American Planning Association, Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter Records

Collection ID: 
Acc. 450
5 linear feet
Collecting Area: 




             These are the 1969-1980 records of the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). The American Planning Association resulted from the 1978 merger between the American Institute of Planners (AIP), founded in 1917, and the American Society of Planning Officials (ASPO), established in 1934. Prior to the merger, the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter was the Philadelphia regional chapter of the American Institute of Planners.
             The American Institute of Planners’ Philadelphia Chapter represented city and regional planners, and was active in creating connections between related planning organizations in the Philadelphia area. The organization was involved in legal advocacy for responsible municipal planning on both the chapter and national levels. Examples of other activities include creating opportunities for student involvement in the local chapter, and participation in the planning of Philadelphia’s bicentennial celebration. A significant function of AIP was the development of standards for the certification of planners. Along with the merger of AIP and ASPO to form APA, the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) emerged as the organization’s educational institute. The AICP continues to certify planners who meet specific educational and professional criteria, and who pass certification examinations.
            Shortly after the formation of the APA, the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter reorganized to become the Pennsylvania Planning Association, Southeast Section. The Pennsylvania Planning Association is now a statewide chapter comprised of six local sections. Its members are involved in planning issues at both the state and local levels. The PPA has a current total membership of 2,900 throughout the state. The six sections are organized along geographic lines, including the Central, Lehigh Valley, Northeast, Northwest, Pittsburgh Regional, and Southeast Sections.
            In 2003 the APA had 46 regional chapters and 17 divisions devoted to national and local planning interests. The national headquarters of the American Planning Association is located in Washington, DC, and houses AICP and the policy and public information departments. The research, publications, conference, education, membership, and marketing departments and council programs (chapter, division and student services) are housed in Chicago.
            The APA publishes a monthly magazine titled Zoning News, and a monthly newsletter named The Journal of the American Planning Association in addition to a quarterly journal titled Land Use Law & Zoning Digest, and a quarterly newsletter named The Commissioner for Planning Officials. They publish other professional materials including 700 book titles produced by their Planners Press. The organization holds a National Planning Conference annually that brings together planning commissioners, planners, and students for five days of networking and workshops.


