APA Mission and Vision

Our Mission

The American Planning Association provides leadership in the development of vital communities by advocating excellence in planning, promoting education and citizen empowerment, and providing the tools and support necessary to meet the challenges of growth and change.

Our Vision

  • Maintain APA's preeminence in planning through innovative practice and by developing solutions to address the emerging issues that our communities, our members, and the Association will face in the 21st century.
  • Planning is embraced as an essential means of efficiently allocating public resources and sustaining vital communities.
  • APA members are leaders in initiatives regarding the economy, environment, and equity.
  • Communities have confidence in planning to guide decision making for future investments and achieve their aspirations through good planning.

This vision is an extension of our mission and is the basis for the goals and strategies set forth in the Development Plan. It is what defines us as planners. And, most importantly, it is the measure by which we want to be judged — both individually and as an organization.

Our Core Values

We are the leaders of a planning movement. We champion planning excellence that addresses economic, environmental, and equity issues, and we provide technical support for our Chapters, Divisions, and members.

  • All planners serve the public interest.
  • We value accountability and transparency in carrying out our duty as trusted advisors to the public we serve.
  • We are inclusive and believe that all people should enjoy equal opportunity.
  • We are committed to fairness, diversity, community engagement, choice, and collaboration in seeking solutions.
  • We provide and value public education and empowerment.
  • We collaborate closely with other professions to ensure the best outcomes for our communities and regions.
  • We work toward integrated and comprehensive planning solutions.
  • We are influential and visionary leaders working toward community and regional sustainability and resilience.
  • We reinforce our shared sense of purpose by highlighting the values reflected in our Articles of Incorporation, AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, and APA Ethical Principles.
  • We contribute to the development of, and respect for, our profession.

What Does APA Do?

As leaders of the planning movement, APA acts on many fronts.

  • We advocate for planning at the national level; support chapters', divisions', and members' efforts at the state and local levels; and file amicus briefs in selected court cases.
  • We promote good planning through vigorous public information and education programs.
  • We produce digital and print materials that describe the outcomes of good planning, educate the nation about planning, and reinforce the individual and collective efforts of APA members.
  • We assure excellence in the field — and raise the stature of the planning profession — by supporting the efforts of the Planning Accreditation Board and emphasizing the importance of AICP certification for practicing planners.
  • We develop accessible, affordable continuing education programs.
  • We support certified planners in their pursuit of certification maintenance.
  • We promote a diverse workforce by bringing employers and job seekers together through our job services.
  • We assure excellence in local decision making by offering training, information, and support to planning commissioners, elected officials, and engaged citizens.
  • We seek national and international partnerships to advance both the planning movement and principles of sustainability, inclusion, and nondiscrimination.
  • We address issues of social equity in our publications, host diversity forums, and provide a diversity portal on our website.
  • We work to attract and retain minority members so our membership will reflect the nation's diversity.
  • We enhance the state of planning knowledge by identifying and fulfilling a vigorous agenda of applied research.
  • We share research results with our subscribers, members, and, ultimately, the national community.