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

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.

Upcoming Policy Guides

The APA Legislative and Policy Committee has appointed two task forces charged with drafting new policy guides on water and freight. These guides will be available soon for member review and comment in expectation of full consideration by the Delegate Assembly at the National Planning Conference in Phoenix this April.

In addition to work on these new policy guides, the committee has completed work on a new "sustainability framework" that will replace the existing policy guide on planning for sustainability. This new framework recognizes that sustainability touches many different areas of policy and planning and therefore aims to lay out a broad framework to guide a wide array of APA advocacy, programming and policy development. The new sustainability framework will be posted here shortly.

If you would like more information on the draft guides, upcoming the Delegate Assembly, or sustainability framework please send email to govtaffairs@planning.org. We always welcome ideas for future policy guide development.

Draft Water Policy Guide

Draft Freight Policy Guide

Adopted Policies