What to Expect When You're Expecting the Biden Administration

Commemorate Inauguration Day by digging deep into the promises and potential of the Biden Administration.

January 20, 2021, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Biden administration

Christos S / Shutterstock

[Updated 1/22/2021] Today's the day. Joe Biden will soon be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, with a promise to "Build Back Better" from the unprecedented public health and economic crises facing the nation at the close of President Donald Trump's time in office.

If you're looking for links to reading about what a Biden presidency might accomplish, look no further. In addition to the latest round of news coverage of the transition, culminating today with Biden's inauguration, you'll also find links below to previous news and analysis from throughout the 2020 presidential election as well as the intervening months between Biden's historic election and today's Inauguration Day.

Biden comes into office with big plans for the federal government's coronavirus response, housing policies, infrastructure planning and spending, economic development. In fact, many of the most closely watched themes for the success of the Biden administration of living up to its campaign promises will be measured in terms of direct relevance to the professional and academic planners of the world—metrics like housing affordability, carbon emissions, vehicle miles traveled. Planetizen will be just as vigilant on the proposals and advancement of policies relating to these causes during the Biden Administration as it was for the previous administration.

The Biden administration is also significant for the historic accomplishment of Vice President Kamala Harris, who becomes the highest-ranking elected female in the history of the federal government, and only the second BIPOC to be elected to the Executive Branch, after former President Barack Obama. Harris becomes Vice President at a time of intense racial conflict, at least some of which can be traced to the backlash from the election of President Obama in 2008.

Latest News and Analysis on the Promise of the Biden Administration

Previous Planetizen Coverage of Vice President Kamala Harris

Previous Planetizen Coverage of the Prospects for the Biden Administration

Previous Planetizen Coverage of President Joe Biden

James Brasuell

James Brasuell is a writer and editor, producing web, print, and video content on the subjects of planning, urbanism, and mobility. James has managed all editorial content and direction for Planetizen since 2014 and was promoted to editorial director in 2021.

A conceptual rendering of three high-speed rail trains. The middle train is orange; the other two are black.

The California High-Speed Rail Project Illustrates America’s Transit Issues

Slow progress and a bloated budget have plagued the High-Speed Rail project linking San Francisco to Los Angeles, exposing deeper issues with American transit projects.

May 22, 2022 - Eric Carlson

Parent and child walking, holding hands on mixed-use trail with trees

What Role Does Health Care Play in Community Development?

Cities are economically diverse and require accessible health care systems, but this can be challenging to implement. Urban developers are working alongside health professionals to create affordable care for city residents.

May 18, 2022 - Devin Partida

Multi-Family Development

Density and Driving: A Second Look

A common argument against more compact housing is that increased population density will only reduce vehicle miles traveled at moderate levels of density, as opposed to very low-density and very high-density areas. But this might not be so.

May 22, 2022 - Michael Lewyn

A row of white pickup trucks at a car dealership.

Want to Drive a Big Pickup Truck in D.C.? It’s About to Get (Even More) Expensive

D.C. is considering a $500 vehicle license fee for private vehicles over 6,000 pounds.

26 minutes ago - Bloomberg

Arlington County, Virginia

Zoning Reform Gains Momentum in Northern Virginia

Arlington County and Alexandria are moving forward with actions that could potentially launch a new era of planning and development in their respective communities.

1 hour ago - Greater Greater Washington

Multi-Family Housing

Zoning Reform Works, but Is No Magic Bullet

Improving housing affordability and boosting housing production requires more than just eliminating single-family zoning.

May 26 - Bloomberg CityLab

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.