What's Good about Being an Urban Planner?

For urban planners, it’s easy to focus on the negatives of the job. Los Angeles County Planner Clement Lau reminds us of some of the positive trends in planning, especially in Los Angeles.

1 minute read

December 10, 2014, 9:00 AM PST

By melaniecj

Young Planners

worldwaterweek / Flickr

For Los Angeles area urban planners, the job is a glass half full. 

The positive trends and developments in planning for California’s largest city and county outweigh any drawbacks, opines Clement Lau, a parks and recreation planner for Los Angeles County.

The positives for planners include collaborative relationships with constituents, vastly improving public transit infrastructure, and indispensable tools like GIS that assist planners in their work.

He goes on to cite data about the rise of planning in popular culture as other reasons why the picture is rosy for planners.

“I am grateful that I have a career, not just a job, as I have been given opportunities to learn, grow, and contribute ever since I joined the County of Los Angeles as an entry-level planner.  Specifically, over the years, I have been able to gain knowledge and experience in a wide range of planning issues including parks and recreation, land use and zoning, coastal and environmental protection, and housing and community development.”

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 in UrbDeZine

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Rendering of wildlife crossing over 101 freeway in Los Angeles County.

World's Largest Wildlife Overpass In the Works in Los Angeles County

Caltrans will soon close half of the 101 Freeway in order to continue construction of the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing near Agoura Hills in Los Angeles County.

April 15, 2024 - LAist

Workers putting down asphalt on road.

U.S. Supreme Court: California's Impact Fees May Violate Takings Clause

A California property owner took El Dorado County to state court after paying a traffic impact fee he felt was exorbitant. He lost in trial court, appellate court, and the California Supreme Court denied review. Then the U.S. Supreme Court acted.

April 18, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

Sunset view of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota skyline.

Minneapolis as a Model for Housing Affordability

Through a combination of policies, the city has managed to limit the severity of the nationwide housing crisis.

21 minutes ago - Brown Political Review

Row of yellow Pacers Bikeshare bikes at station in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana.

Indy Bikeshare System Turns 10, Expands to E-Bikes

Pacers Bikeshare riders logged over 700,000 rides since the system launched in 2014.

1 hour ago - Indy Today

Aeriel view of white sheep grazing on green grass between rows of solar panels.

Coming Soon to Ohio: The Largest Agrivoltaic Farm in the US

The ambitious 6,000-acre project will combine an 800-watt solar farm with crop and livestock production.

2 hours ago - Columbus Dispatch

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

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.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.