Will the Neil deGrasse Tyson of Planning Please Stand Up?

Do you have to be a “plannerd” to think planning is cool? Is there a planner alive who can bridge the divide between the mysteries of planning and general public interest? One writer dares to hope.
Sarah Elliot / Flickr

“How many well known Urban Planners can you name off the top of your head?” asks Patrick McDonnell.

“I’m an Urban Planner, and I can’t even name five. Not because I don’t know any, because urban planning is about as sexy as fountain maintenance — no offense to fountain maintenance workers.”

Inspired by Amanda Burden’s recent TED talk, as well as Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Ship of the Imagination” on the television show Cosmos, McDonnell makes an impassioned plea to spice up planning.

It’s not too big a stretch to imagine that people might find planning interesting, says McDonnell: “Urban Planners design cities for a living. We define how land is used. We take massive systems of people and create ways for them to use the city including everything from transportation, to living, to entertainment, to public spaces, to climate change, to food systems and everything that makes cities run. This shit is cool!”

Full Story: Why We Need A ‘Neil deGrasse Tyson’ of Urban Planning

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00