What is a Planner?

Planners assist government, private organizations, groups and individuals in the community to achieve their future objectives through the development of relevant projects, policies, processes and plans. The ultimate goal of any planner is to further the well-being of citizens. This process is accomplished by creating convenient, efficient, safe, accessible and attractive destinations for present and future generations.

Planners develop plans which analyze and highlight the most advantageous areas to build homes, stores, factories and office buildings. These plans keep development in balance to ensure the right number of jobs, homes, shopping areas, infrastructure and roads for people who live in a neighborhood, city, or county. Planners analyze problems, compare alternatives, envision futures and describe implications, so that public officials, stakeholders, and concerned citizens can make knowledgeable decisions and choices.

The Planning process is a highly collaborative. This collaborative process helps planners and other leaders to define an overall vision. United with local residents, politicians, special groups, and stakeholders, planners help establish a vision. This vision is developed not solely from community member's needs and wants, but based on an understanding of the issues and the available resources. The planner provides this analysis and encourages residents to be actively involved in each step of the planning process.

Well planned communities have nice downtowns that preserve both the history and personality of an area. Neighborhoods are pleasant places that offer amenities like parks with places to play, and open spaces that keep a town from feeling crowded. Adversely, poorly planned towns are often a jumble of factories, homes, office buildings, shopping centers, and incompatible land-uses thrown together without an overall vision and plan. Good planning is smart growth. The smart growth initiative principles are as follows.

  • Create range of housing opportunities and choices
  • Create walk able neighborhoods
  • Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration
  • Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place
  • Make development decisions predictable, fair and cost effective
  • Mix land uses
  • Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty and critical environmental areas
  • Discourage sprawl
  • Provide a variety of transportation choices
  • Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities
  • Take advantage of compact building design

From www.smartgrowth.org