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Thread: What qualities are found in great planners?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    What qualities are found in great planners?

    I am sitting here reading applications for scholarships, and everyone has such different qualities. So I sat back and started to think of the qualities of the good planners that I know.

    What about you? What qualities are found in great planners?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    They frequent Cyburbia

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Oh, they brew their own beer..... Subscribe to liberal politics..... Tend to have backgrounds in anthropology.....have vast stores of trivial knowlege. Demonstrate an amazing capactiy to posess all the correct views, opinions and attitudes on everything.... Don't take pride in driving fancy cars.

    You know, that sorta thing
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Patience

    Time Management Skills

    Photoshop experience

  5. #5
    Quote Originally posted by Chet
    Patience

    Time Management Skills

    Photoshop experience
    And PDA mastery.

  6. #6
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    uno . A very good wine collection.

    dose. Giants baseball fan.

    trace. Policital savvy.

    quatro. Superior wit.

    five. Thick skin.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake

    five. Thick skin.
    There's the biggie. Once they reduce you to tears, it's all over.
    Oh, and great writing/analytical skills.

  8. #8
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    ....
    Oh, and great writing/analytical skills.
    That was my six-o, but I stepped out for a smoke break.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake
    That was my six-o, but I stepped out for a smoke break.
    You're lucky Bonnie went by so easy, so you could go outside for a smoke break...

  10. #10
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    You're lucky Bonnie went by so easy, so you could go outside for a smoke break...
    You should have seen what a beautiful afternoon it was today here on the beach. So nice, in fact that I got called into WORK!! And the EOC was already closed. Frustrating day (I forgot to tell them I drank my breakfast....the boss don't mind, he likely did the same).
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    A sense of humor.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian sisterceleste's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Trail Nazi
    A sense of humor.
    There is one more thing...The ability to say "a$$hole" without moving your lips.
    You darn tootin', I like fig newtons!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    gp

    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis

    What about you? What qualities are found in great planners?
    Being dead for 40+ years. (With the exception of Ian McKharg.)
    Last edited by Tom R; 13 Aug 2004 at 8:21 AM. Reason: spelling
    WALSTIB

  14. #14

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    I don't know if you can judge whether someone will have a thick enough skin or a warped enough sense of humour when you're reading scholarship applications. Those are essential attributes, but I think we develop them.

    I think you can judge writing skills, which are key. Also, to add to the list, I think curiousity about places and their people and the process is fundamental. When I taught at a commuter school I had a lot of students who were looking for a secure job, but weren't really curious about the way communities work. Some of them were nice enough, and even competent enough at the day-to-day current planning grind, but I wouldn't hire any of them. I want somebody who runs outdoors in a rainstorm to watch how the runoff travels, or who takes their ice cream break where they can watch a particular intersection work.

  15. #15
    Along the lines of what Lee said: I think the ability to observe is an asset great planners have, especially in regard to the built environment. Anybody can download a census map and get block-level ideas of a place. It takes a special talent to observe the physical clues to see whether the demographics of the census are valid.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  16. #16
    - Intelligence. If you talk to planners they are for the most part very smart, just ask them I think it comes from having to know about so many things to do our jobs including architecture, engineering, economics, business, planning, negotiation skills, communicatiobn skills, and the ability to think about things on a larger scale than many other professions. The ability to anticipate the effects of policies, developments, and other actions makes planners well suited for work outside the planning field.

    - Thick skin and great people skills - If you have a problem dealing with difficult people Planning is not the field for you. You should instead look at becoming a GIS professional so you can hide by your computer

    - The ability to set priorties

    - The ability to drink beer
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  17. #17
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Repo Man
    - The ability to drink beer
    I'll drink to that
    And did we all forget: Blue shirts and khaki pants?
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    What makes a great planner?

    A Herculian belief that you know about people and the society in which they live, so much so, that you could single handedly create the perfect UTOPIAN society with absolutly NO imput from others.

    All of the other things mentioned are just a skill set used by the maniacal planner in his drive to create that perfect balance of a just and workable society. Even the cynisism and bitterness that results from thier efforts will reveal that the failed ideas and plans were the fault of noncoperative malcontents within society.

    A thick skin and dogged persistence!
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  19. #19
    Member
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    public speaking
    the ability to think on your feet
    creativity

  20. #20

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    Qualities of a great planner?

    1. Excellent writing and analytical ability;

    2. Spatial awareness and ability (I can't believe no one mentioned this one yet);

    3. An affinity for (or willingness to work within) process.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    I'll echo the thick skin and sense of humor sentiments, with the warning that if you are not sarcastic already, you will become that way. Just remember that the three professions you will work with the most, politicans, lawyers and realtors, are very truth challenged.

    Flexibility and the ability to see opportunities.

    Humility-you are not the end-all, be-all and you don't know everything

    The ability to put it all in perspective at the end of the day.

    The ability to work with, and talk to, people, both the public and co-workers.

    The ability to consume large amounts of mind altering substances. Trust me, it helps.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Repo Man
    - The ability to drink beer
    Oh, d*mn! I guess my career is Over then. :-C 8-|

  23. #23
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Duke Of Dystopia
    What makes a great planner?

    A Herculian belief that you know about people and the society in which they live, so much so, that you could single handedly create the perfect UTOPIAN society with absolutly NO imput from others.
    How about "A Herculian belief that you know about people and the society in which they live that you could create a perfect UTOPIAN society after taking lots of public input and reflecting that input in your plans."

  24. #24
    Cyburbian pandersen's avatar
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    The ability to distill and translate complex ideas and concepts into a form that can be understood even the most dull witted councillor. I find drawing pictures in the sand with a dull stick often does the trick.

    I also have developed a wicked sense of humor and routines that help me cope with the twists we planners often have to deal with e.g. after a meeting with a stupid unco-operative developer I wash, rinse and repeat!!!

  25. #25

    How about.....

    The ability not to laugh at others outloud and dismiss them when those citizens approach you with their ridiculous NIMBY attitude about a certain project and try to base it on logic.

    The abiilty to not disembowl certain elected officials when they "simply don't understand" a project and would like to play 20 questions over a simple land use action.

    The paitence and understanding to realize that not everyone can be perfect, reasonable, or effective of their time as you are.
    Forechecking is overrated.

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