The 9 Habits of Highly Effective Planning Students

I have a prepared short speech about what urban planning is because so many new people I meet have no idea what it is. “Is it civil engineering?” “Not really…” “Oh, so it’s government administration?” “Not quite…” One guy got it on the spot after only minimal aforementioned stammers at a party I recently went to: “So, you’re the link/problem solver between social and economic issues for communities?” [With some liberties taken to clarify.] YES! Perfect. But I digress…
Certainly not all students are created equal, and it’s also true within planning.¬†While most give advice to all majors, there are some specifics left unnoticed mostly out of ignorance of what in the world planning is. [Guy above’s next question was if there’s a demand for planning… a major road and intersection expansion affecting urban farmers was literally 3 blocks away from the party. So, just a smidge in ‘Portland North’.] These are specific towards the beginning out of personal experience and trickle down towards vague mud. Have fun!

5 Things College Students Are Looking For In Apartments (& Why It’ll Affect Future Land Use Planning)

As college students, we require a certain sense of community, and an incredibly-close-to-everything-’cause-we’re-lazy mentality. These wants and needs are common throughout most other niche as well as widespread groups when it comes to location and desirability of housing. The following represents a summary of what I personally perceive as basic wants and needs of most if not all college students. Continue reading

Why You Should Take SimCity More Seriously (Portland Has!)

In 2009, IBM proposed to the City of Portland their new algorithm software, “The Smarter City” to aid in the creation of the city’s Portland Plan, to be released later this month. Now, at no cost, Portland is the first city to name the software their analysis software of choice. While the software is to present ‘what if’ ideas rather than outright statistics, the discovery of a perpetual loop has already been found;

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Bonus Post: More Reasons Why I Enjoy Urban Planning

Over the past few days I’ve looked back on my list and found it missing a few key points:

I also enjoy urban planning because;

– it serves as a creative outlet as well as critical thinking practice. What better way to feed the need than with statistics at your side?

– it is a way to help communities thrive and therefore help strangers, friends, and neighbors thrive as well! Many people go into caregiving services with the ultimate open-ended (and therefore unachievable…) goal of ‘helping people.’ With urban planning, there’s potential to help hundreds of thousands of people with a single decision. How cool is that?! Way better than 7 years in school cleaning bedpans if you ask me…

– the professions is inconsistent. Planning has largely shifted mindsets in the last 20 years away from the strip malls and towards a more diverse community through more transportation options, mixed land use, and labeling the grid street pattern inefficient in many cases. All of this ‘feeds the need’ as well.

– when the need is consistent, so are the range of difficulty, specialty, and location of opportunities. I love this aspect of planning. I hope to help smaller communities like my own in the end, but on the way, I can’t wait to see where the path takes me! My favorite choices thus far have been entry-level positions in Denver, CO, Honolulu, HI, Chicago, MI, and Driggs, ID.

Thank You!

Why I Enjoy Urban Planning

I enjoy urban planning because;

– of its uniquely ever-changing scenario for problem solving. Even if it’s the same problem (such as downtown revitalization which seems to be one of the main issues everywhere) one year in one place, it will have a completely different solution than one year later, or at the same time in a different place.

– the attention to detail the profession demands is astounding. One cannot simply slap a couple more lanes on a freeway and call the congestion issues dealt with. While this solution may temporarily lessen the frustrations of the public, it comes with months of planning (salary through some taxes); the choice to Continue reading