Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: The ALL NEW Planning Magazine

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,920

    The ALL NEW Planning Magazine

    We have criticized Planning Magazine and we now have a contest to redesign the cover. The only thing left is to give some thought to the content. What would make Planning a pleasure to read? What topics should be covered? Should we have regular features (ex., sections of the magazine devoted to each of the chapters of APA)? What about the graphics, the layout, etc.

    C'mon, let's design the perfect Planning Magazine. This would be information to send to its editors.

  2. #2
    Things I would like to see:

    1. A little more creativity with the cover and layout. It is terrible. It is boring, dull, dated, etc.
    2. I wouldn't mind seeing more content. They are pretty short when compared to some other magazines out there.
    3. They need a whole lot more columns/sections.
    4. They should have a point/counter-point type column where planners debate issues.
    5. A technology section


    I guess I need to page through a copy or two and I will be able to organize my thoughts better.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  3. #3
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Samsara
    Posts
    5,075

    Yep!

    Originally posted by jtfortin
    Things I would like to see:

    4. They should have a point/counter-point type column where planners debate issues.
    I agree as long as it is not Lenin v. Marx. Bring in some people that disagree with the party line for a change.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,920
    It might help to review the most recent issue, online at http://www.planning.org/planning/nonmember/default.htm.

    I thought this was a very typical issue. I skimmed over most of it without stopping to read. The article on Richard Florida could have been interesting, but he has been widely covered by everyone for over two years now. Planning needs to be featuring these people before they have been publicized to death, not waiting until they are old news. I did really enjoy the article "Small Can Be Beautiful." I even saved a copy for my files. It presented a new idea; an alternative way to think about the issue of rural depopulation.

    That being said, I'll offer a couple ideas of my own:
    1) Add regular sections. Jfortin suggested technology, a very good topic to cover on a monthly basis. Others might include environment, planning law, economic development and transportation.
    2) Include a monthly column on planning careers - information and advice to help planners in their job, plan their careers and advance professionally.
    3) Give me something graphical. I think the drawing of a "loop road" was scanned and posted on this site somewhere. It is a good, innovative solution to a difficult-to-develop site. I saved it for further reference. Unfortunately, I too seldom find anything like it in the magazine.
    4) I would like to see a panel of ordinary folks cover a topic. For instance, pick a subject likely to make an appearance on Cyburbia. Then go out and find a half dozen planners from around the United States & Provinces who have dealt with it to comment and offer examples.
    5) Make us feel good. Devote a page to the hideous, like the images we post on Cyburbia of our favorite signs, trailers, etc.

    Enough for now. I'll add more later.

  5. #5
    That is my point exactly. I would like to see someone argue against some of the stances that the APA has taken (without consulting its members, of course)

    Maybe throw in a little humor and/or light hearted planning articles, cartoons, essays, etc.

    State by State planning related updates/news

    More "How to" articles - How to deal with an out of control Plan Commissioner, How to work with a shady developer, How to improve your Plan Commission staff reports, How to work with a consultant, How to improve staff morale, etc.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  6. #6
    Originally posted by Michael Stumpf
    4) I would like to see a panel of ordinary folks cover a topic. For instance, pick a subject likely to make an appearance on Cyburbia. Then go out and find a half dozen planners from around the United States & Provinces who have dealt with it to comment and offer examples.
    5) Make us feel good. Devote a page to the hideous, like the images we post on Cyburbia of our favorite signs, trailers, etc.

    I like the idea of Number 4. Maybe they could have a monthly or bi-monthly "Planners Roundtable" where planners either get together at a location or (more likely) get to gether in a private chatroom on the internet and discusss an issue. Planning could edit the conversation and publish the highlights.

