The national American Planning Association’s (APA) mission is to elevate and unite a diverse planning profession as it helps communities, their leaders and residents anticipate and navigate change. The professional organization formed through a merger between the American Institute of Planners (AIP) and the American Society of Planning Officials (ASPO) in 1978. CSUN is home to the records of the California Chapter of APA. The American Planning Association California Chapter Collection documents the administrative activities of the Chapter, as well as the broader history of planning in California in the 20th and early 21st centuries. The collection includes administrative files, planning publications and reports, and newsletters documenting the planning movement in California, as well as materials documenting California planning's ties to design and the environment and planning related legislation.
The early roots of the Chapter can be traced back to the California Planners Institute, which merged with the American Institute of Planners in 1947. California was the third state chapter established, forming the California Chapter of the American Institute of Planners (CCAIP). The addition of the California Chapter gave APA a national reach. CCAIP was later renamed the California Chapter of the American Planning Association (CCAPA) in 1978, and today is known as the American Planning Association, California Chapter (APACA).
In 1948 the Chapter was comprised of three sections: Central Section, Northern Section, and Southern Section. The Southern Section later became the Los Angeles Section, and three other Southern California sections were formed: San Diego Section, Orange Section, and Inland Empire Section. The Sacramento Valley Section spun off from Northern Section in 1970, and the Central Coast Section separated from the Central Section in 1978.
APA California's mission is to provide vision and leadership that fosters better planning for California; build public and political support for sound planning; and provide its members with the tools, services and support that advance the art and science of planning.
The California Chapter has several affiliate organizations, including the California Planning Foundation, the California Planning Roundtable, and the Planner Emeritus Network. The California Planning Foundation was established in 1970 for scholarship, training and guidance to the general public. The California Planning Roundtable was founded in 1980 as a "think tank" for creative solutions to California's problems. The California Chapter is the only state chapter with an organization of this kind. The Planner Emeritus Network was established in 1995 and represents a body of long-tenured APA members who are available to provide assistance to the Board and other APA California groups.