Planning is often considered a discipline of disciplines. Any professional planner has had that struggle when someone asks “So what do you do?” To say you “plan cities” just doesn’t seem enough, yet how do you begin to explain land use, comprehensive planning, design regulations, or NIMBYs? Do you talk about working for a city and convincing elected officials of the necessary planning actions, lest they think you’re a politician? Do you mention capital improvement plans and public works budgeting, lest they think you’re an accountant? As planners, we face this struggle because the profession is so vast. Planning a city involves handling all the elements that make up a physical location, including a broad range of professions and disciplines.
With planning so extensive; however, the sources for new ideas, new concepts, and new ways of thinking about the city or the profession are endless. The professions with nothing to say about urban & regional planning are few and far between, while the possibilities for new inspiration in planning efforts seem endless.
In this series of blogs, we will explore the unusual, unexpected, and underutilized connections between planning and various professions and hobbies. Considering how bizarre connections can be made to interesting topics can help planners identify new ways of thinking about the city and create new ideas to tackle planning issues in the future. More importantly though, planning should be fun. Through this blog, we will explore some of the fun, interesting applications of planning to the world around us.