American Planning Association

North Carolina Chapter

Advancing the Strategic Priorities: Goals, Initiatives, and Actions

The following goals, initiatives, and actions are organized under the heading of each strategic priority identified in the prior section.  For each action, a proposed timeframe for action within the four-year horizon is presented, along with the identification of the lead committee or individual who is responsible for implementation.

Affordable Housing (AH)

Goal: Position APA-NC as a leader and source of information and best practices on affordable housing statewide.

Initiative AH-1: Provide a clearinghouse for information on affordable housing.

With this initiative, APA-NC would seek to augment rather than duplicate work already done in this field by the UNC School of Government. Leveraging the power and knowledge of our member base across the state, APA-NC will:

Action AH-1.1: Create a webpage containing data and links to housing resources statewide.

Action AH-1.2: Compile a list of case studies and best practices from communities around the state.


Initiative AH-2: Advocate for new tools for affordable housing at the local and state level.


While the current legislative climate is not conducive to major new initiatives like inclusionary zoning authority, there may be more modest yet meaningful policy changes which could find traction, everything from zoning reform to new funding sources. APA-NC will:


Action AH-2.1: Task the Legislative Committee in reaching out to sympathetic legislators to start a dialog on housing.

Action AH-2.2: Work with the UNC School of Government to identify politically-feasible affordable housing tools and policies that might be appropriate for communities in NC.

Action AH-2.3: Identify potential partners who share affordable housing interests to work with to build support for new public policies.

Resiliency (R)

Goal: Increase chapter involvement in hazard mitigation and disaster recovery.

Initiative R-1: Get more NC planners to become members of the Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery division of APA.

This division is currently the seventh most popular in NC with 36 members, but given the importance of the issue in the state, it is an appropriate target for expansion. The division can play a key role in stimulating discussion and action through networking and education. APA-NC will:

Action R-1.1: Work with existing division members to sponsor socials, meetups, and other networking events at the conference and elsewhere to get more planners acquainted with the division.

Action R-1.2: Work with existing division members to increase the number of conference session proposals covering hazard mitigation and disaster recovery.

Initiative R-2: Involve planners in specific disaster recovery planning efforts, starting with communities still recovering from Hurricane Matthew.

Over a year later, communities in eastern NC are still struggling with recovery and rebuilding, and this can be expected to continue for many more years. APA-NC members can add significant value to helping make decisions that rebuild these communities in a more resilient way. APA-NC will:

Action R-2.1: Perform at least one Matthew-focused NCPAT undertaking in 2018.

Action R-2.2: Assist a Matthew-impacted local government(s) in applying for a national CPAT in 2018.

Action R-2.3: Communicate with NC Emergency Management, FEMA, and other disaster recovery leaders (i.e., Gavin Smith) about the availability of APA-NC members to assist in recovery planning.

Action R-2.4: Create a document that provides guidance and establishes an APA-NC protocol for responding to future disasters.

Action R-2.5:  Identify potential partnerships with other agencies and organizations seeking to provide information and support for programs and policies encouraging the development of resilient communities.

Diversity & Equity

Goal: Promote diversity in the profession and equity in planning practice.

Initiative DE-1: Equip NC planners with the awareness and skills necessary to work with diverse communities in developing plans.

While increasing diversity within the profession will take time, improving planners skills in collaborating effectively with diverse communities can and should happen in the near term and be part of the Chapter’s ongoing work. APA-NC will:

Action DE-1.1: Commit to providing diversity and equity-focused sessions at future NC Planning Conferences.

Action DE-1.2: Sponsor learning and training opportunities around the state on how to effectively facilitate planning exercises in diverse communities, including lectures, courses, and webinars.

Initiative DE-2: Increase outreach to secondary schools to introduce minority students to the profession of planning

Outreach to college students is great, but many if not most were unaware of the existence of the profession when choosing a major. Targeting more outreach to secondary schools provides an opportunity to introduce students to the profession at a younger age and introduce them to the possibilities of a career in planning. APA-NC will:

Action DE-2.1: Create a standard set of materials and recruit volunteers to give guest appearances at high schools and other secondary schools around the state.

Initiative DE-3: Provide networking opportunities for planners of color.

Currently, the only Chapter activity in this space is the Diversity Mixer at the NC Planning Conference. Adding additional events for networking at the conference and throughout the year will provide more opportunities for sharing experiences and learning. APA-NC will:

Action DE-3.1: Hold social gatherings, brown bag lunches, and conversation hours with planners of color for the purpose of networking.

Action DE-3.2: Reposition the Diversity Mixer as a free social event that coincides with the NC Planning Conference and invite all  members to attend. This social event should include a experience that focuses on ethical and cultural issues.