1st Edition

The Comprehensive Plan Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Communities for the 21st Century

By David Rouse, Rocky Piro Copyright 2022
    288 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    288 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The practice of comprehensive planning is changing dramatically in the 21st century to address the pressing need for more sustainable, resilient, and equitable communities. Drawing on the latest research and best practice examples, The Comprehensive Plan: Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Communities for the 21st Century provides an in-depth resource for planning practitioners, elected officials, citizens, and others seeking to develop effective, impactful, comprehensive plans, grounded in authentic community engagement, as a pathway to sustainability. Based on standards developed by the American Planning Association to provide a national benchmark for sustainable comprehensive planning, this book provides detailed guidance on the substance, process, and implementation of comprehensive plans that address the critical challenges facing communities in the 21st century.

    1. Introduction  Part I. The Planning Process  2. Setting the Stage  3. Where Are We Now and Where are We Headed?  4. Where Do We Want to Go?  5. How Do We Get There?  Part II. The Substance of the Plan  6. Natural Systems  7. Built Environment Systems: Land Use. Development and Community Character  8. Built Environment Systems: Mobility and Infrastructure  9. Social Systems  10. Economic Systems  11. Healthy Community  12. Regional Connections  Part III: Forward to Implementation  13. Implementation  14. Consistency and Coordination  15. Designing and Communicating the Plan  16. Maintaining and Updating the Plan  17. The Future of the Comprehensive Plan


    David Rouse, FAICP, ASLA, is a consultant, educator, researcher, and author with over 40 years of experience in urban and regional planning and design. From 2013 to 2019, he served as Managing Director of Research and Advisory Services for the American Planning Association (APA). As Research Director, David co-led APA’s Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places Initiative with the late David R. Godschalk. Prior to joining APA he was a principal at the planning and design firm Wallace Roberts & Todd in Philadelphia, where many of his projects were recognized with professional awards for excellence. David’s areas of expertise include comprehensive planning, parks and open space planning, green infrastructure, and planning for emerging technologies.

    Rocky Piro, PhD, FAICP, is Executive Director of the Colorado Center for Sustainable Urbanism at the University of Colorado Denver. He also serves as Associate Professor in the College of Architecture and Planning. Previously he was the Manager for Planning and Community Development in Denver and Program Manager for Growth Management at the Puget Sound Regional Council in Seattle. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the International Urban Planning and Environment Association, and past chair for the Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division of the American Planning Association. Dr. Piro earned a doctorate in Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington. He is a recipient of the Myer Wolfe Award for Excellence in Planning and was inducted in the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

    "Planning is constantly evolving. From segregating land uses we now champion integrating them. From creating places that meet current needs we endeavor to create places that are lasting and adaptable to change. From planning done by "blue ribbon" committees we are democratizing planning. The Comprehensive Plan: Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Communities for the 21st Century is the latest evolution of our collective, emerging vision of what it takes to make great communities happen, and how. Building from the foundation created by David Godschalk and David Rouse in Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places, David Rouse and Rocky Piro distill insights from numerous exemplary plans and case studies to guide planning in the 21st century. It belongs on every planner's bookshelf, hard drive or cloud." – Arthur C. Nelson, Ph.D., FScSS, FAICP, Presidential Professor Emeritus of City and Metropolitan Planning, University of Utah and Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning and Real Estate Development, University of Arizona

    "Kudos to David Rouse and Rocky Piro for creating a guide to comprehensive planning that emphasizes systems, implementation, and plan presentation. Without being too prescriptive, they provide solid, insightful, and thoughtful direction on how to plan for the whole community with an eye towards resilience, inclusivity, social justice, long-term community health, and sustainability. The Comprehensive Plan is an invaluable tool to planners and community leaders grappling with change and complexity in an increasingly dynamic world, and should become required reading for all planning students." – Carol Rhea, FAICP, Partner, Orion Planning + Design and Past President, American Planning Association

    David Rouse and Rocky Piro’s The Comprehensive Plan: Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Communities for the 21st Century is an absolute tour-de-force. With dozens of examples from around the country, it puts the word “comprehensive” back in comprehensive plan. Rouse and Piro help restore faith in the ability of the planning profession to deliver on its core mission of redressing past mistakes and preparing us for new challenges. In a world where human activities are visibly changing the climate of our planet – a possibility which I feel certain was never contemplated by the profession’s founders – this publication demonstrates conclusively that there is hope for the planning profession, if only we are allowed to do what we were trained for. Critical thinking and creative problem-solving – which should be every planner’s North Star – deliver the results we want and so urgently need. Read the book. – Carlos Rodrigues, FAICP, PP, Principal, Design Solutions for A Crowded Planet, LLC

    "Comprehensive plans are blueprints to manage growth and change and David Rouse and Rocky Piro teamed up to write a masterpiece. The Comprehensive Plan: Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Communities for the 21st Century, is a gift to the planning profession that will serve as the go-to reference book for practitioners, educators and students for decades to come. The Comprehensive Plan is truly “comprehensive” in nature. The book covers the origins and purpose of comprehensive planning, the process, the substance and implementation of a plan, and courageously takes on vital 21st century challenges such as climate change, the global pandemic, institutional racism and other social justice issues. The book is loaded with case studies and examples from contemporary comprehensive plans.  I appreciate the genius that went into this book, but more importantly, I appreciate the passion and all-inclusive nature that will help planners, decision-makers and communities make great places happen." – Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, President, American Institute of Certified Planners

    “With The Comprehensive Plan: Sustainable, Resilient and Equitable Communities for the 21st Century, David Rouse and Rocky Piro have crafted a must-read, new primer for planners and others involved in creating comprehensive plans. Using easy, precise language, this book delivers a modern framework, along with compelling tangible examples, to help communities address the challenges of our time in a dynamic manner. The Comprehensive Plan re-energizes the planning process, and I am all for it.” – Silvia E. Vargas, FAICP, Principal Planner with Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Inc.

    "The Comprehensive Plan: Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Communities for the 21st Century is the “how to” resource planners everywhere have been waiting for.  Whether at the local or regional level, this book will provide you with the guidance to develop a truly sustainable plan for your community.  As a long-time county planner, adjunct professor at the University of Washington, and President-elect of the American Institute of Certified Planners, I can attest to the relevance of this book. It will quickly become the go-to resource for planning practitioners and students alike." – Karen Wolf, FAICP, President-elect, American Institute of Certified Planners

    The Comprehensive Plan: Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Communities for the 21st Century is a valuable addition to comprehensive planning practice literature. David Rouse and Rocky Piro bring us both an excellent primer on the nuts and bolts of comprehensive planning as well as a guide to incorporating sustainability, resilience, and equity into the planning process. It is both an explanation of tried-and-true comprehensive planning practice as well as a call to rethink and redirect that practice…This book is engaging and readable with a logical and easy-to-follow structure.- C. Gregory Dale for the Journal of Urban Affairs

    "Rouse and Piro attempt to exhaustively and thoroughly uncover the parameters and interdependencies needed to comprehensively 'plan' sustainable, resilient, and equitable communities....While it might seem arduous to conceive, and even harder to implement, large-scale visions in the 21st century, it is essential that we foreground holistic and comprehensive approaches to urban planning....This book serves as a timely reminder, reaffirming our capacity and urging us to advance the discourse on comprehensive planning." – Fadi Masoud for Landscape Architecture Magazine