What is the South Carolina Community Planning Assistance Program?

In 2015, SCAPA developed the South Carolina Community Planning Assistance Program modeled after the national APA program (more information on the national model found here). The program provides a multidisciplinary team of planning professionals from across South Carolina to assist communities in South Carolina with limited access to planning resources and expertise. The Community Planning Assistance Teams (CPAT) work with community leaders, elected officials, stakeholders, and volunteers to address local issues or concerns. Such challenges may include economic development, housing, transportation, energy, recreation, environmental, etc. Team members are selected for specific expertise needed on a project to offer pro-bono assistance in developing a planning approach that fosters sustainable, economically vibrant, healthy, resilient, and livable communities.

Why is SCAPA providing pro-bono planning assistance?

The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Code of Ethics and Professional Code reminds planners that, “We shall seek social justice by working to expand choice and opportunity for all persons, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of the disadvantaged and to promote racial and economic integration. We shall urge the alteration of policies, institutions, and decisions that oppose such needs.” Conscious of the obligation of planners to the public interest, participation in a CPAT provides a unique opportunity to address serious issues affecting communities across South Carolina where planning resources and expertise may otherwise not be available.

I am a SCAPA member and interested in volunteering. How can I apply?

Complete a team member application (click the button). SCAPA maintains a database of applications and will notify applicants when projects are selected that require your expertis

How can my community apply?

Click below to learn more about how to apply. The window for the 2020 application period will open in February.

How are CPAT projects selected?

CPAT projects are selected through an application process. Submissions must be received by the final date of the application period (deadline noted above). A Review Team comprised of SCAPA members evaluates projects and applications using the following criteria:

  • Clarity of issue(s) to be addressed; the scope of the project is appropriately focused and well defined
  • Commitment and support for project by community and key stakeholders (including partnerships)
  • Funding and logistical support available for the project
  • Primary contact person’s demonstrated ability to coordinate project from the community perspective
  • Probability of commissioning a project team with the skills and experience matching the needs of the community

Have additional questions about this program?

Contact Jeff Parkey at