AICP Certification Exam Selected Resources

Planners preparing for the AICP Certification Exam should study the content outline and make note of the topical areas in which they need additional information. The following list is designed to be a guide to identifying those resources that can help the planner fill in the gaps in their knowledge based on their review of the content outline. Please note the following:

  • Many readings are available as e-books to borrow from any well-stocked planning office, or a university library.
  • Those choosing to purchase should consider purchases that not only help in preparing to take the exam but also serve as long-lasting references for professional practice.
  • Those interested in additional APA-published reading lists should consider The Essential Planning Library Revisited and 100 Essential Books of Planning.
  • This resource list was compiled in December 2018.


Books with the APA Planners Press imprint are now available from Routledge, a member of the Taylor & Francis Group. APA members are entitled to a 30 percent discount on all print books ordered from

  • American Planning Association (ed.). 2006. Planning and Urban Design Standards. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.
  • American Planning Association (ed.) 1989. Land Use and the Constitution. Chicago: APA Planners Press.
  • Arendt, Randall G. 2015. Rural by Design (2nd ed.). Chicago: APA Planners Press.
  • Berke, Philip R., David R. Godschalk, and Edward J. Kaiser, with Daniel A. Rodriguez. 2006. Urban Land Use Planning. 5th ed. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
  • Bolstad, Paul. 2016. GIS Fundamentals: A First Text on Geographic Information Systems, Fifth Edition. Ann Arbor, Mich.: XanEdu Publishing.
  • Brooks, Michael. 2002. Planning Theory for Practitioners. Chicago: APA Planners Press.
  • Dandekar, Hemalata. Planner's Use of Information (2nd ed.). 2003. Chicago: APA Planners Press.
  • Daniels, Tom. 2014. Environmental Planning Handbook for Sustainable Communities and Regions (2nd ed.). Chicago: APA Planners Press.
  • Ewing, Reid, et al. 2007. Growing Cooler. Chicago: Urban Land Institute.
  • Hack, Gary. 2018. Site Planning: International practice. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Hack, Gary, Eugenie L. Birch, Paul H. Sedway, and Mitchell J. Silver. 2009. Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice. Washington, D.C.: ICMA. The latest edition of what is commonly known as the "green book," earlier editions also contain useful information.
  • Juergensmeyer, Julian Conrad, Thomas E. Roberts, Patricia E. Salkin, and Ryan Max Rowberry. 2018. Land Use Planning and Development Regulation Law, Fourth Edition. St. Paul, Minn.: Thompson/West.
  • Kelly, Eric Damian. 2010. Community Planning: An Introduction to the Comprehensive Plan. Second Edition. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
  • Macris, Natalie. 2010. Planning in Plain English, Writing Tips for Urban and Environmental Planners. Chicago: APA Planners Press.
  • Masterson, Jamie Hicks, et al. 2014. Planning for Community Resilience: A Handbook for Reducing Vulnerability to Disasters. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
  • McHarg, Ian L. 1995. Design with Nature. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
  • Meyer, Michael D., and Institute of Transportation Engineers. 2016. Transportation Planning Handbook, Fourth Edition. Hoboken N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Schwab, Anna K., Dylan Sandler, and David J. Brower. 2017. Hazard Mitigation and Preparedness, Second Edition. Boca Raton, Fla.: CRP Press, Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Shoup, Donald C. 2011. The High Cost of Free Parking, Updated Edition. Chicago: APA Planners Press. 2011.
  • Steiner, Frederick. 2008. The Living Landscape, Second Edition. Washington D.C.: Island Press,
  • Sustainable Sites Initiative. SITES Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009. American Society of Landscape Architects, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and the U.S. Botanical Garden.
  • U.S. Green Building Council, Congress for the New Urbanism, and U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council. 2013. LEED 2009 for Neighborhood Development, Revised 2013 [PowerPoint presentation].
  • Weitz, Jerry. 2016. The Ethical Planning Practitioner. Chicago: APA Planners Press.

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APA Policy Guides

APA's adopted policy guides provide a wealth of information regarding issues of importance to planners.

Journal of the American Planning Association

Since 1935, the quarterly Journal of the American Planning Association has published research, commentaries, and book reviews useful to practicing planners, scholars, students, policy makers, and others interested in the planning profession.

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APA Planning Advisory Service (PAS) Reports

More than 90 reports on various topics have been produced by the Planning Advisory Service since 2000. While all contain information valuable to those preparing to take the AICP exam, the following are some representative examples:

APA members have free access to the entire PAS Reports archive.

APA Knowledge Center: Applied Research Reports and Guides

The Applied Research section of APA's online APA Knowledge Center contains valuable reference resources addressing a variety of topics, including these examples:

Other Resources

AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

All ethics questions are based on the Code of Ethics valid through December 2021. Refer to that version of the Code.