Help Planning Researchers Learn More About the Profession

Four current research projects from APA, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Utah are in need of planners who are willing to share their experiences in and knowledge of creative placemaking, working for global or publicly traded planning firms, and planning practice in small cities, towns, and counties.

Survey: Creative Placemaking & Planners

APA wants to hear from you about your knowledge of creative placemaking and planning. Over the past year, APA has focused on identifying, evaluating, and disseminating creative placemaking resources, culminating in a curated KnowledgeBase collection of resources, an interactive session at NPC18, and a demonstration project in Natick, Massachusetts.

These efforts are in response to planners like you, who are interested in strategies that animate public spaces and showcase unique community characteristics.

We now ask for your feedback to identify opportunities to support this growing interest and to shape the future of arts and culture resources.

Take the Survey

Please take a moment to complete this survey. Regardless of whether you identify as creative placemaking novice or guru (or somewhere in between), we want to hear from you!

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Survey: APA Creative Placemaking KnowledgeBase Feedback

Have you used, or do you plan to use, APA’s Creative Placemaking KnowledgeBase? If so, we would like your feedback on the resources we have provided and how we can make it more useful for your work. Let us know how we’re doing!

Take the Survey

Call for Study Participants: Research on Planning Practice in Global Firms

Have you worked for a global or publicly traded firm? Are you interested in sharing your experiences? If you would be willing to participate in a research project examining contemporary planning practices, or for more details, please contact Dr. Orly Linovski at All responses will be confidential.

While there has been much research on planners in the public sector, there is less known about planning practices in private firms. In recent years, there has been an increase in publicly traded firms, many of which were created through mergers and acquisitions, and operate in diverse practice areas. These changes in the nature of firm structure raise questions about the impact on planning practitioners, and the influence of capital markets in shaping planning practice.

This research seeks to understand how practices vary between firms and contexts, and how planners negotiate different types of constraints and work environments. The first part of this work focused on financial perspectives of planning practice, through analysis of quarterly reports and financial analyst transcripts.

Linovski is currently looking to speak with both current and former planners of these types of firms, at various career stages and levels of experience. Participants will be asked questions about their experiences working in the firm and broad questions about their planning practice, to gain insight into private-sector planning in publicly traded firms.

The research is for academic purposes, but the hope is that it will be used to better inform planning education and how we train planners. This research has been funded by the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics and approved by the Joint-Faculty Research Ethics Board (

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Coming Soon: Planning in Smaller Communities

What specific skills are required by planners practicing in the nation’s smaller local communities and jurisdictions (towns, cities, or counties)? Bruce Parker, AICP, a doctoral candidate at the University of Utah, is conducting a research study to investigate if the skills required by planners working in the nation’s small communities and jurisdictions are different from those required by planners in larger local jurisdictions or other planning organizations.

This study will also research the importance of planning degrees and professional certifications to these planners.

In an upcoming edition of APA Interact you will be invited to participate in this research by completing the study’s survey questionnaire. The survey will ask for your opinions and comments on what planning skills, qualifications, and certifications are required by planners, working in, or consulting with, the nation’s smaller communities (towns, cities, and counties). Regardless of where you practice you will be encouraged to participate in this research by completing the study’s survey. All opinions and input are important.

Watch for the research announcement and survey link in an upcoming edition of Interact.

Top image: Students at the University of the Fraser Valley present their research. Photo by Flickr user University of the Fraser Valley (CC BY 2.0).

About the Author
Jennifer Henaghan, AICP, is APA's deputy research director.

October 25, 2018

By Jennifer Henaghan, AICP