In many ways, the Great Recession has been a frightening time for planners. As development slowed, the flow of applications submitted for new development slowed from its torrent at the height of the housing boom to the trickle it is today. With the decline in applications came a decline in workload for public-sector planners working in current planning roles and a decline in revenue for the jurisdictions that employed them. The end result was hundreds of planners being laid off, and private-sector planning firms competing with one another for ever-decreasing shares of work from public- and private-sector clients.
You have heard it, or seen it, before. A developer comes in for a presubmittal meeting, and he is excited. He has the best project your city has ever seen, and, when all is said and done, he insists that the city will never be the same. And he’s right.