            The American Planning Association Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter Records, 1969-1980, document the activities of the group that in 1969 was the Philadelphia Regional Chapter of the American Institute of Planners (AIP), but became a chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) following the 1978 merger of the AIP with the American Society of Planning Officials (ASPO). The most basic division of the collection is into series for the AIP Philadelphia Regional Chapter, the national AIP, the APA Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter, the national APA, and the American Institute for Certified Planners (AICP), a subgroup of the national APA.
            The first series, and the largest, consists of records from the AIP Philadelphia Regional Chapter, 1969-1978, which comprise about two-thirds of the total collection. The largest sub series for this group is Administration. This sub series consists mainly of the minutes of the monthly meetings of the chapter’s Executive Committee from 1969 to 1978, but also includes smaller numbers of agendas, by-laws, and election materials. The Administration sub series also contains one 1978 file of material concerning the impending merger of the AIP with the ASPO and opposition to the merger. The Administration sub series documents the chapter’s efforts to develop programs, participate in planning programs initiated by the national organization, certify new members by examination, and respond to planning issues in the greater Philadelphia region. These focuses are further illuminated by the next largest sub series, Correspondence, which consists primarily of correspondence of chapter presidents and secretaries with national organization staff and chapter members, and smaller series concerning various committees and the chapter’s finances, involvement in regional legal issues, relationships with other organizations, programs, and publications. Individual files of particular interest include: an amicus curiae brief filed by the chapter in 1976 on behalf of a Buckingham Township planning process in the Legal Issues sub series; a file on the Center for Planning, Design and Construction (an interdisciplinary organization that the chapter helped establish in 1972) in the Other Organizations sub series; and the Publications sub series of a few chapter newsletters from between 1969 and 1975 which provide snapshots of chapter news, positions taken by the chapter on regional issues, and committee projects.
            The series of records from the AIP national organization, 1972-1978, is considerably smaller, and consists of documents either sent by the national organization to chapters or produced in the context of work with the chapters. The small sub series in this series, dealing with the national organization’s Board of Governors, the Chapter Presidents’ Council, correspondence, departments of the national organization, financial statements, membership, policy, and a few publications, are useful insofar as they document the interaction of the Philadelphia Regional Chapter with its national organization and the degree to which local priorities lined up with national ones.
            With the 1978 merger of the AIP and the ASPO, the Philadelphia Regional Chapter of the AIP became a chapter of the new APA. Due to the short amount of time between the merger and the close of the collection in 1980, this is another small series, but it really represents a continuation of the large AIP Philadelphia Regional Chapter series, which forms the bulk of the collection. Through the agendas, by-laws, and minutes of the Administration sub series, these records demonstrate the continuing activity of the chapter, rounded out by smaller sub series of correspondence, financial records, documents related to legal issues, documents concerning other organizations, program documents, and publications. Of special note, though consisting of only one file each, are the Legal Issues sub series, which contains materials related to the chapter’s advocacy on behalf of a 1980 state waste disposal bill, and the Publications sub series, which contains a 1980 newsletter that was the first joint newsletter of the Pennsylvania Planning Association and the three Pennsylvania chapters of the APA and that looked ahead to cooperative efforts and a possible merger.
             As with the records from the AIP era, this collection also includes a small series of records pertaining primarily to the national APA. The records in this series consist of documents of the Chapter Presidents’ Council received by the Eastern Pennsylvania chapter, as well as a few policy documents and some blank membership applications. As with the APA chapter records, all date between 1978, the year of the merger, and 1980, when the collection closes. They give some sense of the early priorities of the APA following the merger.
            The American Institute of Certified Planners, a subgroup of the APA consisting of members who met the educational and professional requirements for certification, is represented by the smallest series of the collection. This small group of papers again dates between 1978 and 1980, and the very small sub series of agendas, correspondence, and a reading list only hint at the organization’s concerns and functions.


Series I. American Institute of Planners--Philadelphia
  1. Administration
  2. Committees
  3. Correspondence
  4. Financial
  5. Legal Issues
  6. Other Organizations
  7. Programs
  8. Publications

Series II. American Institute of Planners--National
  1. Correspondence
  2. Departments
  3. Financial
  4. Membership
  5. Policies
  6. Publications

Series III. American Planning Association--Local
  1. Correspondence
  2. Financial
  3. Legal Issues
  4. Other Organizations
  5. Programs and Activities
  6. Publications

Series IV. American Planning Association--National
  1. History
  2. Policies
  3. Publications

Series V. American Planning Association--American Institute of Certified Planners
  1. Correspondence
  2. Other Organizations
  3. Publications
  4. Miscellaneous


