California Northern Section
The Northern Section was formed in the 1950s as one of the three original sections of APA California. APA California now has eight sections, and the Northern Section is the largest with over 1,400 members. The Northern Section encompasses a diverse geographic area covering the coastal areas from the Oregon border to Monterey Bay and includes all nine counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The American Planning Association California Chapter has a long proud history. It is the professional association that represents California urban planners and related practitioners. Its origin dates back to 1933 with the formation of the California Planners Institute. The present APA California Chapter was formalized as a professional organization in 1947 with the merger of the California Planners Institute and American Institute of Planners. APA California now has over 4,500 members. Read more about our history at APA California Celebrates 60 Years of Accomplishments by Betty Croly, FAICP, Chapter Historian and Steven A. Preston, FAICP.
What is Planning?
Urban planning or city and regional planning, is a dynamic profession that works to improve the welfare of people and their communities by creating more equitable, healthful, efficient, and attractive places for present and future generations.
History of APA California
Learn more about Protecting the History of Planning in California, and the Chapter Historian Program.
Northern Section Archives
Northern Section’s PEN Honor Award Recipients
The Planner Emeritus Network (PEN) represents a body of long-tenured members of APA who are available to provide knowledge of the profession as it has matured in California.
Each year, the Section Director, Section Historian, and an appointed subcommittee of the Board nominates Section members for a special PEN Honor Award recognition. Persons receiving these awards are selected for an outstanding contribution to the profession or for a significant accomplishment that enhanced the recognition and value of planning. Past PEN Honor Award Recipients from the Northern Section include:
- 2021 – Elizabeth (Libby) Tyler, FAICP
- 2020 – None awarded to Northern Section members
- 2019 – David Early, AICP
- 2018 – Tom Jacobson, FAICP; and Dan Marks, AICP
- 2017 – Hing Wong, AICP
- 2016 – Steve Piasecki, AICP
- 2015 – Hanson Hom, AICP
- 2014 – Joseph Horwedel, AICP; Mike Moore; and Eileen Whitty, AICP
- 2013 – Linda Dalton, FAICP; Barry Miller, FAICP; Pete Parkinson, AICP; and Donald Weden
- 2012 – Earl Bossard, PhD, AICP; Anne Cronin Moore; Barbara Kautz, FAICP; and Leon Pirofalo, AICP (posthumously)
- 2011 – Alec Bash, AICP; Elaine Costello, FAICP; and Alex Hinds
- 2010 – Dan Iacofano, PhD, FAICP; Naphtali Knox, FAICP; Joan Lamphier; and Paul Sedway, FAICP
- 2009 – Dean Macris, FAICP; Marjorie Macris, FAICP; and Donald Rothblatt, FAICP
- 2008 – Don Bradley, PhD, AICP; Jeanette Dinwiddie-Moore, FAICP; and Wayne Goldberg, AICP
- 2007 – Vivian Kahn, FAICP
- 2002 – 2006 None awarded to Northern Section members
- 2001 – Larz Anderson; and Nadya Andrews, AICP
- 2000 – Ken Norwood
- 1999 – John Hirten, FAICP
- 1998 – Betty Croly, FAICP
Great Places in America Designees from the Northern Section
APA National’s Great Places in America Program celebrates neighborhoods, streets, and public spaces of exemplary character, quality, and planning. Places are selected annually and represent the gold standard in terms of having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow. More information on the APA website. Past designees from the Northern Section include:
- Uptown, Oakland – 2014 Great Neighborhood
- Chinatown, San Francisco – 2013 Great Neighborhood
- Northbrae, Berkeley – 2011 Great Neighborhood
- Ferry Building, San Francisco – 2010 Great Public Space
- North Beach, San Francisco – 2007 Great Neighborhood
For a complete list of all designees to date, click here to See a list of the Great Places in America by state.
Great Places in California program
- 2019 – Lake Merritt Park Master Plan + Implementation (Oakland, CA)
- 2018 – Todos Santos Plaza “150 Years as the Heart of Concord”; and Mount Umunhum (San José, CA)
- 2017 – The City of Lafayette (Lafayette, CA)