APA Foresight helps planners navigate change and prepare for an uncertain future. With foresight in mind, planners can guide change, create more sustainable and equitable outcomes, and establish themselves as critical to a thriving community.
APA Foresight is about understanding drivers of change that are outside of our control, how we can prepare for them, and when it is time to act. Let's use the future to create great communities for all!
Interested in learning more? Reach out to Petra Hurtado, Research Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2022 Trend Report for Planners
The 2022 Trend Report for Planners, developed in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, features nearly 100 existing, emerging, and potential future trends that APA identified as relevant to planning. The trends are structured within three timeframes (Act Now, Prepare, Learn and Watch), which indicate the urgency of planners' action.
AI in Planning: Opportunities and Challenges and How to Prepare
This white paper summarizes the findings from APA's "AI in Planning" Foresight Community and suggests initial ideas on how planners can prepare for AI and its potential impacts, how planners can ensure AI-based planning tools are used in equitable and inclusive ways, and what the role of the planner should be in developing and using AI-based planning tools.
APA Trend Universe
Five trend categories are at the foundation of APA's foresight research. In our trend universe, you can find existing trends (act on them now!), emerging trends (start preparing for them!), and potential future trends (keep watching and learn more about them!). APA's trend universe is developed together with our partners, practicing planners and academia, allied professionals, and thought leaders from APA's Trend Scouting Foresight Community.
Technological change is driving major shifts in the communities planners make plans for and have impacts on how planners do their work.
Social change is often reflected in not just how we plan and structure our communities, but also in the practice of planning itself.
From the impacts of climate change to innovations in energy production and grid modernization, existing and emerging environmental trends will shape both the built and natural environment in the years to come.
Political trends shape and are shaped by changes across the societal landscape.
Economic trends play a critical role in how communities function. These trends are reflected in cities and communities, span across the public and private sectors, and shape the lives of people.
APA's foresight research is made possible in part through our partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
Topics We're Exploring
Between June 2021 and June 2022, APA gathered a multidisciplinary group of experts in planning, computer science, data analytics, engineering, among other disciplines for a series of 10 meetings on the topic of artificial intelligence and the role it may play in the future of cities and the planning profession. Read more about our Foresight Community on "AI in Planning".
On this page, you can search for resources that provide background or policy guidance on the effects of artificial intelligence on communities and the practice of planning.
This PAS Memo equips planners with an understanding of AI concepts and their potential implications, and discusses the role of AI in larger trends connected to digital governance and civic data in planning.
This PAS Report previews the emerging changes associated with autonomous mobility and advises planners on how to prepare for and manage these transitions to ensure their communities reap the benefits — and avoid the pitfalls — of AV technology. Created in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
This collection gathers resources that provide background on autonomous vehicles and examples of how their widespread adoption will impact the transportation network and the built environment, as well as recommendations for policies that communities should consider to prepare themselves.
This edition of PAS QuickNotes explores how local governments, planners, and policy makers can leverage the value of innovative vehicle technologies like UAM to prepare for the future and transform transportation systems for the public good. Created in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
This PAS Report provides an overview of the tools needed by planners to help their communities understand the challenges associated with climate change, and the most critical actions to best mitigate and respond to its impacts.
Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States. This PAS Report provides holistic guidance to help practitioners increase urban heat resilience equitably in the communities they serve.
digitalization and smart cities
This report identifies how this ongoing process of digitalization is driving change in the world and what this change means for planners and their communities. Created in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
From this page you can search for resources that provide background and policy guidance on smart cities, as well as examples of local plans, policies, and programs that illustrate how cities and counties are applying ICT to improve local government and enhance livability, sustainability, or resilience.
This PAS Report defines the smart city, offers a framework of three interconnected "ecosystems" to help planners better understand smart city systems, and describes the elements that must be integrated to make a city truly smart.
Making Sense of the Future
This edition of PAS QuickNotes introduces the concept of foresight to help planners imagine and prepare their communities for the future.
In this article, Petra Hurtado, PhD, APA's Research Director, explores emerging topic areas with the potential for high impact on the profession and low preparedness in the planning community. Created in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
In this article, APA Research Director Petra Hurtado, PhD,, explores the seven game-changing trends, and what they mean for the future of planning.
This edition of PAS QuickNotes suggests how planners can use this agile, five-step process to help improve systems, processes, and policies in their communities.
Scenario planning enables professionals, and the public, to respond dynamically to an unknown future. On this page, you can search for resources for your community.