A Platform for Stronger and More Just Communities Through Planning

The American Planning Association believes in creating stronger and more just communities through access to opportunity and strategic investments in innovation and broadly shared prosperity.

Policy Strategies for Creating Stronger, More Just Communities

APA Calls on Congress to:

  1. Invest in the nation's critical infrastructure
  2. Advance policies that promote social equity, inclusive communities, and expanded access to economic and social opportunities for all
  3. Provide high-quality federal data that supports effective local planning and decision making

Invest in the Nation's Critical Infrastructure

Strong economies and vibrant communities require good infrastructure. Well-planned infrastructure investments are a catalyst for economic growth, long-term prosperity, and access to opportunity for all.

Today's bipartisan support for infrastructure holds the promise of not only new jobs and revenue but also stronger communities providing access to prosperity and opportunity. At the same time, we need not just more investment, but better investment.

Any federal infrastructure program should be driven by key principles of good planning.

What Congress should do

Advance Policies that Promote Social Equity, Inclusive Communities, and Expanded Access to Economic and Social Opportunities for All

The promise of equal opportunity and access to economic and social mobility for all is a fundamental component of the American dream. Inequality, stagnant growth, and systemic barriers to community development have deep costs for individuals, families, and communities.

Planning is an essential part of engaging the public and identifying both barriers to and opportunities for shared, inclusive growth. Federal and state policies and programs should directly address social equity challenges and support efforts to create more prosperous and more just communities.

Income inequality, stagnant wages, and discrimination are serious threats to social cohesion and limit access to the opportunities that improve the lives of individuals and entire communities. Deepening divides in the face of technology and workforce changes threaten to worsen community unrest and adversity. As a result, we must take extra steps to build stronger mechanisms that enable people and their communities to realize opportunities and to share in the economic prosperity America has to offer.

What Congress should do

Provide High-quality Federal Data that Supports Effective Local Planning and Decision making

Good planning is based on sound, comprehensive data, and the federal government is a key provider of this essential information. In an era of frequent distrust of institutions and opinions posing as data, we need reliable and robust data sources to guide sound decision making at the local, state, and federal levels.

Good data is necessary for the analysis required to establish priorities for investment and changes in policy, rather than gut feel or cronyism. This supports our other policy priorities.

What Congress should do