Why is there an American Planning Association? What does APA do, and who sets its course? How does the association encourage diverse people to become planners, join APA, and flourish?

APA Vision and Mission

APA is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. We measure our success by the successes of our members and the communities they serve.

APA’s Vision, Mission, Values, and Role

APA’s History

The American Planning Association was created in 1978 by the consolidation of two separate planning organizations, but its roots grow all the way back to 1909 and the first National Conference on City Planning in Washington, D.C.


Diversity and APA

APA and AICP have worked to increase social equity, diversity, and minority participation. Minority populations will be better served by planning — and planners will better serve their communities — if more people of color choose careers in planning.


APA Green Team

The APA Green Team works to promote sustainable business practices by identifying and sharing innovative methods.

APA Green Team

APA Leadership

Members elect the APA Board of Directors and the AICP Commission. The Board delegates day-to-day operations to its staff in Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

APA Board of Directors

AICP Commission

APA Senior Staff

APA’s Electoral Regions

APA Foundation

The Planning Foundation of APA funds scholarships and community equity programs and new initiatives like special research projects.

APA Foundation


APA helps certified planners negotiate ethical and moral dilemmas, and offers a guide to ethical conduct for others in the planning process.