The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having a significant impact on communities, and planners are on the front lines of response and recovery. APA is committed to providing resources, information, and tools to address your immediate needs and help you prepare for what is to come.

Learn more about how we are using the practice of foresight to "learn with the future," prepare for uncertainty, and help planners navigate this disruptive change.

Turn to APA for trusted, timely, and useful resources, updated weekly.

Illustration of people on linked diagonal sidewalks with the text: Planning and COVID-19: Resources by Topic."

Planning Methods and Tools

How Planners Can Collaborate With Public Health During a Pandemic

Hear from an expert-led panel and learn how planners can collaborate with public health officials to rebuild and reshape communities in response and recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic. CM | 1.5 (APA Learn)

Harnessing Data and Knowledge of New York City Facilities to Respond to COVID-19

Bob Tuttle, director of the New York City Department of City Planning’s Capital Planning Division, describes how the division was asked to use its datasets and knowledge of city facilities to identify possible locations for surge hospitals in the early days of the COVID-19 response. He also discusses how the division aims to integrate planning perspectives and data-driven planning analytics into the city’s capital budget planning and decision-making process. (APA Podcast)

 

Remembering Chris Kochtitzky: A Conversation on COVID-19

What should planners understand about COVID-19 from a public health perspective, and what is planning's role in public health? Sagar Shah, PhD, AICP, APA's Planning and Community Health manager, honors his colleague and friend who died from COVID-19 by sharing information about important public health concepts and ways planners can help fight this and future pandemics. (APA Blog)

This Isn't What We Planned For

Planners focus on the future — envisioning, projecting, forecasting, planning — but rarely, in recent years, have they faced so much uncertainty about tomorrow, next week, or this fall, let alone the time horizon of a comprehensive plan. (Planning, June 2020; APA members and subscribers only)

Epidemiologist/Disaster Researcher Jennifer Horney Gives Planners Tips on Responding to COVID-19

Dr. Jennifer Horney, epidemiologist and disaster researcher at the University of Delaware, brings her expertise to some pressing public health questions, including how planners might serve as allies to medical and public health professionals. (APA YouTube)

 

7 Ways to Respond to Regulation Rollbacks

Benjamin Hitchings, FAICP, offers seven sound, ethical suggestions for how to respond when public officials apply pressure to loosen planning regulations — without exceeding statutory authority or compromising longer-term planning visions. (APA Blog)

Protecting the Public Interest During a Pandemic

Sean McGuire, AICP, reminds planners that we cannot forget our oldest charge: protecting the public’s interest. (Planning, May 2020)

How Boston Responded to the COVID-19 Crisis

Brian Golden, director of the Boston Planning & Development Agency, joins APA's Roberta Rewers to discuss the unprecedented actions being taken in response to the challenges brought about by the pandemic, including new responsibilities taken on by the city's planning staff. (APA Podcast)

 

Leading Remotely in a Crisis

Kimberly Burton, AICP CTP, gives 10 tips for how to be a strong, flexible leader when your team is working remotely — plus a rundown of technology to get the job done. (APA Blog)

Why Planning Is Still Important: 10 Things Planners Can Do Now

Ten ways to keep planning during the COVID-19 pandemic, as compiled by APA's Michigan Chapter. (APA Blog)

Career Advice for Recent Grads: Navigating the Pandemic

New Grads: Stephanie Blochowiak offers recommendations for your job search and career aspirations in the time of COVID-19. (APA Blog)


Public Participation

Online Public Engagement Research KnowledgeBase Collection

A members-only collection of over 60 articles, videos, policies, reports, and more that provide background and policy guidance on online public engagement. (KnowledgeBase; APA members only)

Moving Planning Commission Meetings Online During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Big-City Perspective

Emily Mack of the Department of Metropolitan Development in Indianapolis, Indiana, explains to APA's Jo Peña how their team quickly developed a standard operating procedure for online meetings. (APA Podcast)

 

Considerations When Moving Public Meetings Online

View this slide show to see tips and considerations for moving your public meetings online, curated from APA members' experiences. (Instagram)

Online Alternatives to In-Person Public Meetings in an Emergency

Which software product is right for your online public meetings? Sean Maguire, AICP, dives into the pros and cons of three popular products to help guide your decision. (APA Blog)

Moving Planning Commission Meetings Online During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mid-Sized City Perspective

In Fayetteville, Arkansas (pop. 85,000), the planning commission held its first online meeting on March 23, 2020, using the platform Zoom. APA's Roberta Rewers talks with immediate past chair of the Fayetteville Planning Commission, Matt Hoffman, about the experience. (APA Podcast)

 

