The Young Planners Group of the San Diego Section of the American Planning Association (SDAPA YPG) was formed in the fall of 2009 with a vision to connect planners that are young in their planning ambitions with established planning professionals throughout the San Diego region. The purpose of the YPG is to provide opportunities to learn more about planning and related fields, build successful careers, expand social and professional networks, and ultimately become leaders in the planning profession and the local San Diego Section. The SDAPA YPG is a resource for all planners, with an emphasis on those under the age of 35 and/or who may have less than 8-10 years of professional planning experience.

The first event hosted by the Young Planners Group was the February 2010 kickoff event at Taste and Thirst in Downtown San Diego. With over 60 young planners in attendance and 40 new memberships, the SDAPA YPG was off to a great start.

The SDAPA YPG has continued with momentum from its initial success by establishing monthly meetings, forming subcommittees including the Mentorship and Education Committee, and Community Service & Volunteering Committee, and the International Planning Committee, as well as participating in local SDAPA events. The SDAPA YPG has provided young planners with awareness of scholarships, career and internship opportunities, in addition to networking and social opportunities relative to planning in San Diego.

Current projects the SDAPA YPG are working on include the development and implementation of the SDAPA Mentorship Program in which seasoned professionals and young planners are encouraged to devote an agreed amount of time in which the protégé receives valuable real-world experience working with a professional in their desired area in planning. The SDAPA YPG has also been instrumental in assisting with the 2010 APA California Conference; with YPG members devoting over 275 volunteer hours at the Career Development Center, and hundreds more man hours planning other events at the conference that are sponsored by the SDAPA YPG.

The SDAPA YPG has come to represent and involve a number of young professionals within the San Diego region. The Board of Directors of the San Diego Section amended it’s bylaws to allow the SDAPA YPG Chair to hold a voting seat on the Board of Directors, and represent the members of the Young Planners Group.

For further information, or if you are interested participating in the SDAPA YPG, please email us at