Urban Planning Associations - The Complete List

Explore Urban Planning Associations

An Overview of Urban Planning Associations

Urban Planning Associations are professional organisations that represent the urban planning within a region, country or state. They exist throughout the world in all continents.

Typically these organisation provide professional training programs (such as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Training), organise events and seminars, create and discuss topics trending within the urban planning profession. The Urban Planning Associations with a larger membership number, naturally also provide the most activities, professional development and educational material for its members.

Furthermore, some Urban Planning Associations award Professional Certificates that are highly regarded by employers in certain countries. Such certificates often provides an advantage to landing your dream job. Often interview candidates stand out if they have a professional planning certificate. Why? Because if shows that you are committed to your career, and have gained further knowledge than just your education. Moreover, certificates that are difficult to obtain and require experience makes you more valuable. Especially if Urban Planning Associations requires you to renew or ensure your certificate is up to date. 

While people commonly know about the American Planning Association (APA), Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), Canadian Planning Institute (CPI) and Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), many more exist. Perhaps you are not aware of their presence in your own country? We will take a look at the various associations globally and key information about these.

Urban Planning Associations List

North American Urban Planning Associations - Urban Planning

North America

Most of the key Urban Planning Associations in North America have origins back to Europe. However, North America takes the largest share of urban planners that are members of urban planning associations.

American Planning Association

The American Planning Association was founded in 1978, but its roots go back much further. The current Association formed in 1978 after merging the American Institute of Planners (established in 1917, but origins back to 1909) and the American Society of Planning Officials (established in 1934).

The Association has a total of 40,400 members, and is the largest planning national planning organisation in the world. It has 47 chapters across the US, almost one in each state.

The members include both Americans in America and overseas, and members coming from 90 countries around the world.

Canadian Planning Institute

The Canadian Planning Institute was established in 1919. The Institute has a approximately 7,500 members across the nation. The mission of the Institute is to “advance and raise the profile of Canadian professional planning, for our members in Canada and abroad, through leadership, advocacy, expertise, and education”.

Barbados Town & Country Planning Society

The Barbados Town & Country Planning Society was established in 1968 to advance promote “the study of land use planning and the provision of a forum for the development of informed public opinion on all planning matters for the improvement of the community as a whole”. (Barbados Town & Country Planning Society)

Belize Association of Planners

The Belize Association of Planners was established to “address relevant planning and development issues in Belize by working in partnership with the public and private sector and civil society organizations, and the people of Belize through research, education, advocacy. (Belize Association of Planners)

Jamaican Institute of Planners

The Jamaican Institute of Planners was established in 1974 with the goal of enhancing the current standards of the planning profession, education and professional development of planners within Jamaica.

Planner’s Association of Dominica

The Planner’s Association of Dominica was established to promote and develop urban planning in Dominica. 

St Lucia Institute of Land Use Planners

The St Lucia Institute of Land Use Planners was established to promote and develop the urban planning practice in St Lucia. 

South American Urban Planning Associations - Urban Planning

South America

In the recent years Urban Planning Associations have been surfacing in South America. These are typically recently formed as part of a reforms and the need to create better places for people to live, work and play.

Brazilian Society of Urbanism

The Brazilian Society of Urbanism was founded in 2003 by two graduate urbanists.

Initially the organisation was created as a forum for discussion and sharing of issues related to the city and urbanism. However, a professional organisation representing the planning profession was important, and thus it was institutionalised. Therefore today, the oganisation promotes the development and consolidation of Brazilian urbanism as an independent but interdisciplinary scientific and professional field. Actvities and dialougue with other related professions is an important part of their work to resolve issues and urban planning matters.

Guatemala Association of Urban-Territorial Planners

The Guatemala Association of Urban-Territorial Planners was founded in 2010.

The Association includes professional experts involved in different areas of urban and regional planning. It aims to create a national level debate about the importance of developing and management of sustainable cities and territories.

The key objectives it is working towards, includes:

  • Building sustainable cities and territories from a social, economic and environmental point of view.
  • Raise awareness and engage with the general public and organisations to find solutions to urban and rural issues.
  • Create an orderly model for land management, with an institutional, participatory and transparent management framework.
  • Organise interdisciplinary dialogues at different scales to advance urban planning.