What Planners and Public Sector Agencies Need to Know About Cybersecurity

APA's Jo Peña talks with Nupur Gunjan, a public sector analyst at Cisco and trained planner who transitioned to the tech world after working for the City of Austin, Texas. The two focus on what planners need to know about data protection and online public engagement right now, but also what they can do to protect their communities in the future. (APA Podcast)


Economic Impacts

Reopening Retail Districts Safely

Bobby Boone, AICP, offers solutions for ensuring safe conditions for retailer and customer reentry that can help prevent COVID-19 transmission while supporting long-term property stabilization. (APA Blog)

Tourism Towns at a Crossroads

Could local economies see a post-pandemic boost? Or are they previewing COVID-19’s financial free-fall? (Planning, May 2020; APA members and subscribers only)

Six Ways Planners Can Help Local Business in a Crisis

Although the problem may seem daunting, we look at some practical strategies that planners can use now to address immediate economic challenges and help communities weather the storm. (APA Blog)

When the Show Can't Go On

A backstage pass to the past, present, and future of Virginia Beach’s biggest music festival. (Planning, April 2020)


Equity

How COVID-19 Has Underscored the Digital Divide

Broadband access — or reliable, high-speed internet access — is a necessity, not a luxury. APA's Sagar Shah, PhD, AICP, talks with Anna Read, AICP, an officer for the broadband research initiative at The Pew Charitable Trusts, about the work that several communities across the country are doing to close the broadband gap. (APA Podcast)

 

Centering Equity and Climate Action in COVID-19 Recovery

The Portland, Oregon, City Council recently adopted a resolution that highlights the connections between equity, climate, and COVID-19 recovery. Andrea Durbin and Dr. Markisha Smith discuss the connection between the newly adopted resolution and planning practice. (APA Podcast)

 

Preparing for COVID-19 Recovery in Seattle

A Q&A with Sam Assefa, director of Seattle’s Office of Planning & Community Development, explores the planning department’s role in Seattle’s coronavirus strategy for an equitable, resilient recovery that is anchored by a race and social justice lens. (APA Blog)

7 Emerging Tips for Equitable Digital Engagement

Despite the ever-present digital divide, inclusive public outreach and social distancing are not mutually exclusive. (Planning, June 2020)

When You Can't Shelter at Home

The COVID-19 pandemic has made unhoused populations all the more vulnerable — and left cities scrambling to keep all residents safe. (Planning, May 2020)


Federal and State Support

COVID-19 Policy Resources

Knowing what stabilization funding is included in federal bills and how it is being distributed, how states are adjusting rules to assist local communities, and how you as a planner can leverage these resources will position your community for a quicker recovery. Visit the COVID-19 Policy Resources page for:

  • Recordings of APA legislative briefings breaking down stimulus funding
  • Articles detailing federal and state legislation
  • APA letters to Congress and federal agencies advocating for the needs of communities
  • Opportunities to make your voice heard to your elected officials

Housing

Affordability Faces Yet Another New Foe

Construction continues under lockdown, but the pandemic could have long-term impacts on the industry and the people it serves. (Planning, June 2020; APA members and subscribers only)


Infrastructure

Uncharted Waters for Utilities and Public Health

In an unprecedented policy change, service disruptions have been suspended in cities across the U.S. to help fight COVID-19. (Planning, May 2020)


Land Use

Maximum Occupancy

Land-use regulations have long been rooted in the resilience of cities, particularly when it comes to community health threats like pandemics. (Planning, June 2020; APA members and subscribers only)

A Necessary Paradigm Shift in How We Use Urban Space

The ways people live, work, play, and move around cities and communities have changed substantially since late March. APA research director Petra Hurtado, PhD, examines which changes will be interim fixes, and which will stay permanently? (APA Blog)

How E-commerce Affects Land Use — and How COVID-19 Affects E-Commerce

Planning magazine editor-in-chief Meghan Stromberg talks with Lisa Nisenson about what e-commerce trends mean for land use and contactless delivery. (APA Podcast)

 

The Future of Fast Food After COVID-19, Coding and Planning, and More

Planning magazine editors discuss Brian Barth's piece, "Is Fast Food Through With Drive-Thrus?" in light of the pandemic — now drive-thru restaurants seem more relevant than ever. (APA Podcast)


Transportation

As Mobility Patters Change, Cities Shift Gears

Cities experiment with new ways to make room for cycling as residents increasingly turn to bikes to reduce COVID-19 exposure. (Planning, June 2020)

Primed for Deliveries

If e-commerce has always been fast-moving and ever-changing, never has that been clearer than during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Planning, April 2020)


Multi-topic Resources

Road to Recovery Video Series

APA President Kurt Christiansen, FAICP, hosts conversations with thought leaders from the planning profession, government, and beyond to discuss planning and recovery.

