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APA "the big tent" of planning is 25 & 100 years old

el Guapo

Happy 25th Anniversary APA!

On October 1, 2003, APA turned 25, and we’re well on our way to our 100th anniversary in 2009. How will we age so fast?

First, let's celebrate our 25th anniversary as the American Planning Association. On October 1, 1978, APA emerged from the consolidation of two predecessor organizations, the American Institute of Planners and the American Society of Planning Officials. Both memberships and boards had overwhelmingly approved the consolidation earlier in the year and decided to create a single association "...organized exclusively for charitable, educational, literary and scientific purposes to advance the art and science of planning and the activity of planning -- physical, economic and social -- at the local, regional, state and national levels..." Within APA would be a professional institute -- the American Institute of Certified Planners -- that would be responsible for the national certification of professional planners.

This model of a single organization -- a "big tent"* for everyone interested in planning, with an internal institute to advance the interests of the profession -- was a unique model at the time and has attracted great interest from around the world. The planning movement has been well served by APA. We have grown from an organization of 13,000 to more than 33,000 national members; more than 14,000 of us are certified planners. We'll be celebrating all year, and we especially hope that you will join your colleagues at our National Planning Conference in Washington, D.C., next April for the real birthday bash.

Now, how are we about to turn 100? While our two predecessor organizations were incorporated in 1917 and 1934, we actually trace our roots back to 1909 and the first National Conference on City Planning in Washington, D.C. From that and subsequent conferences, the organized planning movement emerged, first through our two predecessor organizations and, since 1978, through APA. So come to Washington to celebrate our 25th anniversary next April but get ready to commemorate our centennial in 2009!

W. Paul Farmer, AICP
Executive Director

*It goes without saying this does not include conservatives. {EG}

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Now tell me again how having a couple of conferences in 1909 means that APA is 100 years old? I wonder if they got nothing for their dues back then, too?