APA develops policies that represent the collective thinking of our members on positions of both principle and practice.

APA Policy Guides

APA policies are developed through a thorough process of chapter and division involvement under the overall guidance of the Legislative and Policy Committee.

In addition to articulating specific policies that establish principles for better addressing our issues, APA develops more specific guidelines that recommend specific actions on the part of APA members through leadership, chapters, divisions, and allied organizations that move toward an improved social and political environment for planning to play its most effective role. Together, these two elements — policies and general recommendations — form APA Policy Guides.

The process begins with the selection of a topic or issue. These topics are, for the most part, APA's Legislative Priorities. After a topic is chosen, a team of authors and reviewers is selected to produce a draft guide for review by the Legislative and Policy Committee. Once the draft guide is approved by the Legislative and Policy Committee it is sent to all APA Chapters and appropriate APA Divisions for review and comments. Comments are submitted to the Legislative and Policy Committee and a final draft is prepared for presentation at a Chapter Delegate Assembly. During the Assembly, chapter delegates make any final changes and then vote to adopt the draft guide. Once the guide is adopted, it is forwarded to the APA Board of Directors for ratification.

Updating Policy Guide on Planning for Sustainability

More than a decade ago, APA adopted a policy guide on planning for sustainability. Elements of that guide influenced APA's work on a range of issues and programs. Given the dramatic changes in the science of sustainability, the state of public policy, and best practice in planning, APA's Legislative and Policy Committee is working with the Sustainable Communities Division on a comprehensive review and update of the policy guide. This work began in earnest with a listening session held at the 2014 National Planning Conference in Atlanta.

APA members are invited to participate in the process. There will be opportunities to provide input and volunteer to assist in the revision throughout the upcoming Policy and Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. Members and staff will be available on site during the conference to solicit ideas, input, and participation. A special booth will be set up near registration for members to provide comments.

You are also invited to volunteer to participate in the drafting or review process. If you are interested in serving on the task force or a larger review group, send e-mail to govtaffairs@planning.org.

Adopted Policies