11 Black Urbanists Every Planner Should Know

Countless Black urbanists have invested their lives in understanding how cities work — and how we can make them better for the people who live there. From Samuel J. Cullers, the first Black planner, to Mary Pattillo (pictured), professor of sociology and African-American Studies at Northwestern University, these are some of the pioneers who have driven change in the planning profession, its practice, and the communities we build together.

Featured Articles

Four Trailblazing Women in Urban Design

A new documentary highlights the contributions of Denise Scott Brown, Phyllis Lambert, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, and Blanche Lemco van Ginkel.

3 Zoning Changes That Make Residential Neighborhoods More Affordable

Zoning reform is one of our greatest weapons against rising housing costs. Here's how we can wield it.

Local Food Systems Key to Healthy, Resilient, Equitable Communities

From the economy and environment to health and food access, local and regional food systems can help address a wide range of community concerns.

3 Mayors, 3 Cities, Countless Lessons for Planners and Public Office

Add these must-see films and shows to your streaming queue this month.

Increased Remote Work Could Mean Big Changes for Cities

The pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of work. How can cities faced with excess commercial office space adapt?

Eliminating Racial Segregation Is Good Economic Policy

Income disparities and racial segregation are deeply intertwined, burdening both people of color and the U.S. economy. Here's how we can reverse that trend.

Election Day Wins, Planning Windfalls

Billions in voter-approved dollars will fund transit and housing efforts through the new year and beyond.

Greenlighting Cannabis — What Every Planning Department Needs to Know

Momentum for cannabis legalization is growing nationwide. For communities in states that might be next, the best time to start preparing is now.

Census Estimates Show Population Decline in 16 States

Population losses and gains — and shifting demographics — signal changes to status quo across the country.

Planning for the Needs of an Aging Population

Questions and answers about what communities should know about shifting demographics.

Celebrating Black Communities On-Screen and Off

Six-plus movies planners should watch during Black History Month — and the rest of the year, too.

4 Tips to Find the Right Mentor for You

Searching for a mentor can be daunting, but these four strategies will put you well on your way to finding the right mentor to guide you toward your career goals.

Climate Migrants Are on the Move

Which cities need to plan for population booms?

Flying Taxis Are Coming and Communities Need to Prepare

Tech companies say they could launch advanced air mobility vehicles within this decade, but urban and rural policy is lagging behind.

Tribal Treaties Could Change the Environment

They’ve been ignored for generations, but Michigan’s latest pipeline decision could signal a more just approach — and help halt climate change.


A Case for Better Street Design

COVID-19 has inspired changes that make streets more walkable, sustainable, and equitable. Planners may have a legal case to make them permanent.

Strategies for Family-Oriented Densification

Central cities aren’t just for the childless. Parent-friendly policies can revitalize urban neighborhoods.

Planners Library

The latest in planning literature, with book reviews on reflective planning practice, a pandemic of pedestrian deaths, and vibrant urban sidewalks.

How Reflection Helps Planners Make Wise Decisions

A conversation with Richard Willson, author of Reflective Planning Practice: Theory, Cases, and Methods.

Pandemic-Proof Community Service

Leveraging the power of volunteering is vital to boosting local resilience.

Et Cetera

In our latest roundup of planning odds and ends: Resy’s restaurant docuseries, a toolkit for better biking cities, and the San Francisco podcast Bay Curious.


Main Streets Are More Important Than Ever

Mary Means talks about her new book and how Main Streets can recover equitably from the effects of COVID-19.

New Opportunities for a Bright Future for Planning

New APA President Leo R. Asuncion Jr. envisions a future where planners are seen as ethical, solution-oriented leaders of constructive change.

Lessons from Oregon’s Historic Wildfire Season

Kelsey Zlevor: Disaster recovery calls for grassroots planning grounded in collaborative activism.

Portland Defines the New Decade in Planning

Bruce Stephenson: With planning that values public good over individual interests, Portland sets an example we can follow.