    I think they should also do something like #5 too. Kind of like Consumer Reports, where the last page is dedicated to funny photos, letters from residents, etc.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,920
    ULI regularly has a "Mayor's Forum" which they cover in Urban Land. It is roundtable of mayors from different cities covering a topic. The thing I do not like about it is that they tend to just have mayors from large cities. But why not go to the different divisions and hold roundtables (on-line discussions?) which might include practicing planners from bi and small cities, neighborhoods, regional organizations, etc.? Look at the discussions we have had here on Cyburbia. They are a great example.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Samsara
    Posts
    5,075

    whoops

    These are all good ideas but they go against the APA grain which is: We are all educated professionals who all believe in the same progressive (God I hate that word!) policies and thus, there is no dissent within the profession. If you dissent you are just ignored. They are so freaking progressive they ought to have our own soft jazz soundtracked VW commercial.

    The truth is the APA is so irrelevant to many front line planners and it is growing more so every year. The APA is about a self perpetuating clique of self-congratulatory people promoting an academic and exclusively held view of their profession. If you are not in a 3 million plus city – you don’t count.

    They desperately hope others won’t yell out “the APA has no clothing!” The only thing keeping it going is the tradition of most members getting their dues paid by their employer. Pull that rug out from under the APA and the damn thing will fold overnight.

    They can’t even service the local chapters.

    There goes my FAICP

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,161

    Re: whoops

    Originally posted by El Guapo

    The only thing keeping it going is the tradition of most members getting their dues paid by their employer. Pull that rug out from under the APA and the damn thing will fold overnight.
    How true this is....I'm wondering how many of us actually pay dues out of our own pocket. I'm guessing very few.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,920
    Strong words, buddy! I won't entirely agree with you. I think that the leadership is a little complacent. I think that APA tends to follow, rather than set the agenda. I think that there is too little room for dissent, or even varying opinions - all of which should be reflected in APA's policies, publications, etc. I still do, however, believe that there is a place for the organization and a large number of us regular folks who are deeply committed to the profession and want to see changes in APA.

    I suspect Planning Magazine is not particularly useful because it does not go far enough into exploring emerging ideas, unique solutions, altering viewpoints, etc. It takes a very generic approach to reporting the profession. That is why I posed this thread. How can the magazine be improved? I'd like to keep focused on that idea.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Samsara
    Posts
    5,075

    My suggestions.

    I'd like a square bound edge to the magazine so that I can pick out the date of each issue at a glance.

    More photos of good design and less of pretentiously posed planner-gods.

    Fewer articles about people whining about not enough of this demographic or that one in planning.

    I'd like to see more focus or a standing section on rural and small cities. We exist.

    More articles about integrating technology across departments to aid in the mission.

    A beginners/new commissioners how-to section that covers basic materials we all take for granted.

    An AICP study guide section that will reflect the upcoming test accurately. Maybe a page or two an issue. We could all benefit from a review.

    A planners quiz – Stump the planner and print the answer in next month’s issue.

    Guest editorials from non-planners whose decisions will shape planning. Lets get input from outside the biosphere.

    An ethicist’s column. Can’t get enough ethics.

    We could use a sort of union-style SWAT team – whereby when a planner/the public/developer gets screwed by a local government the team would come in and document the nastiness and make sure it wasn’t swept under the rug and that potential employees knew what they were getting into.

    Maybe even a once a year rating of the land use environment in each state like Governing magazine does for various issues.

    I’d like map supplements like National Geo.

    I’d like a host of resources available on line for each article. Perhaps the bibliography and additional links.

    I'd like the consultants to be forced to change their ad once a decade.

    I'd like a bit of humor.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,920

    Re: My suggestions.

    Originally posted by El Guapo
    I'd like a square bound edge to the magazine so that I can pick out the date of each issue at a glance.
    A small change, but it would make a huge difference to anyone who saves the magazine. (I don't)

    I'd like to see more focus or a standing section on rural and small cities. We exist.[/B]
    Nobody covers anything less than 100,000 people, unless it is occassionally a farmland preservation article - focused on the rural fringe.

