Announcement of “Being A Planning Student” Tumblr

As you may have noticed since reading my recommendation to subscribe to the “Being a Planner” Tumblr, it has not been updating regularly for a couple of weeks. Inspired, I’ve started the “Being A Planning Student” Tumblr, as linked below.

I’ll be updating it with giggle fodder every day I don’t post for The Comprehensive.

Requests and suggestions will be taken here as well as through the Tumblr page.

You CAN subscribe to this through an RSS feed as you may do with this blog.



Being a Planning Intern: WELCOME TO CHENEY

[If you haven’t already seen this video… It’s a must for those who know Cheney/the incredible amount of time that EWU students have on their hands or just have 4 1/2 minutes to kill.]

Two weeks ago, I started two internships: one with the City of Cheney‘s Planning Department, the other with the City of Cheney’s Parks Department. I am doing mostly graphics, research, and maybe some GIS analysis for the Planning Department. I am serving as the backbone for the new Cheney Parks Comprehensive Plan performing the writing, research, and graphics work. I will also be helping with the participatory planning/public meeting side when the the comes to present. I do odd jobs (ex: data entry, presentation document organization and formatting) for both departments.

While research is inherent in academia, I haven’t taken a single planning course that pertains specifically to any of these activities besides the introductory GIS elective I took by choice that is technically taught through the Geography Department at EWU by a professor from WSU and is not a part of the EWU Planning Department for some ungodly reason unbeknownst to me.

These are both unpaid, though I hope to receive college credit the next few quarters through EWU. I dedicate about 10-20 hours per week to both departments, depending on my restaurant job’s hours any given week which, for now, takes precedence.

This series will discuss my experiences, be they triumphs or failures, with both departments. I’m not exactly sure what the format will be yet, so any suggestions or requests for the focus(es) of this are very welcome: leave in the comments section below!

Comparative Book Review Dismay

At the beginning of this project, I had prepared to discuss five topics found in both Jacobs’ and Garvin’s books. But after reading four and dropping one for sanity’s sake, I’ve found that there just isn’t enough in common between the two to complete the topic I was most looking forward to- historic preservation. Jacobs, while she did discuss the need for old buildings economically, was about a decade at the front-end of the historic preservation movement in the US; The first federal tax incentives promoting home owners to restore and maintain their home properly was enacted about thirteen years after The Life and Death of Great American Cities was published. Garvin was very thorough and in-depth about how to finance a historic preservation district and was very informative. So, I’ll have to wrap-up without that last piece. Look forward to seeing the final cut, condensed to 3-5 pages, shortly.

Darn you, hasty ambition without thorough preparation!

On a completely awesome note: I have an interview to blog for a global company in twelve hours! Send all the good juju!

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

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