Update on APA International Activities

October 5, 2018

By Jeff Soule

The American Planning Association (APA) has been taking the lead in Global Planners Network over the last two years. Now the Canadian Institute of Planners/L’institut canadien des urbanistes will assume that role for the upcoming two years.

Global Planners Network meets by phone on a bimonthly basis to discuss each organization’s activities and identify common areas of cooperation such as Climate Change Action.

Global Climate Action Summit

At the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September, APA joined ICOMOS and others to host a workshop on the role of planners in climate change. APA is one of the founders of Planners for Climate Action. “Planners for Climate Action” (P4CA) is a “cooperative initiative” under the UNFCCC’s Marrakesh Partnership for Global Climate Action. This new initiative will be a significant vehicle for knowledge sharing and exchange, for coordinating action and for realizing best practices in the implementation. It will bring together key associations of planning professionals, educators, and practitioners.

To help promote and expand awareness of the P4CA initiative, APA was pleased to join our friends at SPUR to co-host an event just before the Global Climate Action Summit. APA invited planners and planning advocates around the Bay Area to join the panel discussion that featured representatives from P4CA, the Bay Area, and ICOMOS.

Nancy Somerville, CEO of the American Society of Landscape Architects, was invited to provide comments before the floor was opened for questions. P4CA is participating in the upcoming American Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) annual conference in Buffalo with a panel scheduled in the program. While at the summit, I participated in the meeting of the recently-formed Climate Heritage Mobilization Network which promotes cooperation among the design fields with heritage and cultural conservation experts.

Shenzhen Officials Delegation

A special thank you to the APA members who recently hosted a delegation of 22 local officials from Shenzhen, China. They visited Boston and San Francisco and met with a variety of public and private planners to learn and present the plans for Shenzhen.

“We were honored to host the team from Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Planning & Land Supervision,” said Khalil Mogassabi of the Cambridge Community Development Department said. It is so great to have had this exchange of ideas and information about our cities’ respective planning agencies. We are glad to hear that you also enjoyed our meeting. We appreciated your presentation about Shenzhen — what an impressive and beautiful city!”

APA depends on members like Khalil to make this program effective.

Upcoming Activities

Upcoming activities for APA International include hosting a delegation from Shanghai in November 2018 in New York City and teaching comparative planning systems and global urbanization at the Singapore Institute of Planners annual training program.

Please contact me anytime at jsoule@planning.org.

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