Celebrate World Town Planning Day

November 8, 2017

The American Planning Association's International Division is sponsoring activities celebrating this year's World Town Planning Day.

Joining planners and planning organizations from around the globe, APA and APA's International Division are excited to bring you online multimedia resources focusing on this year's theme, Implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda (NUA).

World Town Planning Day 2017 Multimedia Resources

This curated set of programs will explore the varying roles and approaches of UN-Habitat, the American Planning Association, the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP), and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

These lectures and discussions will address the application of the SDGs and NUA across different geographic levels, sectors, and contexts, including planning for livable communities for all ages, environmental planning at the regional and territorial level, and cultural heritage planning for resilience.

Follow along with APA on Twitter (@APA_Planning) as we bring you content throughout Wednesday, November 8, and join the global conversation using #WTPD2017.


Planning Livable Communities for ALL Ages

APA International Research Grant in partnership with AARP and Arup

Rapidly aging populations is a global phenomenon. And one of the most consistent features of older adults around the world is their strong preference to age in their home or community for as long as possible. Therefore, all communities must make the built environment, housing, transportation, and other services — as well as opportunities — appropriate and accessible for people across increasingly long lifespans.

This webinar presents an international approach to planning livable communities for ALL ages, shares lessons from research among planners and aging professionals — in the U.S. and overseas — and offers opportunities for planners around the world to learn from and contribute to this important conversation.

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International Planner Engagement Survey

Please take 5–10 minutes to share your knowledge. This survey aims to understand how to engage planners around the world to infuse aging considerations into their ongoing planning work. Findings will be shared in early 2018 and will inform a deeper next phase of research. Thank you!


Sustainable Development Goals and The New Urban Agenda

APA International Division, APA Oregon Chapter/ISOCARP joint conference (October 2017)

APA's International Division is sponsoring this session exploring the implementation of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and New Urban Agenda (NUA), including the varying roles and approaches of the UN, APA, ISOCARP, ICOMOS, and, in particular, U.S. cities. The talks will address the application of the SDGs and NUA at different geographic levels, and in different sectors and contexts, including city versus regional/ territorial planning, as well as environmental planning, planning for livable communities for all ages, and leveraging cultural heritage in planning for resilience.

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Podcast: "People Behind the Plans" with Eugenie Birch, FAICP

Courtney Kashima, AICP, interviews Eugenie Birch, FAICP, in this special World Town Planning Day edition of the "People Behind the Plans" podcast series focusing on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and New Urban Agenda. Birch is the Lawrence C. Nussdorf Chair of Urban Research and Education at the University of Pennsylvania and serves as president of General Assembly of Partners (GAP), the engagement platform for the implementation of the UN's New Urban Agenda and associated global agreements.


Implementing the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

APA 2017 National Planning Conference — New York City

The rapid growth of cities in the developing world has created unprecedented opportunities for economic growth and job generation that can reduce poverty and lead to higher living standards. With the world urbanizing and slums continuing to swell, there is a growing recognition that cities must feature prominently in our urban development framework for the next decade. Implementation of the United Nations 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) presents APA and its partners — domestic and global — with a rare opportunity to tell the planning story and advocate the planner's role in our rapidly urbanizing world and at home.

By 2030, six in 10 people will live in cities, and the design of those cities will play a major role in economic prosperity and quality of life. Without adequate urban planning, it will be difficult and prohibitively expensive to address other key issues such as water quality, health, education, and employment. Explore the outcomes of the UN's recent conferences in Sendai, Japan, and Quito, Ecuador, where leaders shaped a framework for urban resilience and a New Urban Agenda to help cities and towns address common concerns such as poverty, quality of life, and climate change. Learn about metrics appropriate for communities worldwide.

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International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning

APA Oregon Chapter/ISOCARP joint conference (October 2017)

Hear representatives of UN Habitat and International NGOs talk about the development and implementation of the International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning. According to UN Habitat: "The need for planning cannot be over-emphasized. Urbanization is progressing rapidly and by 2050, seven out of ten people will be living in cities. Inappropriate policies, plans and designs have led to inadequate spatial distribution of people and activities, resulting in proliferation of slums, congestion, poor access to basic services, environmental degradation, and social inequity and segregation. The International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning serve both as a source of inspiration and a compass for decision makers and urban professionals when reviewing urban and territorial planning systems. The Guidelines provide national governments, local authorities, civil society organizations and planning professionals with a global reference framework that promotes more compact, socially inclusive, better integrated and connected cities and territories that foster sustainable urban development and are resilient to climate change."

Contextualizing the International Planning Guidelines (pdf)

SymbioCity Approach: Toward Innovative and Inclusive Cities (pdf)

International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning (pdf)

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Everything You Need To Know About Habitat III

APA 2016 National Planning Conference in Phoenix

Find out about the planning going on around the world to support sustainable cities through goals and metrics that measure how communities are doing. Hear what partners are doing to communicate the World Urban Campaigns’ efforts to engage in inform local organizations and individuals who are eager to participate in making places great for people. See how places can build on their cultural assets to shape development.

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About World Town Planning Day

World Town Planning Day is celebrated in 30 countries on four continents each November. It is a special day to recognize and promote the role of planning in creating livable communities.

World Town Planning Day presents an excellent opportunity to look at planning from a global perspective, and APA encourages its members to consider planning challenges and solutions around the globe on that day.

The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) endorses World Town Planning Day as a strategy to promote a broad-based awareness, support, and advocacy of community and regional planning among the general public and all levels of government through activities in recognition of American accomplishments on World Town Planning Day of each year.

Program History

The international organization for World Town Planning Day was founded in 1949 by the late Professor Carlos Maria della Paolera of the University of Buenos Aires to advance public and professional interest in planning, both locally and abroad.

Why Celebrate World Town Planning Day?

  • To draw attention to the aims, objectives, and progress of urban and regional planning around the globe.
  • To highlight the valuable contributions sound planning has made to the quality of global human settlements and their environment.
  • To give worldwide coverage to the ideals of urban and regional planning not only within the profession but also among the general public.