Series I. American Institute of Planners--Philadelphia
            This series contains materials from the Philadelphia chapter of the AIP, the organization that combined with ASPO in 1978 to form the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the APA. All the materials in this series were created between 1969 and 1978.
            This series consists of eight sub series. The largest is the Administration sub series, which includes agendas for Executive Committee meetings, the bylaws of the organization, election information, inter-chapter relations, merger information, minutes of the executive committee meetings, membership information, personnel, sections of the organization (which is information pertaining to regional areas – most of the information here pertains to the Susquehanna section), and information on the student affairs of the organization. Of particular interest in this sub series is the information about the AIP-ASPO merger, which contains impassioned correspondence both for and against the merger, along with documents about its success. The bylaws are also particularly useful, as they describe the purpose and area served by the organization as well as many of the administrative details.
             The Committees sub series includes information by and about the various committees of the AIP-Philadelphia. These include: the Act 247 Committee, the Chapter Involvement in Local and Regional Issues Committee, the Education Committee, the Membership Committee, the Legislation and Policy Committee, the Planner-in-Charge Committee and the Women’s Rights Committee. Also included in this sub series are committee bylaws and the committee list for 1976. Of particular interest is the Women’s Rights committee folder, which includes a survey on the number of women planners vs. men planners, and correspondence regarding equal rights for women planners.
             The Correspondence sub series, which is quite substantial, includes: general incoming and outgoing correspondence, and correspondence from individuals in the offices of the Chapter President and the Chapter Secretary. The Financial sub series includes auditor’s reports, budgets, budget and expense reports, and treasurer’s reports. The Legal Issues sub series includes information about two cases: the Buckingham Township case and the Byler case. Both include briefs filed by the AIP amicus curiae. The Buckingham Township Case was filed in protest of the court’s refusal to apply an ordinance, which the chapter felt undermined the municipal land-planning process in Buckingham Township.
             The Other Organizations sub series includes information about organizations the AIP interacted with: the American Institute of Architects, the Center for Planning, Design, and Construction (which the AIP Philadelphia helped to found), and the Pennsylvania Planning Organization. The Programs sub series contains information about conferences and program activities. The Publications sub series contains newsletters, newspaper clippings, and public relations information by and about the AIP Philadelphia.

Series II. AIP--National
This series contains materials issuing from the national association of the AIP. The materials include committee reports on a membership questionnaire regarding licensing and registration requirements and the proposed merger of the AIP and ASPO; minutes of the Chapter Presidents’ Council Meetings (1972-1977); newsletters issued by the Chapter Presidents’ Council; council by-laws; regional reports; memoranda on dues restructuring; proposals for a department of planning and law with the API; correspondence among members of various technical departments, including Environmental Planning and Transportation Planning; budget proposals and reports; and financial statements. The series also contains a membership packet and samples of several AIP brochures and publications.

Series III. APA--Local
This series concerns the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA), reflecting the activities of the chapter under the new national organization that was formed from the 1978 merger of the AIP and ASPO. The materials include announcements of awards programs; budget reports and other correspondence on budgetary matters; chapter by-laws; minutes of the executive committee; statements from candidates for the board of directors; financial statements; and a small amount of general correspondence. The legislative reports include the APA's formal testimony on Solid Waste Management, given at hearings of the Pennsylvania Senate Committee on Environmental Resources.

Series IV APA--National
           The bulk of the papers in this series have to do with the Chapter Presidents’ Council (1978-1980). The items include memoranda, minutes, conference reports, and correspondence. The series also includes statements of candidacy for the national Board of Directors; agendas and reports of the Board of Directors; memoranda on proposed legislative actions to be taken by the APA and membership brochures and forms.
           Of particular interest are numerous issues of the "Leadership Letter," a newsletter containing reports on administrative and legislative matters of interest to APA members, and the "agenda and notes" from the March 1979 APA meeting, the appendices to which report in great detail on the administrative structure of the newly formed association.

Series V APA--American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)
The AICP is a sub-group of the APA. The series, though limited in quantity, includes agendas, budgets, committee nominations and appointments, form letters detailing the requirements for membership in the AICP, correspondence regarding the written examination, and letters of congratulations to those who have passed the examination. The series also includes members' reactions to a draft statement on goals and objectives of the AICP; a reading list compiled by the AICP to assist members in professional development; and a draft report/discussion paper on "Dimensions of Comprehensiveness in Urban Planning Practice," prepared by Lawrence D. Mann of the AICP.






1 Agendas, Executive Committee 1972-1974
2 Agendas, Executive Committee 1976-1978
3 Bylaws, n.d.
4 Elections 1973-1977
5 Inter-Chapter Relation 1975-1976
6 Merger Information 1977-1978
7 Minutes, Executive Committee 1969
8 Minutes, Executive Committee 1970
9 Minutes, Executive Committee 1971
10 Minutes, Executive Committee 1972
11 Minutes, Executive Committee 1972, April-Dec.



