American Planning Association & Affiliated Organizations

Ms. Walz is active in the American Planning Association (APA) and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).  She was inducted into the College of Fellows of AICP in 2006, recognition that denotes individuals at the highest level of the profession.

Ms. Walz was President of the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA Texas) from 2001 to 2003.  As President, she represented Texas planners among the national leaders of the profession.  Her tenure as APA Texas President was marked by practical improvements, innovative research and effective collaboration.  The use of streamlined electronic agenda materials allowed APA Texas Board and Executive Committee meetings to be shorter and focused on important policy decisions.  A first-ever opinion survey of Texas voters gauged citizen attitudes statewide regarding planning and growth issues.  Seven ‘action teams’ of statewide leaders were convened to recommend ways for APA Texas to more effectively serve African-American, Hispanic and Asian communities and to relate to children, seniors, community and other professional organizations.  Ms. Walz and the President of the Texas Society of Architects initiated the Presidents’ Council, a group including the Texas Presidents of the American Planning Association, Texas Society of Architects, American Society of Landscape Architects, American Society of Civil Engineers, Texas Downtown Associations, Preservation Texas, the Urban Land Institute and the Council of Economic Development Professionals.

Ms. Walz was the Conference Chair for the APA Texas 2000 Conference, held in Dallas in November 2000.  This conference was highly successful, with approximately 700 participants, nationally-recognized speakers and over 70 workshops, tours and sessions; many attendees rated it “the best ever”.  Other past service with APA Texas includes terms as Chapter President-Elect, North Central Texas Section Director and member of the Educational Foundation.

Ms. Walz has served on a variety of organizational committees for the national APA organization. She served on the 2003 Nominating Committee for the American Planning Association, on multiple Nominating Committees for the Texas Chapter’s bi-annual FAICP Nominations and on the 2017 Nominating Committee for the American Institution of Certified Planners.  In addition, she is a past member of the AICP National Ethics Committee and the APA Values & Benefits of Planning Task Force, and chaired the ‘Green Infrastructure Sub-Task Force’ for APA’s national infrastructure initiative, Rebuilding America. She served on the Board of the APA Regional & Intergovernmental Planning Division from 2006 through 2014.

American Institute of Architects & Schools of Architecture

Ms. Walz is an Honorary Member of the Texas Society of Architects and an Honorary Member of AIA Dallas and AIA Fort Worth.  She served as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University of Texas at Arlington’s School of Architecture and of the Program Advisory Committee for the University of Texas at Arlington’s City and Regional Planning Program from 2008 through 2014. She was a member of the Advisory Council for the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture Foundation from 2004 to 2010.

Envision Central Texas

Envision Central Texas is the non-profit organization addressing growth in the five-county region centered on Austin, Texas.  The organization’s annual awards program recognizes outstanding projects that exemplify the principles contained in the “Envision Central Texas” document.

Ms. Walz served as a member of the jury for the 2007 Envision Central Texas awards program.  In 2008, Envision Central Texas invited Ms. Walz to chair the jury for the Envision Central Texas awards.  The jury of national leaders considered almost 50 applications and awarded recognition in five categories.

Greater Dallas Planning Council

Ms. Walz was President of the Greater Dallas Planning Council in 2004 and 2005. This civic organization provides a forum for discussion and an advocate of regional planning issues among civic leaders, design professionals and interested citizens.  A key activity underway as part of her presidency was the presentation of a highly-successful symposium series in fall 2004 focused on the issues of the Dallas area’s “First Ring Suburbs”.  Ms. Walz served on the Board of Directors through 2014.

Other Civic Organizations

Karen Walz is an Associate Member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a past member of the Advisory Board of the Urban Land Institute North Texas District Council, and a member of The Dallas Assembly. Ms. Walz is a past President of the Easton Place Homeowners’ Association.

Planners and Politics

Ms. Walz is featured in the Planners Press book, “Planners and Politics”, which profiles her career and her role in The Dallas Plan.