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Thread: Worthwhile APA divisions

  1. #1
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Worthwhile APA divisions

    Okay, here's the short story: I paid my APA invoice without looking at it. It turns out that I'm in the Western Central Chapter (Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, etc.). I paid $25 dues to this regional chapter last year and got very little out of it. Since chapter dues are optional for international members, I am trying to get APA to credit me the $25 toward some other Division dues.

    Anyone out there finding any of the divisions worthwhile for the money? I'm leaning toward transportation, housing and community development, international or new urbanism. But I can probably be swayed if there are other good active divisions out there.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Sorry nerudite, I dont beleive that any of the divisions are worth the extra dues!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    The only division I've ever joined before was Small Town & Rural Planning.

    I was underwhelmed.
    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"

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ecofem's avatar
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    I also have not found any of the divisions worth the extra cashola.

  5. #5
    It seems like membership will get you a newsletter and an invite to a reception at the APA conference and not much else. Basically you get some articles that relate to that division.

    I wish that the APA website would be a free (to APA members) clearingouse of ideas, articles, and publications (in PDF format). Instead they nickel and dime you into bankrupcy with all of their fees for every little thing that they produce. You want to join a division, pay up. You want to read a Journal of The American Planning Association article from 3 years ago, get out your credit card. Want the latest legal updates? Land Use Law and Zoning Digest can help, but it'll cost you $315 a year. Want a 6 page article on a current topic in planning? 65 bucks a year for the Zoning News.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

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  6. #6
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    The Western Central Chapter was so useless to me... I mean, do I really want a newsletter describing the newest redevelopment in Laramie or what legislation will affect Idaho? Ummmm... not really.

    So almost anything is better. I already spent the $25... hopefully APA will honor the credit.

    Maybe the transportation one would be worth it.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Originally posted by Repo Man
    It seems like membership will get you a newsletter and an invite to a reception at the APA conference and not much else. Basically you get some articles that relate to that division.
    So what's in the GALIP newsletter?

    How to make the 'planners uniform' FABULOUS!

    Design review tips for gay and lesbian retirement communities

    Park design for hassle free cruising

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Originally posted by Chet
    So what's in the GALIP newsletter?

    How to make the 'planners uniform' FABULOUS!

    Design review tips for gay and lesbian retirement communities

    Park design for hassle free cruising
    rotflmfao....is their newsletter titled "Writings on the Bathhouse Wall."
    Annoyingly insensitive

  9. #9
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Originally posted by Repo Man
    I wish that the APA website would be a free (to APA members) clearingouse of ideas, articles, and publications (in PDF format). Instead they nickel and dime you into bankrupcy with all of their fees for every little thing that they produce.
    Ain't that the truth. The only real benefit I've looked forward to with APA membership is the conference but, due to the budget, my workplace has stopped paying for anyone but the director to go. I really don't feel like I've gotten my money's worth and have decided to not pay my dues and renew my membership this year.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian ecofem's avatar
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    Here's a (somewhat) related question:

    How many people are actually honest about their salary when they pay APA dues? Am I the only one who finds themselves in the following internal dialogue..... "Does 'salary' mean before or after taxes? hmmmm..... I'm saying AFTER."

    *check box*

  11. #11
    Originally posted by RichmondJake
    rotflmfao....is their newsletter titled "Writings on the Bathhouse Wall."
    Actually it is called the The Gayzette. The APA has a link on their site. Kind of clever name, but for 25 bucks a year I would want more than a newsletter that hasn't been updated since this past winter.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Originally posted by Repo Man
    Actually it is called the The Gayzette. The APA has a link on their site. Kind of clever name, but for 25 bucks a year I would want more than a newsletter that hasn't been updated since this past winter.
    OMG OMG I hit the newsletter topics 2 out of 3!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    After paying my own dues for APA, AICP, and state chapter,

    division dues are just not worth it for what you get back.
    Oddball
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  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    I think the whole things is a rip-off
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    The economic development division puts out a respectable newsletter. Small Town and Rural Planning? I can't remember the last time I received anything from them. The state chapter has had its peaks and valleys. I am hopeful that it is on the upswing. In general, though, I would agree with the statement that APA charges for everything and delivers very little in return. I belong to ULI for about the same amount of money, and the quality of Urban Land is far superior. The International Economic Development Council, again, about the same cost, delivers an electronic newsletter every week, a printed bulletin twice a month, and has several other services, as well as courses at reasonable prices. Why can't the APA deliver?

