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Tips for Writing Better Planning Documents

Writing may not be the key focus for urban planners, but it is a necessary skill for better communicating with the public on important planning issues, writes Clement Lau, a Los Angeles County planner.
September 17, 2015, 10am PDT | melaniecj
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Ken Steif

While not all planners enjoy writing, the need to craft reports and other documents as part of the job make it a necessary skill to hone.

Clement Lau, a planner with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, posits that while not all of his colleagues will enjoy writing the way he does, sharpening their skills as a way to better communicate their plans for their projects to the community is necessary.

"In my opinion, two of the biggest ongoing challenges for planners are communicating clearly with the public and maintaining interest on important planning issues.  One way to tackle these challenges is to prepare thoughtful and articulate plans or reports that not only reflect the input of our constituents, but are also easy to read and understand."

Tips planners can incorporate to make their writing better include avoiding jargon, keeping paragraphs short, avoiding the passive voice, and removing extra words, according to Lau.

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Published on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 in UrbDeZine
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