1 Minutes, Executive Committee 1972, August- December
2 Minutes, Executive Committee 1972, November- December
3 Minutes, Executive Committee 1973, January- April
4 Minutes, Executive Committee 1973, May-August
5 Minutes, Executive Committee 1973, September- December
6 Minutes, Executive Committee 1974
7 Minutes, Executive Committee 1975
8 Minutes, Executive Committee 1976
9 Minutes, Executive Committee 1977
10 Minutes, Executive Committee 1978



N.B. Folders 1, 2 and 3 are restricted access
1 Membership [restricted access] 1972-1978
2 Personnel [restricted access] 1969-1976
3 Personnel [restricted access] 1977-1978
4 Sections 1973-1976
5 Student Affairs


6 Act 247 1976
7 Bylaws 1973-1977
8 Chapter Involvement 1976 in Local and Regional Issues
9 Committee List 1976
10 Education 1973-1976
11 Legislation and Policy 1974, 1976
12 Membership Committee 1975-1977
13 Nominations 1970-1973
14 Planner-in-charge December 1975
15 Women’s Rights 1975



1 General, incoming 1972-1973
2 General, outgoing 1973-1974
3 Chapter President 1970-1973
4 Chapter President 1974
5 Chapter President 1975
6 Chapter President 1977- Apr.1978
7 Chapter President May-Dec. 1978
8 Chapter Secretary, incoming Jan.-May 1970
9 Chapter Secretary, incoming June 1970-1971



1 Chapter Secretary, incoming 1972
2 Chapter Secretary, incoming January- May 1973
3 Chapter Secretary, incoming June-December 1973
4 Chapter Secretary, incoming 1974-1976
5 Chapter Secretary, outgoing 1970
6 Chapter Secretary, outgoing 1971-1973


7 Auditor’s Reports 1975
8 Budgets 1973, 1978
9 Budget and Expense Reports 1976
10 Budgets 1977
11 Treasurer’s Reports 1972-1975


Legal Issues

1 Buckinghouse Township Case, Briefs 1976
2 Buckinghouse Township Case, Correspondence 1976
3 Byler Case 1975-1976

Other Organizations

4 American Institute of Architects 1972
5 Center for Planning, Design, and Construction 1972
6 Pennsylvania Planning Association 1976


7 Conferences 1974-1975
8 Program Activities 1974, 1976


9 Misc. Literature
10 Newsletters 1969-1975
11 Newspaper clippings June 1976
12 Public relations 1975-1976



1 Board of Governors 1975-1976
2 Certification Committee 1977[-1978]
3 Chapter Presidents’ Council 1972-1976
4 Chapter Presidents’ Council 1977-1978
5 Correspondence, general 1975-1976


6 Environment 1974-1975
7 Transportation Planning 1975
8 Financial Statements 1976-1977
9 Membership 1973-1976
10 Philadelphia Regional Chapter 1975-1977 [?]
11 Policy Resolutions
12 Publications and Newsletters 1975-1976



Membership ballots 1979-1980

Box 9


1 Bylaws 1979
2 Executive Committee, minutes 1978-1980
3 Executive Committee, agendas 1978-1980
4 Elections (ballots) 1979-1980


5 General 1978-1980


6 Budgets and Financial statements 1978-1980

Legal Issues

7 Legislation 1979-1980

Other Organizations

8 Metropolitan Policy Club 1979

Programs and Activities

9 Awards Program 1979-1980
10 Conferences 1979-1980


11 Newsletters 1979


BOX 10

1 Board of Directors 1979
2 Chapter Presidents’ Council 1978
3 Chapter Presidents’ Council 1979
4 Chapter Presidents’ Council 1980
5 Membership Applications n.d.
6 Leadership Letters 1978-1980
7 Policy 1978-1980


BOX 10

8 Agendas 1978-1980
9 Correspondence 1978-1980
10 Form Letters n.d.
11 Reading List
12 Report on Urban Planning 1979