Mexico Foropolis – Association of professionals related to the planning and management of cities and territory

The Mexico Foropolis was founded in 2010. 

The Association promotes public participation in planning processes, and preparation, monitoring and evaluation of public policy, projects and other urban planning related.

The key objectives the association was founded upon includes:

  • Establish permanent forum for debate, innovation and proposals to influence planning, development and land management of the urban and rural areas.
  • Develop leadership skills and influence policy-making.
  • Contribute its members through education, training, outreach, advice, debate and management of projects.
  • Cooperate and exchange knowledge with national and global urban planning associations and organisations worldwide.

Peru Institute of Urbanism and Planning

The Peru Institute of Urbanism and Planning was founded in 1944 by Fernando Belaúnde, Luis Dórich, Carlos Morales and Luis Ortiz de Zevallos.

The Association core mission is to promote and strenghten the urban planning profession in Peru. It promotes the profession to academic institutions in order to research and develop new methods and techniques within urban planning.

Peru Institute of Urbanism and Planning

The Peru Institute of Urbanism and Planning was founded in 1944 by Fernando Belaúnde, Luis Dórich, Carlos Morales and Luis Ortiz de Zevallos.

The Association core mission is to promote and strenghten the urban planning profession in Peru. It promotes the profession to academic institutions in order to research and develop new methods and techniques within urban planning.

European Urban Planning Associations - Urban Planning

Europe

Europe has some of the oldest Urban Planning Associations in the world. Much of the early history within the planning profession started in Europe. Thus, it is natural that we find a large number of Urban Planning Associations on this continent.

Belgian Chamber of Urban Planners (Chambre des Urbanistes de Belgique)

The Belgian Chamber of Urban Planners was founded in 1962. The Belgian Chamber is protecting, guiding and promoting urban planners in Belgia, which profession is yet to be recognized by the government. While the almost 200 members are working to obtain recognition, they also provide academic training and organise planning events in combination with the European Council of Spatial Planners.

Czech Republic Association for Urbanism and Spatial Planning

The Czech Republic Association for Urbanism and Spatial Planning was founded in 1990. It currently has approximately 250 members.

The ultimate goal of the Association is to create a broader involvement of urbanism and spatial planning in the social context, to increase the professional level of urban planners and the quality of their work, and for sharing ideas and experiences.

Croatian Association of Urban Planners

The Croatian Association of Urban Planners was founded in 2008. It currently has 21 member companies with more than 300 employees. In total these develop more around 350 urban development plans every year.

Cyprus Association of Town Planners

The Cyprus Association of Town Planners has less than 100 members and face similar problems as Malta in the recognition of the urban planning profession.

Estonian Association of Planners

The Estonian Association of Planners was founded in 2002. It has approximately 100 members, of which half are active. 

The mission of the Association is to:

  • Develop and spread best planning practice, to ensure holistic planning in Estonia
  • Exchange experiences and information between disciplines dealing with planning at different levels
  • Create a network and communication plattform for planners to organize and discuss, learn and hold planning event.

French Society of Urban Planners

The French Society of Urban Planners was founded in 1911 by Alfred Agache among others. It has approximately 300 members, but the French Professional Qualification Office for Urban Planners (separated as two entities in 2011) has around 1,000 members.

The organisation is committed to:

  • Advance human life in society with more and fair participation, and create efficient, pleasant and safe cities.
  • Debate on the evolution of cities, regions, populations and the activities within them.
  • Organise activities, training and professional development of the urban planning profession
  • Promote the ethical dimension of urban planning and sustainable development.

Greek Association of Urban Planners

The Greek Association of Urban Planners was founded in 1981. It has approximately 100 members, and works to spread awareness and provide continous education for the urban planning profession.

Hungarian Society for Urban Planning

The Hungarian Society for Urban Planning was founded in 1966. It has approximately 200 members today. The mission of the organisation is to promote and support the diverse professional disciplines within urban planning. As a result, they aim to make the practice as urban planners as efficient and effective as possible.

Irish Planning Institute

The Irish Planning Institute was founded in 1975. It is the only planning association in Ireland for planners involved in physical, spatial or environmental planning both on the Island, and for Irish planners overseas. The association has about 700 members in total.

