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Thread: Why does the APA exist?

  1. #1
         
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    Why does the APA exist?

    Why does the American Planning Association exist?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  3. #3
    To take our money and bestow the honorable "AICP" designation on us (which gets them even more money)

    ...oh and to sell us books.

    Besides that, I haven't figured out what else they do.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  4. #4
    Cyburbian DCBuff's avatar
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    To provide us with a convention to attend, so we can have a trip with beer and food that our cities/companies pay for only once in a blue moon.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    There is certainly a reason for any professional organization to exist. Educating its members, raising the visability of the profession, providing certification for practicioners, and lobbying for related legislation are three key reasons. The problem with APA is that it provides so little direct return to its members.

    Education? Certainly, but it is almost always in addition to the cost of membership and it is too often, as in the case of the annual conference, beyond the budget of its members.

    Visability? APA lacks in this category, as most of the new ideas in the profession have come from elsewhere, inclusing CNU and ULI. APA is a tag-along in this category, rather than a leader.

    Certification? Practice a few years and take a test. Pass and you are in for life. Most other certifications require continued education or other activity that shows sustained professional competence. Most also have a more rigorous admissions process.

    Legislation? I have not noticed that APA does much in this arena, other than occassionally voicing an opinion on issues such as the recent decision on eminent domain. Some of the state chapters get involved in state legislation, but it is hit-or-miss.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #6
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    To help the Chinese improve their planning practices...

    I would really like to see an APA audit so I can see where my money is really going. They charge for everything in addition to dues. PAS is a sore spot with me because several other professional organizations offer similar services for free--Texas Municipal League being one of them.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman
    To help the Chinese improve their planning practices...
    Durned you, 'Burb Fixer, ya beat me to it!

    APA really has no relevancy in our office -- we have not been a member for years (although I miss the JobMart even if salaries elsewhere are distressingly inflated).
    Je suis Charlie

  8. #8
          jhboyle's avatar
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    ok, so along the lines of this post, has anyone benifited from belonging to the APA, and i mean truely benifited, increase in wages ect...


    also... is there another professional orginization to join...

    the reason I ask is that I am considering joining the GIS Professionals instead

  9. #9
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    To provide a discout on books that is not quite as good as the Barn's and Noble membership.

    In reality, I am sure that they do many good things. I just can't think of any.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jhboyle
    ok, so along the lines of this post, has anyone benifited from belonging to the APA, and i mean truely benifited, increase in wages ect...
    I found that AICP made me more attractive to employers, but not just APA. Other than that I find the local APA chapters to be much more helpful then the national one.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian MD Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal

    Legislation? I have not noticed that APA does much in this arena, other than occassionally voicing an opinion on issues such as the recent decision on eminent domain. Some of the state chapters get involved in state legislation, but it is hit-or-miss.
    I thought it was funny a while back when APA had to weigh in with some sort of condemnation of the remarks Trent Lott made about Strom Thurmond. Like everybody else in the country wasn't saying the same thing. Way to get out front on an issue APA!
    He's a planner, he's a dreamer, he's a sordid little schemer,
    Seems to think that money grows on trees . . .

  12. #12
    While I do enjoy for purely egotistical reasons having the AICP after my name and whatever prestige that provides, I must admit I haven't gotten a lot out of APA since I've been in the profession. Although, it was fun in 2003 when we hosted the national conference here in Denver.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Boru's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker
    Durned you, 'Burb Fixer, ya beat me to it!

    APA really has no relevancy in our office -- we have not been a member for years (although I miss the JobMart even if salaries elsewhere are distressingly inflated).

    Regarding the top point, why get angry over this? Would you rather stand by and see a country of over one billion people live in 2nd world conditions in terms of built environment. How does this harm you? Unless your lack of mandarin or cantonese was all that was stopping you moving to practice in the Peoples Republic of China I realise this is off-topic.

    Out version of the APA, the IPI has similar relevancy. It should have continual professional development (like the architects associations) but it doesnt. It aint very hard to get into (do the time, pay the money) and it does nothing to address the general perception in Ireland that planners are a secretive bunch whose only joy is to stop people building one-off houses in the countryside.

    Thats why we are as popular as tax inspectors in certain areas.

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