Commissions and Boards

APA is committed to helping planning commissioners and board members learn the techniques needed to make better communities.

APA Can Help Your Commission Build a Better Community

ConnectGreat planning commissions make great communities happen! Connect your planning commission with APA and they'll connect to a nationwide community dedicated to good planning. APA gives commissioners tested tools — publications, training events, networking opportunities, and other targeted resources — that will help your community anticipate and plan for tomorrow.

Learn more about APA's many resources for local commissioners and enroll your commissioners as APA Planning Board Members or APA Affiliates.

Learn more about APA membership

Planning magazine

Planning coverAPA's flagship magazine shows how creative planning programs and innovative techniques help create vibrant, sustainable communities. APA members and APA Affiliates may access articles from back issues of Planning published since 2002.

Read the full issue(membership or subscription required)

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Training for Commissioners

National Planning Conference

Every annual conference contains a special track of sessions and workshops for planning commissioners and officials.    

APA Audio/Web Conferences

Gain multiple perspectives on key planning issues and hear from experts around the country. We recommend the following courses for commissioners: Managing Complex Relationships in Planning, Open Government and Engaging the Public, and 2014 Planning Law Review.

APA Chapters

Many APA Chapters offer convenient local training in your state or area. Find out what kind of training is being offered by chapters around the country.

Streaming Education

Online training, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Seven current products provide commissioner training on everything from "Design Review for Officials" to "Informed Decisions: A Guide to Gathering Facts and Evidence." Programs for commissioners are available for group viewing.

Planning Board Briefs

Planning Board Briefs is APA's specialty e-newsletter for planning board members and affiliates.

Learn more

Books and Reports

Additional training resources for planning commissioners are available in a variety of topics and formats in the APA Store.

Browse the bookstore

The Commissioner

The Commissioner coverThis newsletter provides practical features and tips to help you make critical decisions in the best interest of your community.

Beginning in 2014, The Commissioner expanded from four to six appearances per year — as a section in the print and digital editions of APA's flagship magazine, Planning, and as a stand–alone, online flipbook.

All APA members will receive The Commissioner as a six-page feature in Planning (in February, April, June, August, October, and December) and nonmembers will get an e-mail alert and link from APA every time a new TC flipbook is posted.

Read The Commissioner online (membership or subscription required)

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Commissioners' Insights

Planning Commission Profiles

What works and what doesn't for planning commissions around the country.

Commissioner's Voice

Commissioners' perspectives on the issues that affect their work.

Product Focus

The Planning Commissioners Guide

The Planning Commissioners Guide coverNew commissioners learning the ropes and seasoned board members looking for a refresher will get the guidance they need in this new release from APA Planners Press. Eight detailed chapters cover the basics of preparing for commission meeting, reviewing a development plan, gathering public input, and steering clear of ethical dilemmas. There's even a glossary of planning terms and a list of training resources.


APA provides many more web resources for planning commission and boards. Use this index to find additional documents.

Learn more

Banner photo: Hillsborough (Florida) City-County Planning Commission. Photo by Dean Salls.