News & Press: Association Contributors

APA Releases Suite of Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Resources

Thursday, November 9, 2017  
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CHICAGO – As technology and automotive companies continue to explore how to bring autonomous and connected vehicles into our daily lives, the planning profession is researching how the technology will impact communities from a land use, transportation planning, social equity and economic standpoint. The American Planning Association (APA) has released a suite of materials to assist communities in addressing the questions and challenges posed by this new technology.

APA is assisting its members navigate AVs by providing resources, materials, guidance and ongoing research. Such new technologies can both positively and negatively impact communities. The goal for planners is to maximize the potential benefits while minimizing any potential negative impacts on communities before they are experienced.

The release of the new materials on AVs concludes the celebration of National Community Planning Month. This year’s theme focused on innovation in planning, which underscored the role that planning plays in addressing and adapting to the challenges faced by communities in the 21st century. Planners are at the forefront of understanding how emerging technologies, like AVs, can change and impact the fabric of our communities, today, tomorrow, and in the future.

Below details materials now available through APA, and additional resources that will be coming. All of the resources can be found at:

AV Symposium
APA along with its partners convened 85 national AV and connected vehicle experts for the AV Symposium on October 6, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Participants discussed how to plan and prepare for the impacts of AVs on cities and regions, including ensuring AVs remain accessible and equitable; fit into existing transportation infrastructure; and have minimal impacts on land use and the built environment.

See video highlights from the symposium. Read more about the conversation that took place at the symposium.

AV Symposium partners included the National League of Cities (NLC), Mobility E3, George Mason University, Mobility Lab, the Eno Center for Transportation, and the Brookings Institution. Check out the Twitter conversation using the hashtag #AVConnect.

AV Resource Collection
APA has curated a collection of reports, briefing papers, articles, policy guides, planning documents and videos from around the country that provide examples of best practices for addressing and implementing AVs. The AV KnowlegeBase makes this information easily accessible and is available to the public thanks to a grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Other topical Research KnowledgeBase collections are available exclusively to APA members.

Policy Implications
AVs will have significant impact on the policies, legislation and regulations at the national, regional and local levels. APA’s policy team has been tracking proposed federal legislation about AVs and advocating for sound policies that will support the good land use decisions. Exclusively for members of APA’s Planners Advocacy Network is a comparison of proposed legislation and potential community impacts. The Planners Advocacy Network helps to shape federal planning policies. It is free for APA members to join the Planners Advocacy Network.

APA’s Legislative and Policy Committee is also working on a list of AV policy principles to help shape federal programs and policies. Much like the infrastructure principles released earlier this year, the principles will be shared widely with Congressional leaders. The AV principles are expected in early 2018.

Upcoming Resources
Another outcome from the AV Symposium is a briefing paper that will provide land use, transportation planning and economic guidelines for addressing AVs in communities. The briefing paper will also outline a necessary agenda to guide future research initiatives to ensure gaps in knowledge and awareness do not develop.

APA continues to work on identifying best AV practices and how to assist communities in avoiding any potential pitfalls. The December issue of Zoning Practice, APA’s publication that provides guidance on writing and administering smart development codes, will discuss how communities need to plan for accommodating both AV and non-AVs. Zoning Practice is available via subscription or individual-issue purchase.

The Planning Advisory Service (PAS) report on Autonomous Vehicles will also be available in mid-2018 and will provide in-depth guidance for planners on AV technology and the opportunities and challenges such technology presents for the built environment and existing infrastructure. PAS reports are available for free to APA members.

Finally, AVs will be a key subject addressed at APA’s National Planning Conference in New Orleans, April 21-24, 2018. Look for sessions and panel discussions from some of the country’s top AV experts and thinkers.

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating communities of lasting value. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning, offering better choices for where and how people work and live. The 38,000 APA members work in concert with community residents, civic leaders and business interests to create communities that enrich people's lives. Through its philanthropic work, APA’s Foundation helps to reduce economic and social barriers to good planning. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Learn more at


The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.


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