Italian National Institute of Urban Planning

The Italian National Institute of Urban Planning was founded in 1930. It has approximately 1,000 members in total.

The Institute was founded with the aim of promoting urban planning and development studies, and provide best planning principles. Therefore it carries out extensive scientific and disciplinary dissemination in various fields of interest in urban planning, and continous updates and renewal of urban planning techniques. Moreover, the dissemination of a social culture and activities around the city, the territory, the environment and cultural heritage is a core priority. This is well aligned with the massive cultural heritage located on the Italian peninsula.

Italian Association of Urban Planners, Territorial and Environmental Planners

The Italian Association of Urban Planners, Territorial and Environmental Planners was founded in 1977. Today, it has about 100 members.

The Association was formed to strengthen urban planners to overcome challenges faced when transforming and creating future scenarios for cities and territories. Furthermore, in doing so they take the history, cultural and social aspects into consideration for existing and new residents.

Its core mission is to:

  • Promote the urban planning profession.
  • Work towards its legal recognition.
  • Professioal development and training of urban planners.
  • Promote initiatives that stirs debate on policies, national, regional and local issues concerning planning.

Malta Chamber of Planners

The Malta Chamber of Planners is promoting the planning profession in Malta. Currently the profession is not recognised by the Parliament of Malta. However, the Malta Chamber of Planners has done great efforts in progressing and working towards recognition of the planning profession.

Norwegian Forum for Municipal Planning

The Norwegian Forum for Municipal Planning was founded in 1946. The organisation is Norway’s largest public employer organisation, with associations across many professions. The Forum specific for municipal planning has approximately 600 members across Norway. 

The Forum for Municipal Planning was created to promote better municipal planning and professional development. It provides personal membership for employees in municipalities, counties/states and other companies involved in municipal planning.

Norwegian Housing and City Planning Association

The Norwegian Housing and City Planning Association was founded in 1913. Currently it has around 750 members across the country.

The Association was created for everyone engaged or interested in city planning, and works towards better planning and promotes the importance of planning. It discusses all elements of planning with focus on broad interdisciplinary work, regardless of political contradictions and professional boundaries.

They play a key role as the voice for the planning profession and inspiration for Norwegian planning. The Association creates debate about housing, environment, rural and urban planning, development patterns, land use codes and regulations. 

Portuguese Association of Urban Planners

The Portuguese Association of Urban Planners can be traced back to 1983. The organisation used to consist of 3 different associations, which merged into one in 2014. The three included Portugese Territory Planners Association (APPLA) since 1993, Professional Association of Portugese Urban Planners (APROURB) since 2020, and Association of Portugese Urban Planners (SPU) since 1983. Currently it has around 230 members across the country.

The objectives of the Association is to work towards honour the urban planning profession in various ways:

  • Professionally by supporting the qualification of its members and the key role they play in society.
  • Socially by promoting a planning culture that safeguards compliance with established principles and rules.
  • Academically by conducting urban planning training, assessing their practical needs and techniques.
  • Research by challenging planners with concrete themes and issues they need to justify based on technical-scientific framework reasoning.
  • Networking by strengthening their networks with other related organizations, both nationally and internationally.
  • Legal by creating policy and regulations that promote more sustainable, participatory, transparent and equitable spatial planning.

Royal Town Planning Institute (UK)

The Royal Town Planning Institute was founded in 1914 by Thomas Adams (also a key contributor and founding member of the Canadian Institute for Planners and American Planning Association).

The Institute is viewed as a key planning institution in many commonwealth countries. The have a total of 25,000 members of which 1,400 are located in 80 countries around the world.

Serbian Town Planners Association

The Serbian Town Planners Association was founded in 1955. 

The core goal of the Association of Urban Planners of Serbia is the development of urban and spatial activities, professional development, the evolvement of the Urban Planning Academy as well as the continuous improvement of its own status and reputation in the country.

Slovakian Association for Urbanism and Spatial Planning

The Slovakian Association for Urbanism and Spatial Planning was founded in 1992. It has around 30 members.

The Association brings together members and other related disciplines interested in meeting and discussing problems related to urban planning, landscaping and the environment. Seminars and meetings are held to discuss and solve issues and legislation within the field.

