Indiana Chapter - American Planning Association

Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places – Recognition Program Reviewer Application (Volunteer Today!)

Posted on March 30th, by Jill Ewing in Uncategorized. No Comments

In 2010, APA Past President Bruce Knight announced the establishment of the American Planning Association’s Sustaining Places Initiative. In his announcement, Knight stated that the Sustaining Places Initiative will examine “how places can be sustained and how places themselves sustain life and civilizations.” Included in APA’s Sustaining Places Initiative are research projects, outreach in the areas of climate change, energy, water and waste management, international planning, as well as the Smart Cities and Sustainability Task Force.

As part of the Sustaining Places Initiative, a Working Group was formed to develop the Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places, a set of guiding principles intended for communities to integrate sustainability into comprehensive planning. These standards include principles, processes and attributes for comprehensive plans.

In the fall of 2013, APA began a pilot program with 10 diverse communities across the US who were in the process of developing or updating their comprehensive plans. Pilot communities helped evaluate and refine the final plan standards. Each community took a unique approach to integrating the standards into their planning process. As one of the ten pilot communities, the City of Goshen reviewed the plan standards against our former comprehensive plan, then integrated weak or missing standards into public participation. Another community organized their plan’s overall format and public participation around the categories of plan principles.

Building on the experience and success of the pilot communities program, APA is developing a Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places Recognition Program. The Recognition Program will be voluntary for communities that wish to integrate sustainability into their comprehensive plan. As part of this one-year pilot program, APA is seeking volunteers to review comprehensive plans against the plan standards. Reviews will likely take place between June and September 2016. Reviewers will be assigned to plans in teams of two, with an expected time commitment between 25-35 hours.

Interested planners can complete the reviewer application at the following link:

Please visit for more information on the Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places!

Abby Wiles
Committee Member, Comprehensive Plan Standards Recognition Program (CPSRP) Working Group
Northern Region Representative

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