American Planning Association



Welcome to the American Planning Association's Podcast directory. This is your source for discussions, lectures, and symposia on a multitude of planning topics.


  • Artificial Intelligence and Urban Planning: What Planners Need to Know Now

    12/08/2021 Duración: 38min

    You might not realize it, but artificial intelligence, or AI, already affects your life in countless ways. Your favorite wayfinding app? It’s powered by AI. The product recommendations you get on that e-commerce site you visit regularly? That’s AI, too. The music, movie, and TV suggestions you see on streaming platforms; the notifications from your bank alerting you to possible fraudulent activity; the wearable technology giving you health information — they’re all driven by systems that use AI. And the AI market is only expected to grow — 20 percent annually over the next few years, in fact. In this conversation, led by APA’s research director Petra Hurtado, AICP, AI experts Neda Madi and Tom Sanchez discuss why planners need to pay attention to this technology (hint: it's already being used in many planning contexts, too). They talk in-depth about the potential impacts — positive and negative — as well as how planners can mitigate the negative ones. Their exchange is an eye-opening and ultimately inspir

  • Philadelphia is Transforming Vacant Lots into Climate-Resilient Pollinator Gardens

    08/07/2021 Duración: 48min

    Vacant lots make up nearly 17 percent of land in U.S. cities. Their existence in a community is correlated with higher levels of crime and lower levels of health. Furthermore, many communities with unmanaged vacant lots — or areas that have been historically disinvested in — are disproportionately affected by climate change. In Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) teamed up to solve this multipronged issue — one involving urban blight, community health, and a climate that's becoming hotter and wetter. With the Philadelphia LandCare program, they've transformed 12,000 vacant lots into climate-resilient pollinator gardens, using plants that are native to the region and thus better able to adapt to changing conditions. In this episode of the APA Podcast, planning and community health manager Sagar Shah speaks with two people close to the project: Jen Mihills, executive director of Mid-Atlantic Regional Center at the NWF; and Samir Dalal, planning

  • We Need to Outthink Wildfire, Not Try to Eliminate It

    10/05/2021 Duración: 37min

    With an unprecedented season of wildfires barely in our rearview mirror, National Fire Protection Association veteran Michele Steinberg comes on the Resilience Roundtable podcast series to talk about wildfire mitigation and prevention. Her conversation with host Jim Schwab, FAICP, revolves around the NFPA’s newest policy initiative, Outthink Wildfire. Episode URL: This episode is brought to you by Tyler Technologies

  • The City-Making Process Gets Focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in This Planner's Work

    26/04/2021 Duración: 30min

    Cherie Jzar, AICP, has worked in more than a few areas of planning — from airport, transit, and comprehensive planning to community outreach and engagement. Now she's bringing her expertise to a new type of work: building more equitable policies and practices as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator for Gastonia, North Carolina. Listen as she speaks with APA editor in chief Meghan Stromberg about her work experience, who's inspired her along the way, and the insights she's gleaned from centering her career on social justice. Episode URL: This episode is brought to you by Granicus

  • "Feminist City" Author Leslie Kern on Envisioning More Equitable Urban Spaces

    31/03/2021 Duración: 48min

    What is a feminist city? Who is a feminist city for? How do different groups of people experience the cities we live in now? And what does it all mean in a world inching toward recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic? Author Leslie Kern comes on the People Behind the Plans podcast series to untangle these questions with host Courtney Kashima, AICP. Leslie is the director of women and gender studies and an associate professor of geography and environment at Mount Allison University. Her latest book is Feminist City: Claiming Space in a Man-Made World. In it, she argues that cities have long been sites for grappling with social questions about how we live and relate to each other, and gender has been at the top of the list of those concerns. The two explore the myriad challenges women face living in and navigating spaces built largely for a narrow subset of the population, and they close their discussion by sharing tips for planners looking to increase gender equity in their urban — or regional, suburban, or rural

  • Why Planners Need to Prepare for Urban Air Mobility

    26/03/2021 Duración: 54min

    According to NASA, by 2028, urban air mobility is likely to be a commercially viable market for air metro services in the U.S. In addition, companies such as Amazon, UPS, or Walmart have been experimenting with drone deliveries in cities across the country. In this episode of the podcast, Petra Hurtado, APA’s research director, talks with Heather Sauceda Hannon, AICP, associate director of planning practice and scenario planning at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and Ric Stephens, senior aviation planner at NV5, about why it is so important for planners to get involved in the discussions around this emerging transportation system. The three discuss what urban air mobility means, how it will impact cities and communities, and how planners can start preparing to ensure an equitable and sustainable implementation. Episode URL: This podcast episode was produced in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

