Regional and Intergovernmental Planning

The APA Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division identifies, analyzes, and promotes best practices to guide local, regional, state, and federal governments' interdependent involvement in community planning and development. RIPD's primary focus is on state and regional activities that support coordinated planning and implementation strategies in megaregional, metropolitan, micropolitan, and rural areas.

2017 was a pivotal year for RIPD, beginning in January with publication of Emerging Trends in Regional Planning (PAS 586). The report, reflecting division members' expertise and edited by division leaders, received an APA Division Achievement Award for its contribution to the planning profession.

The division will continue to lead the field of regional and intergovernmental planning as new trends emerge. Priority areas of interest include:

  • Livable Communities / Regional Futures. For the past decade, RIPD has supported peer learning among regional planners by offering a day-long forum on livable communities or regional futures. This event is typically sponsored in conjunction with the National Planning Conference, though it did move into a virtual format in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum is designed to share emerging practices and lift up the ways we are addressing challenges often unique to regional agencies. Our goals are to share information on regional programs and strategies for integrating livable communities into regional work programs, while also providing opportunities for regional peers to network. The 2023 Regional Futures Forum took place on Friday, March 31 in Philadelphia. A summary was shared in the second E-News of 2023. Stay tuned for ways to get involved with the next forum, which will be planned in conjunction with the National Planning Conference in Minneapolis in April 2024. 
  • Climate Change and Integrated Water Management. Water issues are an increasingly important aspect of regional and intergovernmental planning. Because of climate change, communities and regions may be faced with serious water problems: too much, too little, too polluted, or too hard to reach. In 2019, RIPD produced Regional Water Planning for Climate Resilience, which explored the rapidly emerging role of regional water resources planning and water quality planning in addressing climate resilience issues. In 2021, RIPD sponsored Collaborative Planning For Climate Resilience, which expands upon our previous publication.
  • Arts and Culture. A number of regional planning agencies have initiated programs to promote arts and culture. Often these programs are tied to transit and transit-oriented development projects, and they may aim to promote equity and cultural diversity. In partnership with APA's Arts and Planning Division, RIPD is working to identify such programs and promote their best practices.
  • Regional Planning for Creative Placemaking. During the first two decades of the 21st century, federal funding has supported the creation of many new rail transit systems and public art has been incorporated into many of these new facilities to help create a regional identity for the transit system and to help strengthen the identity of nearby neighborhoods. These actions and related trends have inspired the publication of Creative Placemaking in Rail Transit Corridors, which RIPD sponsored in 2021. The report relies on case studies from eight metropolitan areas to generate a series of themes and considerations for communities seeking to pursue creative placemaking in a transportation context. It also includes an analysis of the information in the case studies and a review of literature providing an overview of the evolution of creative placemaking in the U.S.

2022 Livable Communities Forum

The Livable Communities Forum was conducted on April 29, 2022 in San Diego, in preparation for the American Planning Conference.

Join the Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division