News Release: February 25, 2016

Keeping Planning Ethical

New Planners Press book is the first guidebook based upon the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct to help planners avoid potential conflicts.

CHICAGO — The Ethical Planning Practitioner (Planners Press) from the American Planning Association provides the first-ever guidebook based on the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. The book helps planners navigate potential conflicts to maintain an ethical practice. An ethical practice is necessary to maintain the public trust.

The American Planning Association's professional institute governs the certification of planners. AICP-certified planners are required to uphold the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Even planners that are not AICP-certified should adhere to the board-adopted Ethical Principles in Planning. 

"Individual actions of planners, whether certified or not, reflect on the profession as a whole," writes author Jerry Weitz, FAICP, PhD. "This means that all professional planners, not just AICP-certified, have professional obligations to conduct themselves ethically and with integrity."

The Ethical Planning Practitioner presents 76 scenarios that help planners understand how the principles and rules of the AICP Code might apply to situations in which they find themselves. Situations such as:

  • Posting a statement on social media
  • Connecting with a real estate development partner on LinkedIn
  • Volunteering to help university planning students
  • Providing requested information to a reporter

Each scenario presents the situation and the principles and rules from the AICP Code that appears relevant. Commentary details which principles and rules may apply and why, and opinions as to what might be considered ethical and unethical behavior.

The Ethical Planning Practitioner was written by Jerry Weitz, FAICP, PhD, a professional planner with more than 30 years of experience working for planning agencies, developers, attorneys and advocacy groups. He previously directed the Urban and Regional Planning Program at East Carolina University.

The Ethical Planning Practitioner (ISBN: 978-1-61190-081-1) is available through the APA Store for $34.95 ($24.95 APA member). It is available as a paperback or e-book. Order the book through APA's online bookstore to receive free bonus multimedia content.

Media review copies are available by contacting Roberta Rewers at

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning — physical, economic, and social — so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, with almost 40,000 members worldwide in nearly 100 countries.


Roberta Rewers, APA; 312-786-6395;