  • Planning for Volcanic Activity in Hawaii

    12/03/2021 Duración: 52min

    In 2018, eruptions from the Kīlauea volcano caused widespread devastation to Hawaii's Big Island. It decimated more than 700 structures and uprooted more than 3,000 people. Resilience Roundtable host Jim Schwab, FAICP, talks with Douglas Le, AICP, disaster recovery officer with the ‎County of Hawaii, to learn about the particularities of volcanic eruptions — a natural hazard few planners deal with. Douglas explains their unique geological nature, but he also describes concerns of postdisaster recovery that will be familiar to planners everywhere, such as helping residents who lost their homes get access to the funding they need to rebuild. Guiding much of the county's recovery work is the Kīlauea Recovery and Resilience Plan, the overarching strategy that was released in late 2020 and features in Jim and Douglas's discussion. Throughout the conversation, Douglas underscores the balance that planners must strike to help provide immediate relief to residents while looking to the future, to make the entire com

  • Katanya Raby Continues Equity Work of Civil Rights Giant Al Raby

    24/02/2021 Duración: 01h03min

    Urban planner, artist, and activist Katanya Raby joins host Courtney Kashima, AICP, to talk about her work at the Office of the Mayor for the City of Chicago, her time at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), and her post as executive director of the Al Raby Foundation. The organization aims to educate communities about its namesake, Katanya's grandfather, and carry on his legacy of fighting for civil rights and equity for those who have been disenfranchised. The two planners also talk drone photography, using racial equity impact assessments in public-sector work, and how even young kids can grasp complex urban planning scenarios. Episode URL:

  • Is Your Environment Limiting Your Functioning?

    29/01/2021 Duración: 36min

    Esther Greenhouse has a unique job title: built environmental strategist. She is also an environmental gerontologist, specializing in design for older adults, and she points out that the built environment often does not allow people of all ages and abilities to function at their highest level. For many, it limits functioning, which is a phenomenon known as environmental press. A big takeaway from that early work, she tells Meghan Stromberg, editor in chief of the American Planning Association, during their conversation, is that “a crucial problem that we have in our society is not understanding that the status quo of how we design and build is actually already for a subset of the population." She argues that we’re not thinking about these design limitations on a wide-enough scale or enacting changes quickly enough — a reality the pandemic has and will complicate in myriad ways. But she offers solutions, as well as eye-opening reasons why cities and towns must value their older citizens as much as they value y

  • AARP's Rodney Harrell on Changing Demographics and Livable Communities

    29/01/2021 Duración: 25min

    Rodney Harrell, a planner and AARP Public Policy Institute's vice president of Family, Home and Community, thinks the biggest policy problem we face is the siloing of planning issues — separating housing from transportation from economic development from health. This disjointedness negatively affects people across the lifespan, but these impacts will become even more pronounced as our nation gets older. In fact, by 2035, the U.S. will have more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 18 for the first time ever. Thankfully, Rodney recognizes, planners are in a unique position to help solve many of these issues. He and APA's editor in chief Meghan Stromberg discuss where we go from here.

  • Why We Need More Intergenerational Policies, Programs, and Places

    29/01/2021 Duración: 29min

    You've probably heard the term "multigenerational," but what about "intergenerational"? Matthew Kaplan, professor of Intergenerational Programs and Aging at Penn State University, outlines what that means for APA's editor in chief Meghan Stromberg, and the two discuss some of the fascinating case studies in intergenerational programming from around the world. Matt also describes how the pandemic has forced intergenerational planners and other professionals to come up with solutions for people who must stay physically distant — a challenging hurdle for a discipline rooted in interaction.

  • Tamika Butler on Antiracism, Equity, and Self-Care Through Solopreneurship

    21/12/2020 Duración: 51min

    As a watershed year comes to a close, Tamika Butler, Esq., founder and principal of Tamika L. Butler Consulting, joins host Courtney Kashima, AICP, on this episode of the People Behind the Plans podcast series. The result is a stirring, uplifting, and funny conversation on the issues facing everyone who works to undo society’s inequities. Tamika’s practice focuses on the built environment, equity, antiracism, diversity and inclusion, organizational behavior, and change management. A transportation planner, lawyer, and nonprofit executive director in previous roles, she explains why she struck out on her own after the pandemic started. She and Courtney discuss the positives and negatives of working for yourself, as well as why it’s important for urban planning firms and other agencies to collaborate with each other. Both planners express their hopes for equity work going forward — that agencies and organizations understand that these endeavors cannot be done once and forgotten about. That engagement should be

  • Seeking Justice and Showing Communities Love Through Planning

    01/12/2020 Duración: 01h07min

    When social justice planner Monique López, AICP, MCRP, MA, talks about her anti-racist, values-driven participatory planning and design firm called Pueblo Planning, she describes its work in no uncertain terms: “I still very much see this as an experiment in love … an experiment in justice. … And coming in with that particular mindset allows me to be flexible, allows me to be open-minded and open-hearted when I am held accountable by community members, when I am held accountable by, by social-justice movements that maybe say, You know, that planning process that we engaged in? It should have been done this way.” Pueblo Planning has done work with people who are unhoused, earn lower incomes, do not claim English as their first language, are senior, and are part of the LGBTQ community. Monique tells host Courtney Kashima, AICP, stories from some of Pueblo’s projects, merging anecdotes with the wisdom they brought her to create poignant takeaways for listeners. From divulging her planning “origin story” (in her

