Emily Liu becomes first woman in Kentucky to be named into prestigious planning College of Fellows

March 03, 2022

Emily Liu, Director of Louisville Metro’s Office of Planning & Design Services, has achieved the planning profession’s highest honor by being named to the prestigious American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) College of Fellows. Liu is the first woman in Kentucky to receive this recognition, which honors her outstanding achievements in urban planning.

“We at Louisville Metro Government have long known that our city is lucky to have a professional like Emily Liu leading the Office of Planning & Design Services. As director, she has aided in the creation of our city’s new 20-year comprehensive plan, Plan 2040, began a multi-year equity review of our Land Development Code, and helped guide development through the pre-pandemic economic renaissance,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Congratulations to Director Liu on this immense honor!”

Liu has served as the city’s planning director since 2013 and has more than 25 years of planning experience. Prior to this position, she has worked for urban and suburban communities across three states focusing on long-range planning, current planning, zoning, and transportation planning.

She is a member of Leadership Louisville Center’s Bingham Fellows Class of 2022 and serves on several boards, including Louisville Metro Landmarks Commission, Downtown Review Overlay Committee, Louisville AAPI Advisory Committee, University of Louisville Planning Program Advisory Board, and the Kentucky Chapter of the American Planning Association Executive Committee.

In addition to being the first female from the state to join the College of Fellows, she is the fifth planner from Kentucky to do so.

Fellowship is granted to planners who have achieved certification through the American Planning Association’s professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and have achieved excellence in professional practice, teaching and mentoring, research, public and community service, and leadership. Invitations to join the College of Fellows come after a thorough nomination and review process, ensuring the candidate has had a positive, long-lasting impact on the planning profession.

“Individuals who make up the College of Fellows are the true leaders of the planning profession,” said past AICP President Valerie Hubbard, FAICP. “These individuals have made lasting contributions to the profession and have inspired generations of new planners. They are truly awe-inspiring.”

Liu is one of 53 inductees into this year’s College of Fellows. Inductions are done biennially. This year’s formal induction will take place during APA’s National Planning Conference in San Diego on Sunday, May 1, 2022.

APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning -- physical, economic, and social -- so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live.

The Office of Planning & Design Services within Louisville Forward oversees land use planning and design services and direct economic growth and physical development in a manner as to ensure the prosperity, health, safety, and general welfare of the community.

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