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  • Jena Skinner, AICP

National Community Planning Month

Hug a planner today!

Well, it's National Community Planning Month! Instead of giving a personal opinion of planning life, I am just going to copy and paste in something I simply agree with (from the APA website).


2019 National Community Planning Month - Key Messages

National Community Planning Month is a time to highlight the important role of

planning in our communities. Planning can be summed up as comprehensive,

community-focused choices that enhance the spaces where people live, work, and play.

While many people may not realize it, planning has a significant impact on their day-to-day

life. From where they live, to how they commute, to the type of home they live in, planning

plays a vital role in a person’s life and well-being.


Planning helps create access and opportunity for all. Through planning, strategic

investments in innovation and infrastructure can boost the economy and strengthen

communities.


Planners help create communities of lasting value. Planning helps leverage public and

private funds that lead to business growth, job creation, robust infrastructure, and

economically resilient communities.


Planners are skilled at balancing the varied interests and viewpoints that emerge

as a community plans its future. Planners consider what is best for the entire community

– senior citizens, workers, children, people living with disabilities, business owners, and

elected officials. How do they arrive at these community-wide decisions? Through

conversations with residents and thoughtful, inclusive outreach to community stakeholders.


Planners work for the greater good. Planners work with professionals from different

fields such as public health, recreation, and engineering to make communities safer,

stronger, healthier, and more just. Planning does not stop at a geographic border.


Communities are served best when planners take a broader viewpoint, encompassing

regional and statewide perspectives. This is especially critical for infrastructure projects,

which are most successful when planned at a regional scale. Taking a regional focus ensures the infrastructure system will benefit those well beyond the immediate location of the

project.


Planners have the unique expertise to comprehensively address the impacts of

today’s actions on tomorrow’s communities. With a comprehensive big-picture

perspective, planners are uniquely positioned to evaluate how decisions about the built

environment, including transportation networks, building location and scale, and parks and

green space, impact communities. When guided and informed by good planning, these

decisions make communities safer, more resilient, healthier, more prosperous, and more

equitable.

More than 15,000 planners have earned their professional certification, and I am one of them (since 2003 whoop whoop!). AICP-certified planners pledge to uphold high standards of practice, commit to a code of ethics and professional conduct, and keep their skills sharp and up to date by pursuing advanced professional education.

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