    Maybe even a once a year rating of the land use environment in each state like Governing magazine does for various issues.[/B]
    It would certainly help in state-by-state efforts to get new legislation.

    I’d like a host of resources available on line for each article. Perhaps the bibliography and additional links.[/B]
    This would be a huge help. Not just resources, but how about a chance to correspond via e-mail with the author?

  13. #13
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,539
    Blog entries
    3
    All great ideas, although I can see why Planning might never pick up on them. More zoning news, or "Ask THe Planner" articles meens less expensive subscriptions for PAS Memo and Zoning Digest.

    I'd like to see far more international coverage ... not just USA and Toronto (according to Planning Mazazine, it seems as if Canada doesn't exist outside of the GTA), but also countries with built environment issues similar to those faced by the United States (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa), how they deal with the mundane day-to-day topics that most of us deal with, and so on. Land use issues facing other countries, too ... for all we know, sprawl is an American phenomenon, and all the cities in Europe are blissful, slum-free, sprawl-free,
    urban utopias with rail transit on every block, free shared bicycles laying on every streetcorner, wonderful architrecture that respects human scale, and a wide variety of ethnic and religious groups living in harmony.


    I don't know how useful emulation of the British version of Planning magazine would be; it's primarily a magazine of planning-related government agency and legislative news (i.e. "Section plans for the west end of Wexfordhumberlandshire-by-the-Thames are being put on hold due to staffing issues"), with few feature articles. British Planning is essentially PLANetizen on paper.

    Last I heard, a vision for Planning magazine was to incorporate elements that make Landscape Architect and the various architecture-related magazines popular among those that aren't in the trade. In a sense, Planning would be very similar to what Metropolis was like in its very early years, before the black turtleneck crowd took over and pictorials of stainless steel kitchens replaced essays on New Urbanism.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Townville
    Posts
    1,047
    I know you guys are mostly talking substance but I would start with graphics to make it less confusing. The large, endless title descriptions for each article in various bold colors are unreadable (is that a word? it should be).

    For content, Plannng Magazine has to take as the point of departure diversity of opinion. PM just perpetuates stereotypes--developers bad, environmentalist good, etc...

    For example, among planners, there is a great deal of intellectual disagreement on the degree of local government expansion to control and implement so-called Smart Growth stuff. That issue should include analysis of both sides.

    I admit that the magazine SHOULD not become a "what's wrong with Planning" rag and it should help further the Profession.

    I like the idea of more "news from the states" type reporting. But it must be even handed. For example (Planning does include this as a section today) It seems to me that the biased coverage goes like this "In the state of______the pro development Republican legislature struck a death blow to the environment by failing to pass such and such smart growth initiative......."

    Makes me want to scream.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian sal95's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Hohenfels, Germany
    Posts
    65

    August issue

    Just received my August issue of Planning. Blah. . .blah. . .blah. . . Amazingly enough, there is even less content than usual in this issue. I would not spend my own money on this rag. They say it's worth $65/yr! How's that?!?!? We truly should send the excellent improvement ideas on this thread to the APA.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Samsara
    Posts
    5,075

    While I agree with sal...

    I think making suggestions to the APA is like telling a certain relative of mine that drinking is bad for her. It makes me feel good but only sets her more in her ways.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,920
    It seems like there were a number of questions related to Planning Magazine in the APA survey (which I assume everyone recieved). I wonder if our comments have been read by the folks up there.

  18. #18
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 1996
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,574

    RE: APA Survey

    I made plenty of comments about Planning and the website...it was a nice opportunity to vent!
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. APA Planning Magazine
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 22 Mar 2011, 9:34 AM
  2. Replies: 25
    Last post: 02 Dec 2010, 5:54 PM
  3. Replies: 17
    Last post: 09 Jan 2009, 12:20 PM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last post: 30 Dec 2002, 10:40 AM
  5. Your Planning Magazine?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 30
    Last post: 05 Aug 2002, 12:30 PM