including Hurricane Katrina and earthquakes on three continents. She has written extensively about the economics of catastrophes, disaster recovery, and reconstruction. Johnson was a lead author of New Orleans's post-Katrina recovery plan and coauthored Clear as Mud: Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans, published by APA Planners Press.

James Schwab, AICP, manages the Hazards Planning Research Center at the American Planning Association, where he also serves as senior research associate and coeditor of the monthly publication Zoning Practice. He was lead author of Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction and editor or coauthor of Hazard Mitigation, Landslide Hazards and Planning, Planning for Wildfires, and the forthcoming Planning and Drought, all from APA's Planning Advisory Service.

Kenneth Topping, FAICP, is internationally recognized for bringing climate change and disaster mitigation into city planning. A former Los Angeles planning director, he led California's hazard mitigation plan revision and helped New Orleans select recovery planning firms post-Katrina. He also has advised on disaster planning in Australia and Asia. Additionally, he contributed to Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction, published by FEMA and APA's Planning Advisory Service.

Lincoln Walther, FAICP, heads the Planning Division at marine environmental consultants CSA Ocean Sciences. For more than 40 years, he has practiced community planning, hazard mitigation, and emergency management in Florida and Louisiana. He started developing local hazard mitigation plans in 1998 when Florida launched its Local Mitigation Strategy, a precursor to the FEMA Local Hazard Mitigation Program the U.S. Congress established in 2000.

Partner Organizations

These workshops are presented in partnership with APA New York Metro Chapter, APA New Jersey Chapter, the Association of State Floodplain Managers, New Jersey Association for Floodplain Management, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Natural Hazard Mitigation Association, and National Association of Counties. Sponsors include Cornell University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute, Monmouth University, and Stockton State College.