Report: 100 Trends Urban Planners Need to Know About

APA’s third annual Trend Report for Urban Planners is out and offers a comprehensive look at potential drivers of change that could impact communities and the work of planners for decades to come.

1 minute read

February 11, 2024, 11:00 AM PST

By Mary Hammon


Close-up of signs being held up at climate change protest

DisobeyArt / Climate change protest

The American Planning Association (APA), in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, recently released its annual Trend Report for Planners. The report provides insights into 100 existing, emerging, and potential future trends to help planners in their current and long-range planning work.

Trends are organized into three time frames — Act Now, Prepare, and Learn and Watch — and then grouped into themed clusters. Of the trends needing immediate action, planners likely will not be surprised to find climate change, housing, transportation, and artificial intelligence. Less expected, however, may be the value of youth involvement in planning processes and the impacts of growing political polarization and societal division on planners’ work.

Looking to the future, the themes in the Prepare and Learn and Watch touch upon the changing economic landscape, including changes in work and retail; how new technologies and innovations will affect the world, and potentially universe, around us; and longer term implications of and potential solutions for climate change.

The report concludes that, “knowing about these external drivers of change, understanding how they may impact our communities and the work we do, and preparing for and proactively including them in our plans for the future of our communities is more important than ever before.”

 

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