Emerging Issues

Access resources about emerging issues of interest to both planners and the public.

APA Division initiatives bring focus to planning challenges in local communities and neighborhoods throughout the nation. Explore these online efforts, which are volunteer-led and have no dues or membership requirements:

Planning for a more dynamic population

Here are just a few of the trends from the 2010 Census and what will affect planners over the next decade:

  • Minorities as the majority. The face of America is changing, becoming more diverse; many metros no longer have a single racial/ethnic majority. How do planners need to adapt to cultural imperatives and invent new approaches to civic engagement?
  • The population is aging. The workforce would be declining if not for immigration. How do we foster economic growth while supporting an increasingly more dependent population?
  • Re-urbanization. There has been something of a "back-to-the-city movement," and formerly declining cities are again growing, some in unexpected ways. What should planners do to create the 21st century city?
  • Shrinking Cities and Suburbs. Some cities, and suburbs, are shrinking, facing a permanently smaller population. Foreclosures have depopulated entire neighborhoods in both urban and suburban communities. How can planners address the key issues in these communities?

Smart cities and sustainability

Planners occupy a critical place in the advancement of Smart Cities. They use a spectrum of data to derive benchmarks for improving our cities and identifying opportunities for the future.

Aging and livable communities

Baby Boomers are predicted to represent 20 percet of the U.S. population by 2030. The Aging of America provides an extraordinary opportunity for planners to create plans and policies, and help develop and redevelop communities that are more age friendly.

Learn about past APA Division initiatives:

Airports in the Region and Food Systems.

Join APA Divisions

Choose from among 21 divisions and join a community of professionals with shared interests. Areas range from city, regional, rural, federal, and international planning to environmental, hazard mitigation, housing, and transportation planning to many more topics.