|Type||Non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization|
To provide leadership in the
development of vital communities
|Kurt E. Christiansen, FAICP|
|Cynthia Bowen, FAICP|
|Joel Albizo, CEO & Executive Director|
|Affiliations||47 member chapters (2014)|
The American Planning Association (APA) is a professional organization representing the field of urban planning in the United States. The APA was formed in 1978, when two separate professional planning organizations, the American Institute of Planners and the American Society of Planning Officials, were merged into a single organization. The American Institute of Certified Planners is now the organization's professional branch.
Like many professional organizations, the American Planning Association's main function is to serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas between people who work in the field of urban planning. The organization keeps track of the various improvement efforts underway around the country, which may include the improvement or construction of new parks, highways and roads, or residential developments. The organization is also a starting point for people looking for employment.
The association also publishes the Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA, ISSN 0194-4363). JAPA was founded in 1935 as Planners' Journal, and was from 1943 known as Journal of the American Institute of Planners (ISSN 0002-8991).
The American Planning Association holds an annual national conference which attracts planners, local government officials, planning commissioners, advocates and planning students from across the United States, Canada and the world. Each conference now hosts several hundred individual sessions with thousands of attendees.
Future conferences are planned for:
APA members in the United States are required to belong to a local chapter. Many APA Chapters meet regularly, and most are a source for local conferences and education, networking. Each of 47 local chapters publishes a newsletter and maintains a presence on the web and on social media.
To manage the various interests of American planners, the APA has created 21 divisions. APA divisions offer professional networking opportunities for planners. They also produce newsletters and special publications, develop conference sessions, collaborate with related organizations, and contribute to policy work. The divisions focus on planning strategies for professionals with focused interests.