Sustainable Development

Aerial view of neighborhood with homes along a bayou surrounded by green trees in Sugar Land, Texas

A Rapidly Urbanizing Texas County Gets in Touch With its Agricultural Roots

Developers in Fort Bend County are drawing inspiration from ‘agrihoods’ to build car-light communities in one of the nation’s fastest-growing areas.

April 4, 2023 - Urban Edge

Aerial view of farmers' market with white booths in downtown Boise, Idaho

Planners Look to ‘Activity Centers’ for Sustainable Development

Existing hubs of ‘hyperlocal’ economic activity provide a model for urban density.

March 23, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

Hillside home construction in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

Study: How California Can Shift Away From Car-Oriented Development

While the state continues to rely on driving as a primary means of transportation, fighting climate change and the worsening housing crisis means implementing policies that encourage infill development, higher density, and public transit.

April 5, 2022 - OC Register

Intercity Buses

The Road Forward: Cost-Effective Policy Measures To Decrease Emissions From Passenger Land Transport

This new 165-page book, available free, is a resource for identifying practical, cost-effective policies for reducing passenger transport emissions on land, and especially in urban areas.

February 24, 2022 - The Road Forward: Cost-effective Policy Measures To Decrease Emissions From Passenger Land Transport

Public Engagement

The Six Principles of Community CoDesign

The methodology calls for authentic participation and a willingness to engage stakeholders in a "collaborative and empathic" placemaking process.

April 8, 2021 - Common Edge

East Nashville

What Biden's First 100 Days Will Look Like for Transportation

The new administration's policies are likely to promote clean energy and equity goals and focus resources on maintenance of existing infrastructure.

January 5, 2021 - FreightWaves


Connecting Plans to the Water Supply

The city of Westminster, Colorado has grown from 10,000 in 1962 to 113,000 in the present day, ensuring water supply for the growing population by considering water efficiency in every zoning decision.

May 7, 2019 - CityLab

Water Treatment

San Diego Water Recycling Project Receives Critical EPA Loan

One of the nation's most ambitious attempts to recycle wastewater into potable water received a huge lift last month from the EPA with the receipt of a $164 million loan under the now-permanent Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.

December 15, 2018 - City of San Diego News Release

Urban Sprawl

Carbon Offsets for Suburban Developments? The Courts Could Decide

The county of San Diego wants sprawling suburban developments to buy carbon offsets, billing the idea as a fix to the region's housing affordability crisis.

July 26, 2018 - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Smart and Beautiful Paths to Sustainability

In a beautiful and inspiring new book, "S.M.A.R.T. – Paths to Sustainability" 34 artists and authors from five continents give their views on aspects of sustainable development.

February 1, 2018 - S.M.A.R.T. - PATHS TO SUSTAINABILITY


Op-Ed: Washington's State Environmental Policy Act 'Off the Rails' in Cities

Drawing on a slew of examples, Dan Bertolet argues that Washington's State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) has been co-opted in ways that run against its original purpose: protecting the environment.

November 19, 2017 - Sightline Institute

Chicago Bike Trail

Sustainable for Whom? Large-Scale Urban Development Projects and 'Environmental Gentrification'

Large, adaptive-reuse projects are all the rage in urban planning today, but absent a fundamentally new approach—with affordability at the center of the process—they are likely to become engines of what's been termed "environmental gentrification."

September 18, 2017 - Shelterforce/Rooflines

Silicon Valley

Coastal Cities Setting the Sustainable Development Standard

Although no U.S. region has yet to even get halfway to sustainability goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement, certain U.S. cities are doing better than the rest.

August 14, 2017 - CityLab

110 Freeway

In Building Homes Near Highways, L.A. Ignores a Public Health Issue

Los Angeles seems primed for a development boom, but when developments are built near highways there can be serious health consequences.

March 6, 2017 - Los Angeles Times


Debating the Relationship Between Compact Development and Driving

Leading researchers debate whether more compact urban development reduces automobile travel in the Journal of the American Planning Association. The issues are complex and important.

March 2, 2017 - Journal Of The American Planning Association

Building Permanent Paths out of Poverty

One Tanzanian nonprofit is putting the focus on skill-building to fight poverty. David Lambert, an engineer with Arup, discusses the nonprofit's latest endeavor, a new vocational school near the town of Same.

August 17, 2016 - Doggerel

Is Net-Zero Building Realistic on a Large Scale?

Exploding global population numbers and worries about escalating energy prices, climate change, and energy independence have placed a priority on net-zero building. This article explores the viability of net-zero communities and cities.

June 22, 2016 - Blue & Green Tomorrow

Vancouver Skyline

World Cities Report 2016 Released by UN-Habitat

The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) has published a flagship report intended to inform preparation of the New Urban Agenda at the Habitat III meetings in Quito in October.

May 19, 2016 - Bruce Stiftel

Paris Trees

Paris Launches EcoDistrict on Train Station Site

After a decade of development, Paris' first EcoDistrict launched this year. Built in place of a disused train station, the district features offices, housing, and amenities built around clean and green principles.

December 21, 2015 - The Global Grid

Evaluating California's SB 375 Implementation So Far

Julie Pierce, city of Clayton councilmember, chair of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, and president of the Association of Bay Area Governments, evaluates the effects of SB 375, California's key land use law to address climate change .

March 7, 2015 - Western City

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

"Rethinking Commuter Rail" podcast & Intercity Bus E-News

Chaddick Institute at DePaul University

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

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.