State & National Studies, Research and Manuals
Florida Center for Community Design + Research. A comprehensive database of historic GIS maps; plant, water, and community atlases; water and wetland mapping. Extensive research listing.
Forging the Link: Linking the Economic Benefits of Low Impact Development and Community Decisions. A detailed study of multiple municipalities, showing how low impact development (LID) is both more efficient in managing stormwater runoff and pollution, and economically more advantageous when blended with appropriate combinations of green and grey approaches to stormwater.
Monroe County (Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study). An example, including methodology, of a carrying capacity study. Carrying capacity studies evaluate the maximum plant life or wildlife a habitat can support, given the environmental factors.
University of Florida (Program for Resource Efficient Communities). A resource for green building, clean energy financing, and low impact development (LID).
APA Technical Publications: PAS Reports, Memos & Quick Notes
(NOTE: these are now available to all APA members upon logging in online)
Ecological Riverfront Design (PAS 518/519). Summary: The report provides a set of planning and design principles that will allow communities to reclaim urban river edges in the most ecologically sound and economically viable manner possible. The report will guide planners, mayors, public works and environmental officials, river advocates, and the general public in their search for effective, ecological riverfront design. It covers key topics related to ecological health and human interaction with rivers and provides a set of essential strategies to help communities achieve more with their riverfront revitalization efforts.
Green Infrastructure (PAS 571). Summary: The report discusses how green infrastructure cleans the air and water, replenishes aquifers, reduces flooding, and moderates the climate. And the benefits go beyond improving the environment. Green infrastructure also promotes healthy exercise and access to more locally grown food. It makes communities safer and even helps reduce crime. It also boosts the economy as it attracts business, raises property values, and lowers energy and healthcare costs. The authors, both practicing professionals in planning and design, present six principles for successful green infrastructure projects. Detailed case studies describe these principles at work from north Texas to southeastern Philadelphia to suburban Kansas. Planners, urban designers, and landscape architects will find proven ideas for making their regions, cities, and neighborhoods more resilient and sustainable.
Green Infrastructure Planning (PAS Memo). Summary: Article focuses on how green infrastructure has matured. It highlights the next stage of its evolution as a planning process confronting perennial problems, such as the linking of land conservation with development planning, and it looks at the role of green infrastructure in confronting emerging problems such as global climate change.
Habitat Loss (Zoning Practice). Summary: The article discusses zoning tools such as zoning districts, overlays, and density bonuses that can be used to protect critical and sensitive habitats and species.
Land Trusts: Conserving Land, Strengthening Communities (PAS Memo). Summary: The article provides a brief overview of land trusts and offer details of land trust work in specific sectors that planners may not have expected. It explains how and why planners should work with land trusts, and ends with a glimpse at the possible future of land trusts and planning.
Planning the Urban Forest (PAS 555). Summary: The report, in collaboration with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and American Forests (AF), and supported by the U.S. Forest Service, addresses the need for planners to adopt a green infrastructure approach and presents the technical means to incorporate trees into planning. Find out how communities can develop urban forestry programs to capture the social and environmental benefits of trees. Urban forestry professionals and advocates will learn how to interface with the urban planning process to maximize green infrastructure and reduce gray infrastructure costs. Thirteen case studies illustrate best practices in planning for urban and community forestry.
Planning for Urban Forest Resilience (PAS Memo) Summary: The article explores the resilience of U.S. urban forests to provide urban planners with insights relative to associated community risks, assessment methodologies, and planning and management strategies to minimize community impacts. Also included are supporting historical and current case examples highlighting invasive forest pest impacts and the accompanying fiscal and operational challenges to affected communities. Finally, the article offers best practices and tools that planners can use to increase urban forest resilience to threatening influences, both natural and man-made.
Protecting Riparian Areas With Vegetated Buffers (Zoning Practice) Summary: The article discusses state and local approaches to requiring vegetated buffers in riparian areas.
The Role of Tree Preservation Ordinances in Green Infrastructure (Zoning Practice) Summary: The article discusses regulations that communities have used to protect and enhance their tree canopies and offer suggestions for creating an integrated green infrastructure code.
Valuing Ecosystem Services (PAS Memo) Summary: The article outlines an ecosystem services planning and implementation process. This process can help a municipality identify ways to maximize the value received from its natural resources, both today and in the long term. To help demonstrate how ecosystem services valuation can be used in practice, three case studies show how planners can use this approach for regional redevelopment, water resource conservation, and private engagement in stormwater management.
Zoning for Urban Wildlife and Biodiversity (Zoning Practice) Summary: The article highlights steps a few trailblazing cities have taken to protect biodiversity through local development regulations.