What is the Purpose of Planning?

After several years spent facing strong professional headwinds, former APA president Mitchell Silver is encouraged to see planners revitalizing the profession by embracing their roots.

"What is the purpose of planning? The answer can be found in the 20th-century zoning and planning acts and the planner’s code of ethics. Both served the profession for more than a century. Planning allows for the orderly growth and development of communities. Planners faithfully protect the public interest. Planners shall seek social justice by working to expand choice and opportunity for all. Planners are guardians of our common future and plan for the needs of present and future generations. Planning was intended to focus on 'place' and 'people.'”

In recent years, though, the profession was buffeted by diminished resources, criticism from traditional allies, and a broadening property rights movement. 

However, Silver contends that efforts initiated by the APA's leadership in 2011 to revitalize the planning profession are paying dividends. "Planners are discovering a renewed sense of purpose. Preparing for emerging trends, planning for people and making the economic case for planning are all gaining traction. Planners are forging new alliances with allied professionals."

"The 20th century gave planning its roots," he urges. "Now it’s time to soar."


Full Story: How Planning Got Its Groove Back

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