Writing

Lafayette BART

Bay Area Transit Stations To Feature Local Writers

A contest in the San Francisco Bay Area will select 30 short stories that will be available at special vending kiosks at transit stations.

May 26, 2022 - Bloomberg CityLab

Public Meeting Speaker

The 'Garbage Language' of Planning

The language we use as planners can serve many purposes and often hinders good communication rather than fostering it.

March 16, 2020 - Strong Towns

Coffee Shop with Books

Where Have All the Writers Gone?

Aaron Renn identifies the negative effects of ongoing concentration of media professionals of the "writer" variety in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

April 24, 2016 - The Urbanophile

The Long and Short of Writing

Study after study highlights writing as a major skill that planning employers are looking for in new hires. Two specific kinds of writing seem most challenging to beginning planners.

October 8, 2012 - Ann Forsyth

Should I do a PhD in Planning?

In coming weeks doctoral applications in planning are due. Why apply? For professional planners, a PhD sometimes sounds interesting compared with doing a regular job in a municipality. Some designers remember studio professors who seemed to float into class, unprepared, for a few hours per week. Compared with the ups and downs of private design practice, this can seem quite appealing. Of course, some people genuinely like studying and research, want to make a contribution in that area, and have a flair for teaching.

January 5, 2011 - Ann Forsyth

Finding Information about Planning: What Do Faculty Do?

Planning students are often told to find good information. How to do that is becoming both simpler, due to various search engines and databases, and more complex, given the amount of information available.

May 31, 2010 - Ann Forsyth

Planning Papers and Reports: Some Tips for Students

For most planning programs in the U.S. this is the end of the semester. Having read literally hundreds of papers over the past few months I have reflected on the lessons of better papers for writing in planning.

May 25, 2010 - Ann Forsyth

Skills in Planning: Writing Content-Free Planning Documents

For many students graduate school is the time to learn how to write professional reports and memos. One of the skills many planning students seem eager to master is writing the content-free document. This kind of writing is a little tricky to do. Accordingly, in this last blog in my series on planning skills I provide tips on how to create sentences, paragraphs, and whole reports and PowerPoint presentations that convey the absolute minimum of important information. Titles Titles should never reveal the actual content of the report. This is the guideline I find easiest to follow myself.

May 26, 2009 - Ann Forsyth

Skills in Planning: Writing Literature Reviews

Terrorized by the literature is the title of a chapter of Howard Becker’s excellent book, Writing for Social Scientists (1986, Chicago). Whether through terror or misunderstanding, the literature review is one of the areas that students in planning find most confusing. While I have dealt with the literature review briefly in my blog on writing proposals, the tips below provide more detailed advice on how to compose a literature review and how to find important literature in the age of information overload. 

December 20, 2008 - Ann Forsyth

Communication: Online Advice about Writing for Planners

What do planners do? Last month I highlighted the findingsof several surveys of planners aiming to identify core skills for theworkplace. They highlight the importance of skills in communication,information analysis and synthesis, political savvy, and basic workplacecompetencies and attitudes. In all these surveys, however, the ability to writewell is at or near the top.

October 1, 2008 - Ann Forsyth

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

The Walkable City

Harvard GSD Executive Education

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

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.