12 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Who've Shaped Our Cities

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) leaders have shaped U.S. history and the communities in which we live. As we celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, we honor 12 planners, architects, historians, and community organizers who have influenced our built environment, fought for historical and cultural preservation, and championed social justice to help make great communities for all.


Featured Articles

Poor Curb Management is Costing Cities Billions

We've priced parking too low for decades. As competition for the curb heats up, here's what needs to change.
 

Take a Cinematic Tour of Boston

The movies that put Boston's planning and people on the big (and little) screen.
 

Boston Takes on Climate Change

Among the world's most prepared but also the most vulnerable, the city is making big plans to protect itself.
 

Our Post-Pandemic Future Could Be a Lot Less Car-Centric

Planners are turning open streets pilots and parklet pop-ups into long-term plans for more equitable, sustainable transportation networks.
 

Three Movies that Can Help Us Combat Climate Change

These documentaries offer a variety of proven and affordable solutions planners can take back to their communities.
 

Federal Government Is Gearing Up for Climate Fight

The Biden administration wants the U.S. to achieve a 100 percent clean energy economy and net-zero emissions by 2050. What actions have they taken, and what else will it take to get there?
 

Is It Time to Rethink the Property Tax?

It’s the largest local government revenue source, but four economic and technology trends are threating to make property tax obsolete. Here's what that could mean for you and your community.
 

6 Ways to Help Bridge the Racial Wealth Gap

Planners can and should play a pivotal role in advancing equitable economic outcomes.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

How Adaptive Reuse Can Help Solve the Housing Crisis

Zoning reform and flexible buildings codes can help transform vacant buildings into affordable housing.
 

Smart City Digital Twins Are a New Tool for Scenario Planning

Digitalization and virtual simulation of entire cities can help planners experiment with solutions to meet complex problems.
 

Well-Designed Public Spaces Are Inclusive Ones

Public spaces should be welcoming, comfortable, and engaging — not just open — to all.
 

On the Road to Vaccination, Transportation Is Key

For some groups, lack of transportation — not vaccine availability — is the biggest barrier to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
 

11 Women Whose Work Can Inspire Post-Pandemic Planning

Their efforts to fight for racial, economic, and housing justice offer plenty of lessons for today's planners.
 

Manage the Curb With Smart Loading Zones

A pilot program shows that any size city can leverage smart technology to gather data and monetize the curb.
 

Data-Driven Planning in Fort Worth

A restructured planning department pairs comprehensive planning with data analytics.
 

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.
 

Climate Migrants Are on the Move

Which cities need to plan for population booms?
 

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.
 

Tools

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.
 

Et Cetera

The latest planning odds and ends from our Spring 2021 issue: a comedic documentary on Stockholm's "car trap," John Englander's latest book, spiring essays on just cities, a toolkit for all-ages biking, and the podcast Future Cities.
 

Nontraditional Housing Types Can Help Solve U.S. Homelessness Crisis

We have tried traditional fixes. It’s time to think outside the regulatory box and move away from traditional stick housing for people who are unhoused.
 

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.
 

 5 Places to Find Your Next Planning Gig

Looking to build skills or create a more flexible work life? Gig work could be the answer.
 

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.
 

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.

Voices

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.
 

A Call to Service in Times of Change

Kurt Christiansen issues a call for nominations for APA's 2021 national elections and outlines steps APA has taken to remove barriers that might dissuade a member from serving.
 

Celebrating Black Communities On-Screen and Off

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

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.
 

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

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

Who Benefits from the Policy Decisions We Make — and Who Doesn't?

That’s the question planners should always be asking, says Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator Cherie Jzar, AICP.
 

11 Black Urbanists Every Planner Should Know

From the first Black planner to a celebrated photographer, we recognize the people who have helped us understand how cities work — and how we can help make them better.
 

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.
 

 


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