Urban Planning (Town Planning) Associations & Organisations


Associations are made up of people who share similar interests, challenges and opportunities. Members of association have a purpose in common which they try to unitedly achieve. A Professional Association refers to a group of people belonging to the same profession who come together to form an organization. The creation of an association is meant to facilitate in achieving the common objectives, providing services and enhancing the careers of the professional members.

Benefits of Professional Associations

Professional associations play an important role in aggregating ideas, thoughts and efforts of its members. They guide and streamline the community by giving a common vision and goal to the profession. There are various other benefits that these associations offer to the profession, some of which are mentioned below.

  • Associations made for professionals help them by giving power to the individuals and credibility to the profession.
  • They give and identity and voice to the profession.
  • When members exchange their ideas and views through discussion and other means, they get enlightened by several points of view at the same time which leads to increase in knowledge and awareness.
  • Eventually, associations transform into powerhouse of professional expertise.
  • Associations generally, have a ‘code of conduct’ for its members which they are required to abide by. This helps in establishing discipline and order in the profession.

Planning Associations

Planning Associations

Just like other professions, various associations do exist across the globe in the field of Planning as well. The main idea of these associations is to serve the interest of Planning profession at large, within the country and outside. While people commonly know about Institute of Town Planners, India (ITPI), American Planning Association (APA), Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), many more exist. While several Planning associations are associated with specific countries, there are few which work at the global scale such as Commonwealth Association of Planners’ and International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP).

Apart from providing memberships to the Planning professionals, these organizations also provide professional training programs, organize timely events and seminars to discuss topics trending within the Planning profession.

Also Read: Planning Organisations and Associations


Much of the history of Planning profession started in Europe. Europe has some of the oldest and largest number of Planning Associations in the world.

Irish Planning Institute (IPI)

The Irish Planning Institute is a company limited by guarantee not having a share capital and registered in Ireland. It was founded in 1975 and it is the only professional body in the country which represents professional planners engaged in physical, spatial and environmental planning in Ireland and Irish planners practicing outside the country. Number of members of the council were decided to be 300 initially but the council was allowed to timely register an increase in the number of members.

Official website: https://www.ipi.ie/

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

In 1960, this institute ceased to be a limited company. Thereafter, it became a charity and then in 1970, a supplemental Royal Charter was granted. This is when the institute became the Royal Town Planning Institute. RTPI represents 25,000 planners both in UK and abroad as the leading membership body in the country for the planning profession. RTPI works closely with various bodies including government, influencing policy and legislation as well as developing supporting members.

Official website: https://www.rtpi.org.uk/

North America

North America comprises of the largest share of urban planners that are members of the planning associations. However, most of the renowned Planning Associations in North America have origins back to Europe.

American Planning Association (APA)

The American Planning Association was founded in 1978. The association has a total of 40,000 members from 90 countries and a total of 47 chapters throughout the United States. These members include both Americans in the country, overseas and members coming from 90 countries around the world. APA’s 22 divisions connect planners and other professionals who are passionate about a planning specialty or area of interest.

Official website: https://www.planning.org/

Canadian Planning Institute (CPI)

The Canadian Planning Institute was established in 1919 and works on behalf of over 7,500 planning professionals in the country. CIP advocates for planners nationally and internationally, and provides membership services that help planners advance in their careers. The Institute is a member-based organization with its management complemented by volunteers, who support and contribute to our activities on various levels.

Official website: https://cip-icu.ca/


Planning Associations in the countries belonging to Oceania region have come about at a similar time, due to the nature and closeness of the countries. However, there exists a number of countries which do not have such association till the date.

Planning Institute of Australia (PIA)

The Planning Institute of Australia was established in 1951. PIA is the national body representing planning and the planning profession. It currently represents approximately 5300 members nationally and internationally, and connects with more than 7500 planners annually. PIA is governed by a National Board of Directors and managed by a professional administration. It is a member-based organisation with its management complemented by volunteers.

Official website: https://www.planning.org.au/

New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI)

The New Zealand Planning Institute was founded in the year 1949 to empower and promote the planning profession in the country. NZPI possesses 11 branches both within New Zealand and overseas. The New Zealand Planning Institute Board is responsible for the governance of NZPI. The NZPI delivers training, networking opportunities, advocacy for its members, up to the minute planning news, accreditation of tertiary planning education in NZ and good practice guidance for the professionals of this field.

Official website: https://www.planning.org.nz/


Africa has made remarkable growth in advancing the professional education and the way planning is conducted with the help of assistance from international organisations and other supporting bodies.

Nigerian Institute of Town Planners

The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners was established in 1966. It has state chapters in the 36 states in Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory. The Institute was recognised as a corporate entity by its registration with the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs (now Corporate Affairs Commission). Further to strengthen the institute, the promulgation by the then Federal Military Government in 1988 later re-enacted as Urban and Regional Planning Law, 1992 and currently an Act of Parliament cited as CAP 431 LFN, 1990 and CAP T7 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 proved to be beneficial.

Official website: https://www.nitpng.org/


Institute of Town Planners India (ITPI)

The Institute of Town Planners India was established in 1947. The institute aims to promote the general interest of those engaged in the Planning profession; promote planned, economic, scientific and artistic development of towns, cities and rural areas; advance the study of town planning, civic design and kindred subjects and of the sciences and arts as applied to those subjects along with others.

Official website: http://www.itpi.org.in/

Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners (PIEP)

Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners was formally established in 1969 with the approval of its charter by the Securities and Exchange Commission. PIEP is a non-governmental, non-profit, professional organization who promotes, advances and raises the study, practice and development of environmental planning in the Philippines.

Official website: https://www.piep.org.ph/

Global Associations

Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP)

Commonwealth Association of Planners is a Scottish charity regulated by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). It represents professional planners from across the world and connects planners and promotes planning since its inception which began almost 50 years ago. CAP is a volunteer-based organisation, drawing support from our 27 member Institutes who in turn represent over 40,000 planners and allied professionals across the Commonwealth.

Official Website: https://www.commonwealth-planners.org/

International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP)

International Society of City and Regional Planners was founded in 1965. It is a global association of professional city and regional planners with over 700 experienced professionals from More than 85 countries worldwide. In 2016, the Society initiated the ISOCARP Institute as a research spin-off for generating and disseminating knowledge for better cities and territories.

Official website: https://isocarp.org/