News Release: November 5, 2019

APA's Petra Hurtado Promoted to Research Director

CHICAGO (November 5, 2019) — The American Planning Association (APA) has promoted Petra Hurtado, PhD, LEED AP ND, to the position of Research Director effective August 26, 2019.

Petra Hurtado, PhD

In this role, Hurtado is responsible for advancing current and future planning practices that assist communities in navigating change. She is responsible for leading the research team in APA's Chicago and Washington, D.C., offices to expand a future-focused research agenda. Hurtado also will oversee the growth of new and existing partnerships to advance and fund planning research.

Hurtado joined APA's staff earlier this year as the Deputy Research Director. She has more than a decade of international experience in multidisciplinary research and has practiced in both the public and private sectors. She has authored several books and presented as a subject matter expert in smart cities and sustainability at conferences worldwide. She is a member of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) and works as an adjunct professor at the Vienna University of Technology, teaching a class on sustainability and environmental psychology.

Hurtado holds a master's degree in urban and regional planning and a doctorate in urban planning from the Vienna University of Technology.

"We congratulate Petra on this well-deserved accomplishment and look forward to her continued leadership and contributions to advance APA's mission and the practice of planning," said APA CEO Joel Albizo, FASAE, CAE.

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating communities of lasting value. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning, offering better choices for where and how people work and live. The 45,000 APA members work in concert with community residents, civic leaders and business interests to create communities that enrich people's lives. Through its philanthropic work, APA's Foundation helps to reduce economic and social barriers to good planning. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Learn more at

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Roberta Rewers, APA, 312-786-6395;


November 5, 2019