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    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    maybe we need to make a straight white male division to appease some... since gays, women, and blacks all have their own divisions...
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

    Renovating the '62 Metzendorf
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  17. #17
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Originally posted by Michael Stumpf
    The International Economic Development Council, again, about the same cost, delivers an electronic newsletter every week, a printed bulletin twice a month, and has several other services, as well as courses at reasonable prices. Why can't the APA deliver?
    Is the IEDC worth joining? How are their conferences? I received something in the mail about the Sept. conference, and wondered if it would be more worthwhile than the APA conferences I've attended.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Has anyone subscribed to APA's jobmart? You pay extra money but Its the same damn thing as their website!

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Originally posted by Mud Princess
    Is the IEDC worth joining? How are their conferences? I received something in the mail about the Sept. conference, and wondered if it would be more worthwhile than the APA conferences I've attended.
    I've taken several courses at $295-$395, plus travel. The price is good, but the quality is sometimes hit-or-miss. I found a couple of the core courses overly simple, but they are probably good for somebody new to economic development. The finance and redevelopment courses were excellent.

    I attended last year's conference in Oakland and generally enjoyed it. Unlike APA, which has 6-8 concurrent sessions, IEDC tends to favor large sessions with high-caliber speakers. Beyond that, the most valuable aspect was the opportunity to network, particularly with a handful of the national site consultants. I will be going to the conference this September in Cincinnati.

    www.iedconline.org

  20. #20
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Originally posted by Repo Man
    Want the latest legal updates? Land Use Law and Zoning Digest can help, but it'll cost you $315 a year. Want a 6 page article on a current topic in planning? 65 bucks a year for the Zoning News.
    I'd really like to know where the money goes. The salaries of APA employees in Chicago is quite low; I've seen the Webmaster position advertised at $30K a couple of years ago, and a PAS researcher position at the same $30K not too long ago. It's impossible to live in Chicago on that salary! Considering national conference fees, I don't think that's a loss.

    My guess ... a lot of pay for lawyers, who might do research and fact-checking for some APA publications, and for lobbyists in DC.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  21. #21
    Cyburbian geobandito's avatar
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    Moved from APA: not open to conservative planners?

    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    APA is getting out there in my opinion... Planning in China - what the heck is that all about? Sure its growing, opportunities there, and a need for it but why the "BIG" push through the "American" Planning Association??? Second, Gay & Lesbian planning??? GET A GRIP!!! I'm still waiting for Heterosexual Planning. WHAT THE HECK does sexuality have to do with planning. I'm afraid they missed the mark on these issues and I could go on. ..... Thinking about it, I guess I am to blame along with other APA members who don't speak up. Maybe its time to start pushing back???
    Quote Originally posted by Plan-it
    I do not see what issue there is for a group of people regardless if it is gay, women, african-americans, or christians to decide that they would like to expand their networking options within a larger organization. The only time groups like this even meet is during the annual conference. Not only that, but general membership dues are not going towards these groups. An individual has to pay extra money to join one of these networking venues. How is that interferring with your experience in APA if your dues are not even going to support it?
    Oh dear...

    First of all, Vlaude, it isn't "Gay and Lesbian Planning", it's "Gays and Lesbians in Planning." Not exactly the same thing. The division exists because there is some commonality among gays and lesbians in planning regarding challenges in the workplace and the group was established for exactly the same reasons as the divisions for females and African-Americans in planning. And there was a substantial amount of "pushing back" by folks who agree with you that took place when the division was first formed. There are always the classic retorts about why aren't there Straights in Planning or Whites in Planning divisions. And the classic response is that almost any professional planning situation you're in is predominantly white and straight (and largely male, too) already. People that fall outside of that norm sometimes have workplace issues related to that. The gay-women-black divisions exist so those things can be shared.

