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History of the APA Hawai`i Chapter

Waikiki and Diamond HeadThe Hawai`i Chapter was founded in April 1962, shortly after Hawai`i's Statehood in 1959. Planning in Hawai`i predates this founding, as several national planning figures were already working in Hawai`i including Charles Mulford Robinson, Lewis Mumford, and Harland Bartholomew. Robinson envisioned Aloha Tower at the entrance of the Honolulu Harbor in 1906, Mumford wrote a report, Whither Honolulu?, for the city's Park Board, and Harland Bartholomew opened the first planning firm in Honolulu in 1947. The firm's local manager was Donald Wolbrink.

In its early years, the Hawai`i Chapter strove without success to take a unified position on several local issues including the future of Waikiki, and tried to educate the media and the public about what planners do. By the late 1970s, the Chapter adopted a set of bylaws for its operations and a standard format for its newsletter, then known as the "Hawai`i Chapter APA News." In 1982, the Chapter launched the annual Planning Student Essay Contest, raising funds from members and local firms to award cash prizes. Two years later, the Chapter revised its bylaws to enable non-professional planners to become members. By its 25th anniversary at Honolulu's Restaurant Row in 1987, the Chapter had 187 members. To raise funds for this event, the Chapter sold T-shirts, mugs and pins.

Waikiki BeachIn 1990, the Chapter prepared a Development Plan that was the impetus for a series of conferences and workshops over the next several years. Meetings were held on defining a sense of place, Honolulu's land use ordinance, Geographic Information Systems, the new urbanism, defense base conversion to civilian use, and community-based planning. In accordance with that Plan, the Chapter established neighbor-island liaisons in 1991, and revised its bylaws in 1992 to change the President's term of office from one to two years. In recent years, the Chapter has expanded its newsletter and enhanced its profile in the community. It has also become more active in taking positions on public issues, including those that affect the State's neighbor islands.

Today, the Hawai`i Chapter has approximately 270 members from various islands of the State of Hawai`i, and other U.S. states. Membership includes private and public sector planners, decision-makers, administrators, lawyers, architects, interest groups, land owners, developers, university professors, students, and other interested individuals.

Hawaii Chapter Leadership

Hawaii Chapter By-Laws (PDF 56KB)


The American Planning Association

The American Planning Association is organized to advance the art and science of planning and to foster the activity of planning - physical, economic, and social - at the local, regional, state, and national levels. The APA is a non-profit public interest and research organization representing 37,000 practicing planners, officials, and citizens involved with urban and rural planning issues.

Sixty-five percent of APA's members are employed by state and local government agencies. These members are involved, on a day-to-day basis, in formulating planning policies and preparing land use regulations. The objective of the Association is to encourage planning that will contribute to public well-being by developing communities and environments that meet the needs of people and of society more effectively.

The national headquarters in Chicago, houses the research, publications, conference, education, membership, and marketing departments, and leadership and council programs (chapter, division, and student services). Offices in Washington D.C., houses AICP and professional development, outreach and policy functions, including legislative affairs, and public information services.

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The American Institute of Certified Planners

The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is the APA's professional institute providing recognized leadership nationwide in the certification of professional planners, ethics, professional development, planning education, and the standards of planning practice.

To become a member of AICP, planners must pass a comprehensive, computer-based examination given nationwide twice each year. Applications for membership, which are available from the Chapter's Professional Development Officer, or on line at www.planning.org. Qualification for AICP membership requires membership in APA, a college education and a minimum of two years of professional planning experience.

There are currently about 70 AICP members in the Hawai`i Chapter. If you would like to take the AICP exam, or would like more information regarding AICP, contact Peter Flachsbart, AICP, the Chapter Professional Development Officer, at (808) 956-8684 phone, (808) 956-6870 (fax), or email him. He can also provide you with information on the AICP Exam Study Manual and on study sessions offered in Honolulu to prepare for the exam.

AICP Code of Ethics


AICP College of Fellows

Election to AICP College of Fellows is one of the highest honors that the AICP bestows upon a member. This honor is a recognition of the achievements of the planner as an individual, elevating the Fellow before the public and the profession as a model planner who has made significant contributions to planning and society.

Fellowship is granted to planners who have been members of AICP and have achieved excellence in professional practice, teaching and mentoring, research, public/community service, and leadership.

The Hawai`i Chapter is proud to have 11 members elected to the College of Fellows: James R. Bell, FAICP; David L. Callies, FAICP; Tom Dinell, FAICP; Henry Eng, FAICP; Mark Hastert, FAICP; Jacqueline A. Parnell, FAICP; Ralph Portmore, FAICP; Cheryl Soon, FAICP; John Whalen, FAICP; Byrnes Yamashita, FAICP; and George Atta, FAICP.

More information on the College of Fellows can be found by clicking here.

© 2014 APA Hawaii Chapter