PAS QuickNotes (QN) are plain-English briefing papers that explain planning basics for public officials and engaged citizens. Each QN offers a concise overview of a timely planning topic, plus links to more resources for further reading. APA members and PAS subscribers have access to all PAS QuickNotes in the QN Archive.

QuickNotes Archive

Latest Editions

Ecosystem Services

PAS QuickNotes No. 65

Ecosystems provide a range of benefits, or ecosystem services, to human populations. These include clean air and water, carbon sequestration, and flood control, among many others. However, because ecosystem services have traditionally been considered as public goods, these critical services are often undervalued in public decision making processes. The latest edition of PAS QuickNotes offers a primer on the benefits natural systems provide to humans and explains how an awareness of ecosystem services can improve decision making related to community growth and change.

Sharing Planning Services

PAS QuickNotes No. 64

For decades local governments have been experiencing pressure to deliver ever better services while simultaneously reducing costs. In many cases this tension leads local officials to consider sharing services with neighboring cities or counties. When the fit is right, shared services maximize the efficiency of service provision and can extend local government capacity. Given the long-term implications of local planning work, finding the “right fit” is especially important. The latest edition of PAS QuickNotes provides a primer on potential opportunities to share local planning services and outlines a basic process for formulating a shared service strategy.

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