    Plan-It is absolutely right in saying that you aren't paying for it, so it's no waste of your APA dollars (which are just wasted elsewhere, of course). And you are perfectly welcome to try to establish Fisherpeople in Planning as an official division too and you can go through the same approval process GALIP did. APA does have certain standards you have to meet as far as projected membership, etc., and GALIP did not come into existence overnight without some hashing out of those issues. (Incidentally, one of the major concerns was that the membership numbers might be too low because people would be afraid to join and have their names visible to employers - an illustration of the primary "workplace issue" when you live in a country where many states still allow an employee to be fired for no other reason than that they're gay.)

    So, that said.... I was a member of GALIP for awhile and found it to be, like every other APA division I belonged to, a waste of money. Which goes further to prove that gay people are just like everyone else.
    Last edited by geobandito; 01 Aug 2006 at 6:55 PM.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian
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    Geobandito, same response... I understand... OK so I left the "in" out... It has NOTHING to do with planning, tell me how something you do in bed, etc. involves planning? Or how a relationship outside of work relates to APA. Come on it doesn't belong! If anyone needs encouragement maybe it is the White Male Convervative in planning, lol... This whole thing is absurd in my book.

    And then to add to this discussion since it was bumped over here, I agree for the fees given the APA does little to help on an informative basis, that is unless you are willing to dig more into your pockets. Yet they spend staff time and resources to promote this other CRAP! Sorry, I'm not the type to kick a dead horse... But I don't believe its dead yet...

  23. #23
    Cyburbian geobandito's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    Geobandito, same response... I understand... OK so I left the "in" out... It has NOTHING to do with planning, tell me how something you do in bed, etc. involves planning? Or how a relationship outside of work relates to APA. Come on it doesn't belong! If anyone needs encouragement maybe it is the White Male Convervative in planning, lol... This whole thing is absurd in my book.

    And then to add to this discussion since it was bumped over here, I agree for the fees given the APA does little to help on an informative basis, that is unless you are willing to dig more into your pockets. Yet they spend staff time and resources to promote this other CRAP! Sorry, I'm not the type to kick a dead horse... But I don't believe its dead yet...
    Yes, I see you got my point.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    Geobandito, same response... I understand... OK so I left the "in" out... It has NOTHING to do with planning, tell me how something you do in bed, etc. involves planning? Or how a relationship outside of work relates to APA. Come on it doesn't belong! If anyone needs encouragement maybe it is the White Male Convervative in planning, lol... This whole thing is absurd in my book.

    And then to add to this discussion since it was bumped over here, I agree for the fees given the APA does little to help on an informative basis, that is unless you are willing to dig more into your pockets. Yet they spend staff time and resources to promote this other CRAP! Sorry, I'm not the type to kick a dead horse... But I don't believe its dead yet...
    Our point here is that if you feel stongly enough that you want to network with other straight male conservatives (and there a a lot of them) in planning then by all means go for it. You can pay your additional dues to take care of the administrative part of the organization and go for it. You are part of a non-discriminated against majority. You do not have to worry about some of the issues that many minorities (women, african-americans, gays and lesbians, etc) have to. Why is it that because you do not like something it cannot exist, even when you are not paying for it!
    Satellite City Enabler

  25. #25
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Plan-it
    You do not have to worry about some of the issues that many minorities (women, african-americans, gays and lesbians, etc) have to. Why is it that because you do not like something it cannot exist, even when you are not paying for it!
    Well I disagree with you on the don't have to worry about some issues... Everybody has to deal with how they are dealt with based on appearance, yada, yada... My current employer was ribbed for not hiring a "non-white" employee as the replacement, but I'm not complaining. Think it that was reversed, not hiring a white employee, enough on that I think you get my point. We all can make issues about stuff (not sure white males with conservative tendancies are the norm in planning).

    I'm not saying it can't exist... Like I said they are free to start their own group, but it belongs no place in APA. I disagree with some of APA's stance on residential design and cul-de-sacs, and how they promote such designs. But there is some validity to the design and connectivity. So I do see the advantages and in many cases makes sense. That is a function of APA I do not agree with but can support since I see that as a function of APA. Just as the Economic Development Div, the City Planning & Management Div, the Housing & Comm. Development Div, etc... Sorry I just don't think APA should create a separate Division for such issues that aren't a major part of planning...

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