Town and Spatial Planning Association of Slovenia

The Town and Spatial Planning Association of Slovenia was founded in 1997. It has around 50 members.

The Association is a voluntary, independent, non-profit urban planning association. It was established for urban planners who seek to socialise, exchanging experiences and gain professional information within the fields of urbanism and spatial planning.

Spanish Association of Technical Town Planners 

The Spanish Association of Technical Town Planners was founded in 1981. It has around 250 members.

The Association serves as a forum for debating current problems within urban plannning. This provides a forum for analysing urbanism, as well as to serve as an informative channel for members of all disciplines within the scope national or international urban trends and issues.

Swiss Association of Spatial Planners

The Swiss Association of Spatial Planners was founded in 2000, and promotes and provides professional training of the planning profession in Switzerland.

Originally the association was composed of 3 separate planning organisations (Federation of Swiss Planners (BSP), Professional Association of Settlement Planners (BVS) and Association of Spatial Planners (VRN). However, in 2000 the three associations merged into the Swiss Association of Spatial Planers, and now has around 1,000 members.

Australian and New Zealand Urban Planning Associations - Urban Planning

Oceania

Urban Planning Associations in Oceania has come about at a similar time, due to the nature and closeness of Australia and New Zealand. However, there are a number of countries that do not have any Urban Planning Associations today.

Planning Institute of Australia

The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) was founded in 1951. It’s core objective is to promote professional education, communication and personal development. The institute plays a key role in supporting and guiding Australian urban planners with creating better communities.

The Institute has a little more than 5,300 members, of which 250 are located overseas.

New Zealand Planning Institute

The New Zealand Planning Institute was established in 1949 as the key organisation empowering and promoting the planning profession in New Zealand. 

New Zealand Planning Institute has a total of 11 branches located in New Zealand and also abroad. Currently the institute has more than 2,000 members.

African Urban Planning Associations - Urban Planning

AFRICA

Africa has advanced quite remarkably with good help from international organisations and supporting bodies. Therefore we can find a number of urban planning associations on the continent that are advancing the professional education and the way planning is conducted. 

Town and Country Planners Association of Kenya

The Town and Country Planners Association of Kenya was established to promote “professional development, education, public awareness,sustainable development and the protection and conservation of the built and natural environment.” (Town and Country Planners Association of Kenya)

Ghana Institute of Town Planners

The Ghana Institute of Town Planners was established in 1969 and has since promoted and advocated for planning, organised events and networking opportunities, training and publisised planning related news.

Malawi Institute of Physical Planners

The Malawi Institute of Physical Planners was established in to enhance the urban planning profession and support in governmental planning efforts.

Town Planning Association of Mauritius

The Town Planning Association of Mauritius was established to “maintain community interest through education and research in relation to land use planning and urban design”.

Namibia Institute of Town and Regional Planners

The Namibia Institute of Town and Regional Planners was established in 1986. The core mission of the planning institute is to (1) promote the science and art of town and regional planning. (2) Uphold, promote and protect the character and interests of the profession. (3) Initiate and watch over legislation that affect the profession (4) Promote education and research in town and regional planning. (5) Provide inputs into broader national developmental issues.

Nigerian Institute of Town Planners

The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners was established in 1966. The Institute have become one of the leading Urban Planning communities in Africa with thousands of members. The Institute’s mission summed up is to build a Nigeria that resembles their dreams, their ultimate priority.

South African Council for Planners

The South African Council for Planners was established in 2002 when the Planning Profession Act was released. However, the history can be traced back to 1944 when the Royal Town Planning Institute (UK) established its first overseas branch in South Africa. Just 10 year later, in 1954, the South African Institute of Town and Regional Planners was founded, and is the prede 

Tanzania Institute of Rural Development Planning

The Tanzania Institute of Rural Development Planning was established in 1980 to promote and provide training, research and consultancy services for planners.

Trinidad and Tobago Society of Planners

The Trinidad and Tobago Society of Planners was established in 1975 a few years after the Town and Country Planning Act was enacted in 1969. The organisation’s mission is to promote the “spatial, sustainable and inclusive planning principles as an essential means of efficiently allocating public and private resources and sustaining vital communities”.

