Why Blog?

I am a “professional planner” by education (Master’s City/Regional Planning) and work experience. After graduate school I embarked on a varied career working in the public sector at town, county and regional levels, learning and gaining valuable on the job experiences  about transportation,  infrastructure, land use, zoning, comprehensive plans, community engagement, policy development, how government works and last but not least the political process.

I joined the American Planning Association (APA) to further my planner credentials and after meeting the experience requirements, I was certified as an AICP (American Institute of Certified Planners) – I took the test in 1986 and passed!

But, what is planning (called urban planning or city and regional planning)?architectural-design-architecture-asphalt-2356096 Pixels

The American Planning Association (APA) definition:

              • Is a dynamic profession that works to improve the welfare of people and their communities by creating more convenient, equitable, healthful, efficient and attractive places for present and future generations.
          • Enables civic leaders, businesses, and citizens to play a meaningful role in creating communities that enrich people’s lives.
          • Helps create communities that offer better choices for where and how people live.
          • Helps communities to envision their future.
          • Helps communities find the right balance of new development and essential services, environmental protection, and innovative change.

Change

My planning career changed direction (some say to the dark side) by the leaving the public sector and  working architect-architecture-build-1109541 Pixelsfor several midsize to large engineering/development firms. Now I was on the other side of the table, promoting and advocating for the same projects, where previously I had been the public agency planner writing staff reports recommending denial or approval.

These experiences provided  unique perspectives and so I thought a blog could educate my community, the public and elected officials about planning because I was the “expert”, I knew more than they did! But as I read and researched  blog content, reality hit me between the eyes – I really was not the expert. Planning, the economy  and many other things changed dramatically – and perhaps I hadn’t!public-hearing-source-google-images

The change in planning is manifested by ongoing controversy and conflict locally and around the country about how communities (places) have and are being developed. People don’t know what a planner is and what we do, are frustrated by growth/development issues and quite frankly the planning profession has let communities down. The status quo, the standard processes (that’s how we always do it!) I had learned long ago is no longer the process and solution for the ever-changing dynamics, with failing communities and economic disparities.

 So now my  intent for this blog is to provide a platform about relevant  planning and community development issues, trends, best practices and  then inform, educate and discuss how we can change our communities and the status quo.place june 11 2019

But  a community is really a place, each with unique attributes and context, encompassing the natural and built environments, economy and most important  people who live, play, work and contribute. Together these provide the sense of a place –   Placesense

What’s Next

So my journey continues, knowing I’m not the expert,  but with a passion to learn,  knowing that one size does not fit all, and that change is more effective and lasting from the bottom up – from the places we live, work and play. 

So let me know what you think – what topics should we talk about and  how often to post. Only by discussion and dialogue can we change our places! 

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