The Commissioner

The Commissioner is full of features and practical tips that will help you make critical decisions in the best interest of your community.

April 2015

The Commissioner coverBook Clubs, Video, and Meetings

A book club is just one of the imaginative approaches that Austin, Texas's planning department has used to engage and educate city residents about planning.

Breathe Better Air, Breathe Easier

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the 1970 Clean Air Act.

Findings of Fact for Planning Commissions

It is the job of planning commissions to make decisions in the best interest of the community. However, they must do so by making the critical connection between facts and standards in order to avoid being arbitrary and unfair.

The New Deal Goes Swimming

During the Depression, the Works Progress Administration put thousands of unemployed New Yorkers to work building public pools to improve the health and well-being of city residents.

About The Commissioner

Every issue of The Commissioner includes:

Tools & Training
Planning involves all-encompassing comprehensive plans as well as target plans (e.g. housing). Planning tackles problems through guidelines, standards, education, and persuasion. This feature explains best practices and highlights evolving issues for the essential work of commissions and boards.

Planning, Zoning, and Beyond
What role do planning commissions and other boards play in developing and implementing plans? Learn about specific techniques for conducting public meetings, reaching decisions, and working with staff to develop useful reports.

Attorneys deliver plain-English explanations of complex legal issues facing commissions and boards. Learn how to stay out of court, create inclusive practices, and keep up with important court rulings. Explore the level of legal standards you need in your community and find out how other communities tackle similar issues.

Learn about the foundations of planning. This short feature looks back to find key moments when planning defined its approach to a specific problem or identified a new community need.

Resource Finder
The Commissioner's popular guide will help you dig deeper into featured topics.

The Commissioner Online

The Commissioner appears six times per year as a section in the print and digital editions of APA's flagship magazine, Planning, and as a stand–alone, online flipbook.

Members and subscribers: Read the current flipbook and selected older issues of The Commissioner

Not a Member or Subscriber?

Nonmembers may subscribe to The Commissioner's bi-monthly, digital flipbook edition. Special groups rates are available.


Membership Benefit

The Commissioner is a benefit for all APA members. Members may read The Commissioner as a feature in Planning six times per year or as a bi-monthly, digital flipbook.

Join APA

Submit an Article

Learn how to submit an article to The Commissioner.

Article Submissions