Planning January 2020

Planning January 2020

Special Issue on Houston

In April, APA will head to Houston for the 2020 National Planning Conference. This month, Planning magazine paves the way by spotlighting the city. Houston is famous for not having zoning, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have planning. After Hurricane Harvey, the city found that resilience takes more than simply recovering from disaster. And find out how car-centric Houston is shifting toward modern mobility.

Featured Articles

At the Crossroads

Houston is the host city for APA's 2020 National Planning Conference in April. Read about this diverse city at the crossroads in this issue of Planning.

Holistic Houston

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, resilience has taken on a whole new meaning. Story by Perla Trevizo. Plus: Learn about the city program tackling resilience at the neighborhood level.

At Water's Edge

Environmental lawyer and flood prevention expert Jim Blackburn weighs in on Houston's love-hate relationship with water.

The ‘Z' Word

Is zoning a requirement for good planning? Not in Houston. William Fulton reports. Plus: Leah Binkovitz catches up with Margaret H. Wallace Brown, director of the city's Planning and Development Department.

Toward Modern Mobility

Multimodal transportation is driving a huge paradigm shift in car-centric Houston. Story by Leah Binkovitz. Plus: Bayou Greenways 2020, 150 miles of biking infrastructure.

Innovation Culture

There's a lot more to Houston than oil and gas. Deborah Lynn Blumberg rounds up the diverse industries and entrepreneurs propelling local economic growth.


Finding the Path from Equal Treatment to Equal Outcomes

Sherry Ryan wants to change the way we think about gender in planning practice — and get more women on bikes.

We Almost Had Paris

The U.S. is breaking a global climate pact. How will planners respond?

Don't Count Them Out

The U.S. Census routinely fails immigrant communities, especially along the Mexican border. Will 2020 be any different?

Et Cetera

Research on water; podcast on holistic, sustainable planning; streaming film exploring history, memory, race, and place.

Planners on the ‘Front Lines' of Housing

Wisconsin legislators are trying to solve a state housing crisis with help from a local planning director.

The Pedestrian-Priority Movement Picks Up Speed

San Francisco just became the latest North American city to restrict private vehicles on a major thoroughfare.

An Education in the Informal Economy

Alvaro Huerta, PhD: "As planners ... we need to educate ourselves on the indispensable and interrelated relationship between the informal and formal economies."

Tools for the Trade

JAPA Takeaway

Bedbug infestations are on the rise — and cities aren't doing all that much about it.

Legal Lessons

Planners need to know the limitations and the constitutional controls of public design review.

Planners Library

A new book on performance zoning, reviews of four additional books, and e-book suggestions.

Also in This Issue


APA Editor in Chief Meghan Stromberg: "We look forward to helping Planning readers navigate change — and plan for it."


Profiles of three contributors to this issue: John Reinhardt, AICP; Perla Trevizo; and Deborah Lynn Blumberg.

Great Places in America

Houston's Discovery Green was a sea of parking lots until it was transformed into a lush park in 2008.

Cover: Pgiam: iStock/Getty Images Plus.