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. For the past seven years, RIPD has supported peer learning among regional planners by offering a day-long Regional Livable Communities Forum. 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.
  • 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 2018, RIPD will begin work on a handbook of regional best practices to address these serious issues.
  • 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 Interest Group, RIPD is working to identify such programs and promote their best practices.

2020 Virtual Regional Futures Forum

This year's Regional Livable Communities forum was conducted on Zoom on October 20, 2020. Please click "learn more" below for more information on the forum and to gain access to a recording of the event.

Join the Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division