The Association of Polish Cities is the oldest Polish organisation of local governments dating back to the times when Poland was regaining its independence in the inter-war period. Its traditions from that era are very rich. In 1917–1939 the Association was actively involved in legislative lobbying as well as economic and cultural promotion of cities. It was also involved in publishing and training as well as broad experience sharing. In addition, it cooperated with similar organisations from other countries.

After the Second World War the Association could no longer operate. However, immediately after the first free local elections after the war (27 May 1990) an initiative was put forward to revive it. Within a few months councils of nearly 60 cities decided to join it and in January 1991 Poznań, the statutory seat of the Association, hosted its Reconstitution Congress.

Since 1990 the Association of Polish Cities has featured prominently in the most recent history of the revived local self-government in Poland. It is the biggest organisation of this type in Poland, representing 353 cities inhabited by over 79% of the country’s urban population. The APC is an association of cities seeking to support the idea of local government as well as to bring about economic and socio-cultural development of Polish cities.