  • How El Paso Reimagined Capital Improvement Planning During COVID-19

    30/10/2020 Duración: 51min

    The fiscal impacts of COVID-19 are forcing cities to significantly rethink their budgets and spending decisions. But when projected revenue shortfalls put most of the City of El Paso's scheduled capital improvement projects on hold, planners in this Texas border city saw an opportunity to rethink the capital improvement planning (CIP) and budgeting process and reprioritize projects using an equity-focused approach. To understand how they did this, Ann Dillemuth, AICP, senior research and professional practice associate at APA, speaks with Alex Hoffman, AICP, director of the Capital Planning Division of the city's Capital Improvement Department. Alex provides planners with practical advice on how to reenvision their own communities' capital improvements planning processes, and he underscores how identifying priorities and aligning plans can make a city more resilient in the future, if and when another disruptive event like the coronavirus pandemic happens.

  • Planners Are Helping Small Businesses Become Resilient Amidst the Pandemic

    02/09/2020 Duración: 56min

    When the coronavirus pandemic dramatically halted normal economic activity in March, many knew small business owners and their employees would not come away unscathed. But small businesses are critical to our communities, making up 44 percent of all economic activity in the United States. Thankfully, community planners are stepping up in big ways to find relief for these businesses — the lifeblood of their localities. In this episode of the podcast, APA public affairs manager Emily Pasi talks with Angela Cleveland, AICP, director of community and economic development for the City of Amesbury, Massachusetts, and Matthew Coogan, AICP, chief of staff for the City of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Amesbury and Newburyport — the former boasting a thriving restaurant scene, the latter an engine largely fueled by tourism — were each awarded $400,000 in emergency Community Development Block Grant funding via the CARES Act. Angela and Matt outline the serious need they saw in their communities’ small businesses before th

  • A Medical Anthropologist Says Planners Are Vital to COVID-19 Recovery

    17/07/2020 Duración: 39min

    What do natural disasters and the coronavirus pandemic have in common? Quite a bit, in fact. Medical anthropologist Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana joins host Jim Schwab, FAICP, on this episode of Resilience Roundtable series to talk about the commonalities between these two types of events. Dr. Schoch-Spana is a senior scholar with The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, as well as a senior scientist in the Department of Environmental Health & Engineering at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

  • Harnessing Data and Knowledge of New York City Facilities to Respond to COVID-19

    02/07/2020 Duración: 35min

    New York City's response to COVID-19 required unprecedented creativity and collaboration among its city agencies. Bob Tuttle, director of the New York City Department of City Planning’s Capital Planning Division, comes on the podcast to describe to Ann Dillemuth, AICP, senior research and professional practice associate, how the division was asked to use its datasets and knowledge of city facilities in the early days of the response to identify possible locations for surge hospitals. The conversation also delves into the capital planning team's work in general, which aims to integrate planning perspectives and data-driven planning analytics into the city’s capital budget planning and decision-making process. Bob describes a few of the resources the division offers, including the Facilities Explorer, a combination of more than 50 public datasets, and he points to department success stories, such as how one planner realized a police department intake site in the East New York neighborhood had the potential for

  • How COVID-19 Has Underscored the Digital Divide

    23/06/2020 Duración: 30min

    COVID-19 has underscored yet another reality that planners already knew: Broadband access — or reliable, high-speed internet access — is a necessity, not a luxury. APA's Sagar Shah talks with Anna Read, an officer for the broadband research initiative at The Pew Charitable Trusts, about the basics of the issue. Read clears up some common misconceptions about the digital divide and describes the work that several communities across the country are doing to close the broadband gap. The two also discuss how planners can get involved in local broadband processes and help shape requirements for access.

  • Centering Equity and Climate Action in COVID-19 Recovery

    16/06/2020 Duración: 39min

    As cities around the world address COVID-19 challenges, they're reimagining how they use policy tools to meet the needs of their residents. In Portland, Oregon, the City Council recently adopted a resolution that highlights the connections between equity, climate, and COVID-19 recovery. APA's Jo Peña sits down with Andrea Durbin, the director of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and Dr. Markisha Smith, director of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights, to discuss the connection between the newly-adopted resolution and planning practice.

  • Immigrant Experiences, Economic Development, and "Third Places" in the U.S. — and Australia

    08/06/2020 Duración: 52min

    As a second-generation Australian and a globetrotter who's studied and worked in New York and Chicago, Samantha Choudhury understands how critical social bonds are to building communities that thrive. She and host Courtney Kashima, AICP, start off their conversation by examining how her parents' immigration to Australia from Bangladesh shaped how she plans for communities. The associate director at Brickfields Consulting and Mainstreet Australia boardmember offers up her observations of planning in the U.S. and Australia, especially the differences between each community's drive to get involved in the planning process. The two planners delve into the realms of placemaking and economic development, discussing how business-improvement districts need focused management to succeed — which, Sam notes, seems especially true now that both countries have been thrown into economic recessions brought about by coronavirus lockdowns. The Melbourne-based planner leaves listeners on a hopeful note, sharing the names of pla

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