APA/AICP Development Plan 2004-2005

Obviously this isn't your father’s Development Plan. Going beyond mere lip service to the planning profession’s core values of inclusion and freedom from racial discrimination, this new plan explicitly defines a “vital community” as one that is “equally available to all people,” and one in which “quality, affordable housing is available to all people,” and “social, economic, and racial integration throughout the community is achieved.”

It gets serious about these goals when it talks about the strategy to build “a climate conducive to sound, inclusionary, non-discriminatory planning.” These and related statements are highlighted throughout like  this.

Hopefully this plan signals a new commitment on the part of APA/AICP to change the way planning is practiced in America: to make inclusion and freedom from racial discrimination the norm, rather than the exception. This plan seems to recognize that we’ve got a long way to go to make the sort of sound, ethical, inclusionary, and discrimination–free planning that APA/AICP has long advocated in its Policy Guides, PAS Reports, and Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct a reality throughout the land.

I am extremely proud of the APA Directors and AICP Commissioners who worked so diligently to shape this Development Plan. On behalf of all the AICP Commissioners, let me express our gratitude to new APA President Mary Kay Peck for conducting the most inclusive and open development plan process in recent memory. — Daniel Lauber, AICP President


APA/AICP Development Plan 2004-2005



Adopted by the APA Board of Directors on March 30, 2003

Mission Statement

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

Our Slogan

Making Great Communities Happen


We measure our success by the successes of our members and the communities they serve. Our vision is of a nation of vital communities, equally available to all people, where:

This vision is the basis of our mission, goals, and strategies. It is what defines us as planners. And, most importantly, it is the yardstick by which we want to be judged — both individually and as an organization.

We are the leaders of a planning movement. We champion good planning through direct public advocacy at the national level, through technical support for our chapters' efforts at the state level and division efforts at the national level, and through our amicus curiae committee's legal briefs in selected court cases. We advocate good planning through vigorous public information and education programs that include dissemination of materials to the media and aggressive use of our website. We develop print, audio, and video products to describe the outcomes of good planning, to educate the nation about planning, and to reinforce the collective and individual efforts of our members.

We assure excellence in the field through our continued support of the planning school accreditation process conducted by the Planning Accreditation Board and by continued emphasis on the importance of AICP certification for practicing professionals. These activities raise the quality, and thus the stature, of the profession. To help our professional members maintain their skills and respond to new challenges and opportunities, we develop a range of continuing education programs in accessible locations at affordable costs.

We assure excellence in decision making by assisting planning commissioners, elected officials, and engaged citizens with training, information, and support. We sponsor workshops and training sessions during our national and chapter conferences for our diverse audiences, and back those efforts with information from our national clearinghouse of training materials.

We seek national and international partnerships to advance the planning movement that builds communities of lasting value and advances the principles of sustainability, inclusion, and nondiscrimination.

We enhance the state of knowledge in our field by identifying and fulfilling a vigorous agenda of applied research. We share the results of that research with our subscribers and members and, ultimately, with the national community.

We approach 2004-2005 with a commitment to the growth of APA's membership and in recognition of the reality of the most significant challenge to the state and local government budgets since the Depression. In two years, we will be measured by how we handled these threats to both planning and our members, improvements in service to our members, threats to our own budget and by how we achieved growth of membership in targeted markets.

It is our belief that the strategic combination of elected leadership, staff, and members, working together to implement these strategies, will help us achieve the mission and vision to which we are committed in the face of these extraordinary challenges. This collaborative effort will also result in great success for APA and the vital communities we strive to support.

The Planning Movement

Goal 1. Tell the planning story and advocate laws and policies that support and sustain good planning at the local, state, and national levels.


1.1 Tell the planning story more effectively through the refinement and utilization of a detailed communications plan for the association.

1.2 Lead national and international coalitions that advocate effective and equitable planning.

1.3 Reach out more aggressively to elected and appointed officials, as well as to engaged citizens.

1.4 Advance APA's legislative priorities at the national and state levels, while coordinating technical reports with legislative initiatives and public information events.

