How Has COVID-19 Impacted Planners?

The pandemic has affected all of us in big and small ways. A park planner shares how his professional and personal lives have changed as a result of the coronavirus.

October 5, 2020, 9:00 AM PDT

By clementkhlau @clemusc


Erin Alexis Randolph / Shutterstock

COVID-19 has impacted how we live, work, and play. In this article, park planner Clement Lau shares how he has been affected, professionally and personally, by the pandemic.

Like most people, Lau was compelled to telework. Teleworking full-time initially meant that he no longer had a commute that involved the use of public transit and extensive walking which he enjoyed. Lau also discusses how the pandemic resulted in budget cuts, programs and positions being eliminated at his work, and temporary reassignment of colleagues to COVID-related efforts. In addition, the closure of certain park amenities like playgrounds and basketball courts have been especially challenging, because those are the very attractions that his family enjoys the most.

But things have not been all negative. Lau shares a few silver linings, which most of us can probably relate to: working from home offers some advantages and has not impacted productivity; being forced to stay inside has created more time to reflect, read, and write; and being forced to stay inside has also inspired a greater appreciation for nature and green spaces.

Lau concludes by offering a word of encouragement to planners and parks and recreation professionals to take care of ourselves and our loved ones and stay strong so that we can continue to serve communities to the best of our ability.

Thursday, October 1, 2020 in Parks & Rec Business

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

San Francisco Houses

‘Mega-Landlords’ Threaten Housing Stability for Renters

As institutional investors buy up a larger share of single-family homes, the families renting them are increasingly vulnerable to rent increases and eviction.

May 15, 2022 - The Hill

Downtown Dallas

Short-Term Rentals Vex Dallas City Council

Residents complain that vacation rentals exacerbate the city’s housing shortage and bring traffic and noise to residential neighborhoods, calling on the city to impose—and enforce—stricter regulations.

May 17 - The Dallas Morning News

Traffic Safety Advocates

Traffic Fatalities Set Records as Pandemic-Era Road Carnage Shows No Signs of Stopping

An estimated 42,915 people died in automobile crashes in 2021, according to recent federal data. The increasing fatalities continue a trend that began with the outset of the pandemic.

May 17 - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Driver Shortage Undercuts the Potential of L.A.’s Recent Bus System Redesign

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority implemented a complete overhaul of its bus system in three waves over the course of 2021. A shortage of drivers for the system has made it impossible to implement that vision.

May 17 - TransitCenter

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.