Zambia Institute of Planners

The Zambia Institute of Planners was established in 2011. It came as a result of the Urban and Regional Planners Act enacted in 2011, to regulate the urban planning profession in Zambia.

Zimbabwe Institute of Regional and Urban Planners

The Zimbabwe Institute of Regional and Urban Planners was established in 1980. It is the sole representative urban planning organisation that works towards enhancing the profession in the country.

Asian Urban Planning Associations - Urban Planning

ASIA

While Urban Planning Associations have been established later than many western countries, they have just been as important in promoting the profession and cooperating with the government is key urban planning matters. 

Bangladesh Institute of Planners

The Bangladesh Institute of Planners was established in 1974 to advance Regional, Urban and Rural Planning across the country.

China Urban Planning Society

The China Urban Planning Society was established in 1956 in the city of Beijing. It is regarded as one of the five largest planning organisations in the world.

The Urban Planning Society plays a unique role with its innovative contribution and development of the urban planning profession, support with scientific decision-making for the government, and promoting international exchange among disciplines.

Hong Kong Institute of Planners

The Hong Kong Institute of Planners was established in 1978. Today, it has about 800 members. The key objectives of the institute includes to: 

  • Promote well-designed solutions to development and the environment in Hong Kong.
  • Raise the status of and safeguard the town planning profession and those engaged in it.
  • Promote research, education and community’s awareness of town planning.
  • Provide adequate professional competence through the Institute’s membership.
  • Promote outreach to other institutes and associations with similar objectives.

Institute of Town Planners India

The Institute of Town Planners India was established in 1947 with the mission of advancing  (1) “the study of town planning, civic design and kindred subjects and of the sciences and arts as applied to those subjects, (2) promote planned, economic, scientific and artistic development of towns, cities and rural areas, and (3) promote the general interests of those engaged in the practice in town and country planning.” 

Institute of Town Planners Sri Lanka

The Institute of Town Planners Sri Lanka was established in 1986 with the goal of enhancing the Town Planning Profession in Sri Lanka, and be updated about global trends and developments within planning. The Institute plays a direct and indirect role in governmental matters related to urban and rural planning.

City Planning Institute of Japan

The City Planning Institute of Japan was established in 1951 with the goal of enhancing the profession and promoting research into the science and technology of urban and regional planning. The institute functions as an organ working for the public interest with support from the Ministry of Education and Science.

Today it has 6 branches in different cities in Japan with a total of more than 5,000 members.

Korea Planning Association

The Korea Planning Association (KPA) was established in 1959 with the goal of advancing the urban planning profession in South Korea. Since its founding the association has focused on urban planning legislation and public policy. Due to its efforts it is regarded as Korea’s most influential authority on legislation and public policy, and play a key role in supporting the local, provincial and national government. 

Korea Planning Association has become a significant global leading planning organisation with more than 60 years of history and 7,000 members growing steadily. 

Malaysian Institute of Planners

The Malaysian Institute of Planners was established in 1972 with the mission “to promote the science and art of Town Planning for the benefit of the public.” (Malaysian Institute of Planners)

Taiwan Institute of Urban Planning

The Taiwan Institute of Urban Planning was established in 1968 with the mission educate urban planning professionals, foster talent in urban planners, and assist in the developing and shaping of the urban planning industry.

The Taiwan Institute of Urban Planning has more than 1,000 members and is regarded as a highly influential academic research group in the Taiwanese urban planning industry.

Singapore Institute of Planners

The Singapore Institute of Planners was established in 1971. The Institute’s mission  and dedication is “towards the advancement of sustainable urban and regional planning with a view to create better communities and environments.”

Arab Urban Planning Associations - Middle East Urban Planning

MIDDLE EAST

Urban Planning Associations are not commonly found in the Middle East today. But with the recognition it has, it is just a matter of time before these come about.

Emirates Urban Planning Association

The Emirates Urban Planning Association was just established in 2020. Their website is currently under development, but will go live soon on Planning.ae. (More details to follow once it goes live).

Israel Planners Association

The Israel Planners Association was established in 1965. The Association is the sole professional non-governmental organisation recognized by the Ministry of Interior in Israel.

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