Embedded Planning Movement Gains Traction

Jonathan Pacheco Bell chronicles the growth of a movement he created.

1 minute read

May 24, 2019, 5:00 AM PDT

By wadams92101

Urban Careers

Not like that. | Shutterstock

Embedded Planning is a new twist on "inclusive and equitable planning" that emphasizes planners’ presence in the field, and direct action to address community issues. In an American Planning Association (APA) op-ed titled "We Cannot Plan from Our Desks," Jonathan Pacheco Bell, an urban planner in South Central Los Angeles, advocated more field-based planning. He coined the term “Embedded Planning.” Bell advocates impromptu interaction with community members in the field. He argues that "town halls" and community group meetings tend to "attract and prioritize the loudest voices in the room" and that online outreach efforts reach only those with internet skills and access, thus minimizing the input from marginalized populations. Embedded Planning bridges that divide by situating the planner's day-to-day work on the street level.

Since the publication of the op-ed, the idea went viral, especially in university planning programs. Students are now leading the push for Embedded Planning. For more information, see the source article. 

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