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Thread: Is 'planner' an accurate title for our profession? [was: A radical idea]

  1. #1
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    Is 'planner' an accurate title for our profession? [was: A radical idea]

    OK, so bear with me everyone. I was thinking, what if we, as a collective planning community, made a conscious decision to change the title of our profession? This is such a huge, diverse field, encompassing so many different occupations. I'm so sick of the question "What does a planner do?". We need a better moniker. Or some of us do. I haven't figured that part out yet. And I don't have a better title in mind either. But think of it. We need something like this: doctor, teacher, etc. If you say "I'm a doctor" or "I'm a teacher", people immediately identify with that, and ask the presumable follow-up "oh, of what?"
    We need something like that. If we could turn "planner" into that, it might work, but I'm afraid it's too trite. People either automatically associate such a common word with other planners; day planner, wedding planner, etc., or they hear planner and immediately associate it with administrative beaurocracy and glaze over, (maybe they'll ask what a planner does, leaving you to flounder with "do I answer with my own job description or a generalization").
    So, am I off my rocker here, or am I on to something? What do you think?

    Moderator note:
    Please use descriptive titles in the professional forums -- thread title changed from "A Radical Idea". Thank you and carry on!
    ~Gedunker
    Last edited by Gedunker; 03 Mar 2008 at 12:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    I always use "land use planner."

    Never fails.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    I use the monkier "Community" or "Urban" planner to describe what i do.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    I only use the term "planner" in the context of other people who work in local government or with the built environment in some way. Otherwise I say "urban planner" or "municipal planner". The profession is diverse and has a lot of sub-fields, but urban planner is the umbrella term.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian munibulldog's avatar
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    The field: Land Use Regulation

    The practitioner: Zoning Administrator

    Lets face it, planning is 99% reaction to development and 1% adjusting the regulations to achieve what the elected officials want.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
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    There are many types of "planners". Financial planners, military planners, event planners, etc. I do not think the term planner can be used to give anyone an idea of what you and I do. I like the terms others have stated, land use planner, transportation planner, urban planner, etc. I use urban planner myself becuase I deal with land use, transportation, and economic development.
    Satellite City Enabler

  7. #7
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    Yes, but, even when you specify 'land use planner' or 'urban planner' don't you still get the annoying, "Oh. Well, what do you do?"
    I get so sick of it! I just wish we could start over sometimes. With a clearly-defined title that the population vaguely understood from the outset. I guess I'm just a hopeless dreamer...

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hennybenny View post
    Yes, but, even when you specify 'land use planner' or 'urban planner' don't you still get the annoying, "Oh. Well, what do you do?"
    I get so sick of it! I just wish we could start over sometimes. With a clearly-defined title that the population vaguely understood from the outset. I guess I'm just a hopeless dreamer...
    No, it doesn't really bother me. I didn't know there was a such thing as urban planning until my first semester senior year of college.
    Satellite City Enabler

  9. #9
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    City Planner

    Planner need to be specific and indetifiable......Urban Planner is most accepted.
    Can it go along City Manager (or Planner) short as CP or Cp.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I am a consultant.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian DrumLineKid's avatar
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    What's in a name....

    I was talking with a admin person arranging interviews for a state DOT Planner position, real transportation planning. I had asked how many applications they received and she said a handful of qualified applicants but had to eliminate the financial planners and wedding planners that applied.



    DLK wondering
    "There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed." RFK

  12. #12
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Try to explain to your mother what a "Planning Manager" is.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    for a lay person I usually say Development Consultant
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

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