For the past year, the American Planning Association (APA) has been working with the South Atlantic LCC to improve the Conservation Blueprint design near and within cities and identify opportunities and challenges to integrating local government green/blue infrastructure efforts with regional infrastructure approaches like the Blueprint.

In September 2016, 25 planners and conservation professionals gathered in Atlanta to engage with the Blueprint and set the stage for future revisions. The agenda focused on how planners are working on natural resource conservation and ideas for conservationists and planners to collaborate more closely. Download the PDF report to learn more about the findings from the summit (including a glossary of definitions to help establish a common language to overcome communication barriers between conservation professionals and the planning sector) and read summaries of the interviews APA conducted with conservationists, planners, engineers, and parks professionals across the South Atlantic region.

Moving forward from the summit, we are now investigating enhancements to existing indicators as well as new indicators that will better reflect conservation priorities within urban areas. Our current “Top 5” are, in no particular order:

  • Urban connectivity and greenways;
  • Tree canopy and equity;
  • Incorporating park and neighborhood characteristics into the urban open space indicator;
  • Urban agriculture; and
  • National Wildlife Federation backyard habitat certification.

Look for more information on our progress with these indicators in Spring/Summer 2017!