International Planning

Planners and their organizations throughout the world provide leadership in addressing many societal issues. Often, challenges and successes cross geographic, national, and institutional borders.

The Road to Habitat III

APA has been a long-term partner — going back to the World Urban Forum of 2004 in Barcelona — with the United Nations efforts to address global urbanization and settlement patterns. World Urban Forums happen every other year and are managed by UN Habitat.

Once every 20 years, however, comes "Habitat." This is the UN-wide effort to take stock of and set forth a strategy for cities and towns across the world. Habitat represents a great opportunity for APA and its membership to contribute ideas, best practices, and concerns to the agenda and the goals for planning's contributions to the future of our communities.

Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon addressed the most recent preparatory meeting for Habitat III and committed the UN to implementing the Habitat Agenda.

Habitat III will take place in 2016, but the run-up began in earnest this year at World Urban Forum 7 in Medellin, Colombia. APA also has been a member of the World Urban Campaign, a coalition of organizations committed to sustainable cities and towns that acts as advisory to the governments who participate in the United Nations effort on urbanization.

The current chair of the campaign is APA member Eugenie Birch, FAICP. APA's Director of International Programs Jeffrey Soule, FAICP, is the organization's staff representative to the United Nations and sits on the steering committee of the World Urban Campaign.

Learn more about Habitat III and contribute to APA's thinking

Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas

Urban Planning Initiative

The Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) Urban Planning Initiative is funded by the U.S. Department of State and led by APA. This initiative supports Latin American and Caribbean based planning projects geared towards addressing the challenges presented by climate change. According to the United Nations 2010/2011 State of the World's Cities Report, these regions are the most urbanized in the developing world, with more than 79 percent of the population living in cities. The ECPA Urban Planning Initiative supports local projects that help Latin American and Caribbean cities to become more energy efficient, economically robust, and equitable, furthering these urban environments' resilience to climate change.

Visit the ECPA Urban Planning Initiative for more information

APA in China

Since China's economic reform in 1978, and especially since 1996, the American Planning Association has been working closely with the central and local governments in the People's Republic of China.

Since 1978, APA has sent planners to China for teaching, discussion, and projects. For several years, APA has received many delegations of planners and government officials from China. Workshops help Americans interested in getting more involved in China's planning.

Global Planners Network

Global Planners NetworkGlobal Planners Network (GPN) is a network of national planning associations, including APA, that came together to share planning ideas, approaches, and good practices and thereby build the capacities for planning across the globe.

GPN was formed in 2005 in preparation for the World Planners Congress in Vancouver in 2006, where 13 national institutes became signatories to the Vancouver Declaration.

The network is supported by other international organizations and networks such as the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) and the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP).

Delta Urbanism

A focus on planning in delta and coastal regions has been an APA priority for years.

More recently, APA has expanded its efforts to include the international level, recognizing that delta regions are some of the fastest growing and most precarious human settlements.

Future projects continued engagement with the international delta community through the Delta Alliance and similar organizations.

Los Fundamentos de Planificación de Sitios

Los Fundamentos de Planificación de Sitios is a Spanish-language training manual on proper site planning. It is focused on the nations of Central America and the Caribbean that were ravaged by Hurricanes Mitch and Georges in 1998. This manual, created by APA's Research Department between October 2000 and December 2001, is directed primarily at Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.

Los Fundamentos de Planificación de Sitios es un manual escrito en español dedicado a la planificación de sitios. Está enfocado principalmente en los países de Centroamérica y del Caribe que más sufrieron los efectos de los huracanes Mitch y Georges en 1998. El Manual, que fue elaborado por el Departamento de Investigaciones de la Asociación Americana de Planificación (APA por sus siglas en inglés) entre octubre de 2000 y diciembre de 2001, está dirigido primeramente a Honduras, Nicaragua y la República Dominicana y específicamente a las zonas de esos países se han sufrido la mayoría de los daños.


APA International Division

The International Division is active in promoting information, networking, and professional development opportunities related to international planning. In pursuit of these goals, the division provides a limited number of grants for projects and study abroad. Other programs and activities include a newsletter, conference sessions, and professional development and networking events. We are also working hard to restart our popular exchange program for practicing planners.

International City/County Management Association (ICMA)

ICMA is the professional and educational organization for chief appointed managers, administrators, and assistants in cities, towns, counties, and regional entities around the world.

International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)

ICLEI's mission is to build and serve a worldwide movement of local governments to achieve tangible improvements in global sustainability with special focus on environmental conditions through cumulative local actions.

International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP)

World-wide network of professionals representing the broad field of housing and planning. IFHP organizes a wide range of activities and creates opportunities for an international exchange of knowledge and experience in the professional field.

International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP)

ISOCARP is a global association of professional planners. It was founded in 1965 with the object of bringing together recognized and highly qualified individual planners in an international network.

Metropolis — World Association of Major Metropolises

Association of more than 90 cities worldwide whose mission is to promote international cooperation and exchanges among members, i.e., local and metropolitan governments. Metropolis is also the metropolitan section of the United Cities & Local Government organization (UCLG).