The American Planning Association (APA) has finished their report on using the South Atlantic Blueprint to improve the integration between the natural and built environments! This report is intended as a resource for both planners and conservation professionals, to help them better depict areas and actions of shared conservation interest near and within cities. This is the final piece of the collaborative project you may remember from back in 2016, when APA staff interviewed planners and conservation professionals, and hosted an urban conservation summit. The report covers many of the benefits of including conservation priorities in local planning efforts and outlines how to incorporate the Blueprint and complementary conservation datasets into various types of plans and ordinances. It uses local, regional, and national examples to illustrate each recommendation.

You can check out a pdf of the report here.

One of the other outcomes of the APA project was a list of recommendations for Blueprint staff on how the Blueprint could better depict priorities in and around urban areas. These suggestions include ideas for improving existing indicators, like urban open space, and developing new indicators, such as tree canopy. In fact, the new greenways and trails indicator emerged in part out of this project! Other recommendations included exploring a finer scale resolution that’s better suited to parcel-scale decision-making, and connecting with planners through training and better communications.

You can read the full recommendations here.