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Public Works Trending Technologies

2021 Public Works Top Trending Technologies

The 2021 Public Works Top Trending Technologies were announced in the January issue of the APWA Reporter.

Call for Volunteers: APWA Top Tech 2021 Work Groups

Do you have experience with one of APWA’s 2021 Top 5 Trending Technologies in Public Works? Here’s your opportunity to share your knowledge. Join a work group today to help inform and educate our members on these important advances in the industry.

Please contact Rita Cassida at to join a Top Tech Work Group.

Top Tech Toolbox Now Available!

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Toolbox


Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones, was one of APWA’s Top Trending Technologies in Public Works for 2018. APWA has created a variety of educational offerings about UAS and compiled them in this toolbox.

Access the toolbox >


In an age where technology advances at an exponential pace, public works departments are constantly finding new ways to bring safety, economy, sustainability, and service to their communities. To help our members stay in-the-know on which industry-changing endeavors are on the horizon (or in some cases, already here), APWA began the Top 5 Trending Technologies survey and report in 2018.

The term trending technologies was selected because as technologies are implemented in public works, large cities may start using the technology and then, several years later, medium and then small size cities. Although a technology may not be emerging by the time it reached the small cities, it is still trending.

Each year, the APWA Engineering and Technology Committee’s Trending Technology Subcommittee gathers suggestions and selects the 16 trending technologies that will impact public works in the coming year. Each contender is selected because of its projected impact on the public sector—across all departments and at all levels. Those 16 trending technologies then go toe-to-toe in an NCAA-style bracket challenge, where we open the voting up to the public to result in the Trending Technologies for the year. Thanks to your votes, we’re able to use the Top 5 Trending Technologies to develop programs such as Click, Listen & Learns, Reporter articles, PWX Education Sessions, and more.