APA-bashing is a favorite pasttime of many Cyburbians. Still, we continue to pay or dues, attend conferences, read Planning magazine, and take advantage of their other services. It can't be all bad, can it?
What do you think is good about the APA? In my opinion:
National conferences. Not just the fantastic venues, receptions, parties, and organization, but also the mobile workshops, presentations and seminars. For a niche profession like urban planning, the APA puts on one hell of a show. The cost to attend is rising, but I think it's well worth it, especially for planners working in less progressive regions, and newbie planners that haven't had much exposure to planning practice outside of their backyard.
Membership services. Never had a problem with them. Okay, one problem, but I forgot what it was, and they seemed to work hard on their end to resolve it.
Planners Press. Really high-quality publications, written in plain English. Sure, the books tend to be a bit pricey, but considering the small press runs, its understandable. The Small Town Planning Handbook will never be a bestseller like The DaVinci Code, so you can expect that it's going to cost a bit more.
PAS Reports. Again, expensive, but very well written, and relevant to day-to-day planning practice.
Zoning Practice. Not as expensive as PAS Reports, but still quite relevant to planners in the field.