Watch the latest video in the series, featuring Samantha Harkins, Deputy Mayor, City of Lansing, Michigan:

 

All We Do, Now and in the Future, Will Be Informed by This Experience.’

Planners from across the country — and the world — reflect on the first weeks of the COVID-19 crisis, their challenges and successes, and what lies ahead. (Planning, June 2020)

NPC20 @ Home Collection

This collection of recorded sessions from NPC20 @ Home includes programming that speaks to the unprecedented challenges planners are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. (APA Learn)

Information Clearinghouses for COVID-19

A curated list of resource pages from government agencies and allied professional organizations. (APA Blog)


APA COVID-19 Guiding Principles and Response

  • The well-being of our staff, members, and partners is a top priority. APA has transitioned to an all-virtual work environment for all employees, and all committee and working group meetings will be conducted virtually. We have suspended all non-essential travel.
  • We commit to supporting planners across the country with empathy as they deal with uncertainty in their own lives and their communities and are focusing on providing resources and information central to planners’ work.
  • Additional guidance for all of us:
  • Be aware of racism and xenophobia. Be vigilant about harmful and biased narratives regarding COVID-19.
  • How we discuss the situation matters. We encourage everyone to prioritize the most marginalized by taking the issue seriously, ensuring equitable resource and supplies allocation.
  • Mitigate dissemination of false information designed to spread fear and hysteria. Share only verified information by trusted sources to fight against misinformation.

Latest COVID-19 Resources from APA

  • Fighting for Federal Support: Planners Speak Out

    The COVID-19 pandemic has pulled financial limitations into sharp focus for many state and local governments. Planners need immediate and flexible federal support to retain jobs and help communities recover and rebuild.
  • How COVID-19 Has Underscored the Digital Divide

    In this episode of the podcast, APA's Sagar Shah, PhD, AICP, talks with Anna Read, AICP, an officer for the broadband research initiative at The Pew Charitable Trusts, about the basics of the digital divide issue. She dispels some common misconceptions surrounding the concept and outlines programs in states across the country that are working to close the broadband access gap.
  • Social Space, Physical Distance

    Our public spaces have taken on new meaning during the pandemic, when community connections are more important than ever.
    As we move through the pandemic, it is important to understand what our public spaces offer us and what they could look like in the future.
  • Help Close to Home

    Valuable resources for navigating planning during a pandemic: government actions, working safely, and enhancing health and well-being.
  • How Cities Are Taking Action on COVID-19

    Public health researchers assess the government policies that respond to COVID-19, mitigate negative impacts, and help prepare for future crises.
    During the pandemic, cities — and planning departments — have taken a variety of actions to facilitate the effective implementation of social distancing and adopt policies to mitigate its negative outcomes.
  • Harnessing Data and Knowledge of New York City Facilities to Respond to COVID-19

    New York City's response to COVID-19 required unprecedented creativity and collaboration among its city agencies. Bob Tuttle, director of the New York City Department of City Planning’s Capital Planning Division, comes on the podcast to discuss how the division used its datasets and knowledge of city facilities to identify possible locations for surge hospitals.
  • Centering Equity and Climate Action in COVID-19 Recovery

    In this episode of the podcast, Jo Peña sits down with Andrea Durbin, the director of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability in Portland, Oregon, and Dr. Markisha Smith, director of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights, to discuss the city's recently adopted resolution that highlights the connections between equity, climate, and COVID-19 recovery.
  • Remembering Chris Kochtitzky: A Conversation on COVID-19

    by: Sagar Shah, PhD, AICP
    APA's Sagar Shah creates a final conversation with his late friend Chris Kochtitzky, who was a senior advisor at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention until his death in early May.
  • Preparing for COVID-19 Recovery in Seattle

    by: Samuel Assefa
    A Q&A with Sam Assefa, director of Seattle’s Office of Planning & Community Development, explores the planning department’s role in Seattle’s coronavirus strategy.
  • 7 Emerging Tips for Equitable Digital Engagement

    Despite the ever-present digital divide, inclusive public outreach and social distancing are not mutually exclusive.
    Here’s a look at some of the ways planners and local leaders are keeping engagement efforts inclusive in the COVID-19 pandemic, even while social distancing.
  • ‘All We Do, Now and in the Future, Will Be Informed by This Experience.’

    Planners from across the country — and the world — reflect on the first weeks of the COVID-19 crisis, their challenges and successes, and what lies ahead.
    Planners from all over tell their stories of the pandemic.
  • This Isn’t What We Planned For

    Facing a future that’s still taking shape, planners adapt to a new way of living and working.
    The COVID-19 pandemic has created the most uncertainty about tomorrow that planners have ever known.