Survey: What Mobile Apps Are Most Useful for Planning in 2021?

Planetizen is requesting your input in creating the definitive list of mobile apps for professional, student, academic, or citizen planners—updated for a planning profession forever altered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

2 minute read

October 18, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By Planetizen


GIS Mobile App

iGIS Screengrab / On the App Store

After a pandemic-length hiatus, Planetizen is relaunching its traditional documentation of the cutting-edge and tried-and-true mobile apps used by planners (urban, regional, city, or community). Just like the last time we conducted this survey in 2019, we are relying on input from the community of professional, student, academic, and citizen planners that make up the Planetizen audience. 

Obviously a lot has changed since we last published a "Top Planning Apps" list in July 2019. The Internet has proven indispensable since the earliest days of the Covid-19 pandemic—as evidenced by the multitude of online dashboards, mapping tools, and numerous other online tools used by planners and the public to make sense of the new world as it evolved and mutated along with the once-novel coronavirus over the past 18-months-plus. The 2021 version of the survey adds a question about any apps that proved specifically, particularly helpful for planning during the pandemic.  

Otherwise, this is the same survey Planetizen has been deploying since 2012, first written by Jennifer Evans Cowley, FAICP, former Planetizen contributor and current provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of North Texas. 

The survey will still only take a couple minutes to complete. Please feel free to share the survey with colleagues to help Planetizen gather as much feedback as possible.

Planetizen will use the data collected in this survey to produce a list of contemporary planning apps later this year. For an example of the kind of information we hope to generate, and then share, see Planetizen's Best Planning Apps post from 2019.

Take the Best Planning Apps survey for 2021.

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Three colorful, large beachfront homes, one khaki, one blue, and one yellow, with a small dune in front and flat sand in foreground.

Florida Homeowners 'Nope Out' of Beach Restoration Over Public Access

The U.S. Corps of Engineers and Redington Shores, Florida are at a standstill: The Corps won’t spend public money to restore private beaches, and homeowners are refusing to grant public access to the beaches behind their home in return for federal assistance.

June 7, 2024 - Grist

Multistory apartment building under construction.

New Tennessee Law Allows No-Cost Incentives for Affordable Housing

Local governments in the Volunteer State can now offer developers incentives like increased density, lower parking requirements, and priority permitting for affordable housing projects.

June 10, 2024 - Nooga Today

Green meadow with water running through and trees on either side in Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite Meadow Undergoing Major Restoration

Rangeland recently acquired from private owners is being restored to a more natural state thanks to a purchase by the Trust for Public Land.

1 hour ago - San Francisco Chronicle

Large black SYV driving down city street with blurred background.

GAO to Investigate How Vehicle Design Impacts Safety

A lax set of rules around vehicle size, height, and other factors is partly responsible for the alarming rise in pedestrian deaths in the United States.

2 hours ago - Streetsblog USA

Worker in yellow safety suit holding up orange SLOW sign on road

New Orleans Faces $1 Billion Shortfall for FEMA-Funded Roadwork

After years of delays, cost overruns, and deadline extensions on a FEMA-funded street repair program, New Orleans officials face a massive funding shortfall and accusations of mismanagement.

3 hours ago -

Write for Planetizen

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.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.