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American Planning Association

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

American Planning Association
Formation1978; 46 years ago (1978)
Merger ofAmerican Institute of Planners
American Society of Planning Officials
TypeNon-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization
To provide leadership in the
development of vital communities
[citation needed]
Headquarters205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1200, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Kurt E. Christiansen, FAICP
Past President
Cynthia Bowen, FAICP
Key people
Joel Albizo
(CEO and executive director)
Affiliations47 member chapters (2014)

The American Planning Association (APA) is a professional organization representing the field of urban planning in the United States.[1] 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.[2]



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.[3]

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).[4]

National Planning Conference


The American Planning Association holds an annual national conference that attracts planners, local government officials, planning commissioners, advocates and planning students from across the United States, Canada and the world.[5] Each conference hosts several hundred individual sessions with thousands of attendees.



The association has 47 state/regional chapters, such as the NJAPA (New Jersey Chapter of the APA)[6] or the Western Central Chapter of the APA.[7] 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, APA has 21 divisions.[8] 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.


  1. ^ "American Planning Association History". American Planning Association: About Us. American Planning Association. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Aim High: AICP". American Institute of Certified Planners. American Planning Association. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Overview". Archived from the original on 19 February 2007. Retrieved 28 February 2007.
  4. ^ "Aims and scope". About the Journal of the American Planning Association. Taylor and Francis Publishing. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  5. ^ "About NPC18". National Planning Conference 2018. American Planning Association. Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  6. ^ "American Planning Association - New Jersey Chapter".
  7. ^ "American Planning Association Western Central Chapter". www.wccapa.org.
  8. ^ APA Divisions Web Page 21 APA Divisions. Retrieved 29 January 2009.