Human Investment Planning

PAS Memo — July/August 2011

By Jacques Gourguechon, AICP


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As planners, we say that people are at the center of our work. We have helped create great cities, and we want to ensure a high quality of life for those who live in them, now and for future generations. If we do our work well, we provide a stage for people to live their lives as they wish to. However, little of our attention has been focused directly on the life courses of people. Why not plan for direct investments in the residents of our communities?

Human investment planning holds that meaningful work, education, connectedness, wellness, culture, and recreation allow people to embrace life through love, work, and play. Diversity, health, social equity, safety, access, and personal development are its basic tenets. It is a framework for investment directly in people, not merely in their environment, as important as that is. It holds that people are a community's greatest asset, and it believes that planning should result in a healthy, caring community for all.

This PAS Memo introduces the concept of human investment planning and explains why making it possible for our present constituents and future generations to thrive and prosper is needed for a truly sustainable community. It shares case study examples of two human investment planning processes applied in Kansas City, Missouri, and the City and County of Pueblo, Colorado.


Page Count
Date Published
July 1, 2011
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

Jacques Gourguechon, AICP