Planning means housing choice. Planning means safe communities and a better commute. Planning means communities of lasting value.

What Is Planning?

When government officials, business leaders, and citizens come together to build communities that enrich people's lives, that's planning.

What Is Planning?

What Do Planners Do?

Planners help government officials, business leaders, and citizens create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live.

What Do Planners Do?

Becoming a Planner

Planning is a collaborative, dynamic field that offers the chance to really make a difference in the communities you care about.

Becoming a Planner

Planning in Your Community

Find out more about how planning affects your community — and how you can get involved.

Planning in Your Community

About the American Planning Association

APA logoAPA is a nonprofit education and membership organization. Members include practicing planners, planning students, elected and appointed officials, planning commissioners, and interested citizens.

The American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning — physical, economic and social — to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live.

L'Enfant Lecture

The American Planning Association and the National Building Museum established the L'Enfant Lecture on City Planning and Design to draw attention to critical issues in city and regional planning in the United States.

Read about the L'Enfant Lecture

Daniel Burnham Forum on Big Ideas

The Burnham Forum is a series of discussions on concepts and trends that will shape America during the next 50 years. APA's goal is to stimulate the conversations necessary to lead America's communities toward a more just and sustainable future.

Read about the Burnham Forum

Planning Centennial

The planning movement began in 1909 at the first National Conference on City Planning. Throughout 2009, APA celebrated the Centennial of the Planning Movement in America.

Planning Centennial Celebration

Chicago, view looking west, of the proposed civic center plaza and buildings, showing it as the center of a system of arteries of circulation and the surrounding country. Painted for the Commercial Club by Jules Guerin. © 1909 by Commerical Club of Chicago.

View of the proposed Chicago civic center plaza. Painted for the Commercial Club by Jules Guerin. © 1909 by Commerical Club of Chicago.