Current Research Projects

Advanced Disaster Recovery Strategies for Local Communities

APA and the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center are developing a FEMA-certified course to help individuals and organizations develop a strategic planning process for implementing pre-disaster recovery plans.

Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse

The Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse is a resource for training and relevant news about the intersection of health and place. APA, the American Public Health Association and the National Network of Public Health Institutes, were a part of a 2014 relaunch. The clearinghouse now offers both academic and professional training resources that address the link between public health with planning, architecture, health impact assessment and transportation engineering, among others.

Building Coastal Resilience Through Capital Improvement Planning

APA and ASFPM are working to mainstream a variety of techniques to help practitioners incorporate climate, flood, and hazard data into local and regional capital improvement plans. They are working with regional partners in Savannah, Georgia, and Toledo, Ohio. The end products will include a PAS Report and on-site training program.

Capacity Building for Planners to Address Health

This five-year effort is to develop technical tools, educational resources, and professional development guidance that enhance opportunities to pursue health-oriented planning.

Great Urban Parks Campaign

APA is working with the National Recreation and Park Association and the Low Impact Development Center to improve environmental and social outcomes in underserved communities through green infrastructure in local parks.

Greater Baltimore Wilderness: Green Infrastructure for Regional Resilience

Working through a team led by The Conservation Fund with APA as co-principal investigator, the Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition is working to conserve, restore, and enhance a regional green infrastructure network delivering multiple benefits for the people and wildlife of central Maryland.

Growing Food Connections

This project targets 20 urban and rural communities across the U.S. that are significantly underserved by the nation’s food system.

Health Impact Assessment's Role in Planning

APA's Planning and Community Health Center is embarking on a project to further the education, training, and development of Health Impact Assessments (HIA) as an integral part of planning practice to integrate the use of HIA into plans and policies that shape the built environment.

Improving Community Resilience

In this HUD-funded and NOAA-supervised project, team lead AECOM is partnering with APA, NACo, and ASFPM to develop models for integrating resilient hazard mitigation planning into local comprehensive plans.

Innovations in Planning and Public Engagement for Community Resilience

In this FEMA-funded project, APA and its partners are producing online models and tools for community visioning and scenario planning for post-disaster recovery.

Multimodal Planning at the Megaregional Scale

Through this project, APA will develop and disseminate clear guidance (policies, strategies, and implementation tools) for local governments and regional agencies to address megaregional issues in long-range comprehensive planning.

Naturally Resilient Communities

The Nature Conservancy is working in partnership with the APA and other organizations to develop a green infrastructure siting guide for municipal leaders and staff responsible for community planning, floodplain and stormwater management, and redevelopment activities.

NOAA Digital Coast

Digital Coast is a partnership with NOAA to review new planning tools for coastal communities, assist in using and accessing those tools, and in helping advance coastal zone management policy.


Through an overarching collaborative strategy that brings together members of APA and the American Public Health Association, this project is building local capacity to address population health goals and promote the inclusion of health in non-traditional sectors.

Planning Information Exchange

In cooperation with the Association of State Floodplain Managers, APA is conducting a series of quarterly webinars for practitioners on hazard mitigation planning and its connections with recovery planning and preparedness.

Planning Tools for Health

In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this two-year study will result in a set of tools that integrate health into plan implementation with a focus on creating guidelines for site plan review and subdivision.

Regional Green Infrastructure Planning at the Landscape Scale

An APA and U.S. Forest Service collaboration on regional green infrastructure planning at the landscape scale and the associated needs and opportunities.

Subdivision Design in Flood Hazard Areas

In this FEMA-funded project, APA is constructing a total revamp of the 1997 PAS Report to incorporate new issues and knowledge that have developed over the past two decades.

Sustaining Places

APA is leading an initiative to establish standards and a potential designation program for integrating sustainability into comprehensive plans. This work aims to improve plan quality while asserting the planning profession's role as a leader in the sustainability arena.

Urban Conservation: Thinking Megaregionally

This project is a collaboration with the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative. We are working together to improve the utility and utilization of the Conservation Blueprint within populated areas for the mutual benefit of the planning and conservation professions.