1.5 Expand APA's online and other technical assistance to leadership, especially chapter legislative programs.

Goal 2. Pursue social and economic equity, and racial inclusion by advocating planning activities — social, economic, and physical — at all levels of government that effectively move America's communities toward a more just future.


2.1 Form partnerships and engage in activities that will assist in implementing this goal (e.g., the proposed Planning and Social Responsibility Symposium and collaboration with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning).

2.2 Assist members in fulfilling their obligations under the APA Ethical Principles of Planning and AICP Code of Ethics to provide pro bono services to disadvantaged communities, and report on these activities.

2.3 Develop programs, materials, continuing education offerings, and practices to support our members in advancing inclusiveness and diversity in their communities; and in building a climate conducive to sound, inclusionary, non-discriminatory planning.

2.4 Make social justice and advocacy for inclusionary planning part of our legislative agenda.

Our Members

Goal 3. Become more responsive to the needs of our members and earn members' allegiance by consistently improving products, services, and public policy leadership of an APA brand that reflects our vision and values.


3.1 Continue to assess and reposition all of our products and services so that resources are allocated to meet member needs more effectively.

3.2 Respond to the needs of our niche markets so that products and services better meet their expressed needs.

3.3 Engage a greater proportion of members in activities throughout the association.

3.4 Increase student membership and the membership of the New Professionals through targeted marketing and programming.

Goal 4. Provide high-quality, accessible, and affordable continuing education for all members.


4.1 Expand the variety of our continuing education products and services to meet the needs of diverse markets.

4.2 Develop new professional education programs through collaborative partnerships with other organizations and with constituent groups of APA, and by reviving the Planners Training Service.

4.3 Redesign or redirect continuing education initiatives to better serve appointed officials, elected officials, and engaged citizens.

4.4 Strengthen the ability of chapters to deliver quality, affordable continuing education at the local level.

Goal 5. Better serve minority members and better utilize the skills and interests of minority members.


5.1 Develop a defined strategy to increase minority membership throughout APA and its constituent bodies, increase educational opportunities and scholarships for minority students.

5.2 Recruit a greater proportion of minority planners to leadership positions, on committees and task forces, and on special projects.

5.3 Work with minority members and nonmembers in redesigning products and services to meet their needs more effectively.

Our Organization

Goal 6. Develop and deliver products and services so that APA is recognized as the premiere authority and source of planning information in America.


6.1 Incorporate our identity in all of our outreach, public information, marketing, and branding initiatives; through use of the association's communications plan.

6.2 Redesign and reposition APA's and AICP's numerous products and services to achieve a consistent message that tells the planning story more effectively.

6.3 Use Planning magazine, the national conference, chapter conferences, division activities, and APA's website to highlight the accomplishments of minority planners and successful initiatives in minority communities.

6.4 Honor planners and planning academics for their work in disadvantaged communities.

6.5 Highlight positive outcomes derived from the comprehensive outlook that planners alone bring to the process of addressing important community issues.

Goal 7. Grow the membership base of APA to increase its political, financial and operational efficiency, and effectiveness.


7.1 Require all operations and activities to relate directly to APA's mission, vision, and goals.

7.2 Identify under-served segments and develop programs to attract them.

7.3 Design a membership development program that encourages all members' involvement in and bonding to APA.

7.4 Promote AICP membership as the professional institute for planners, and promote AICP to consumers of planning.

7.5 Develop and implement a growth plan for the association.

7.6 Develop a short-range strategic plan that is linked to the budget to implement the Development Plan.

NOTE: The purpose of this biennial Development Plan (formerly known as the Organizational Development Plan or ODP) is to outline the new initiatives and leading priorities for the organization. The Development Plan & Budget Committee, established through the bylaws and chaired by the APA President-Elect, is responsible for recommending a plan to the Board for adoption. Each Development Plan covers a two-year period that coincides with APA/AICP’s 24-month budget. The Development Plan is a guide to help APA/AICP’s leaders formulate the association's budget. It is not a strategic plan for the association. Although the Development Plan is revised every two years, this version contains many of the same goals and strategies as the previous plan.