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Thread: How do you explain planning to people?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    How do you explain planning to people?

    It seems at least once a week I end up with someone asking me what I'm studying. When I tell them Urban/City/Regional/Planning etc they have no idea what I'm talking about.

    So how do you explain what planning is to a regular person who is unfamiliar with the concept? I'm having a hard time doing so in a way that they'll understand and also not use words/concepts that will be way above their heads.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    I tell people I work in land development generally, regulating it for the local government that employs me.
    Last edited by beach_bum; 13 Aug 2012 at 9:16 AM.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  3. #3
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I don't. If they ask, I just tell them that I am a consultant, then ask them to tell me more about what they do.
    The most foolish thing one can do this fall is to vote for Clinton or Trump. Wake up, get out of the matrix, and send a message to the political establishment that you won't play their game.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    When I was in school I used to tell people that urban planning is how cities are shaped: where houses, commercial, industrial, and recreational uses go. That's sufficient for most people's curiosity. Since I develop affordable housing now, I just tell people I am a project manager.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  5. #5
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I used to tell people that I basically reviewed development proposals to make sure they meet standards set by the community, blah blah blah.

    In my local community there is a very serious and very hostile anti-planning sentiment right now so I usually tell people I work at the video store.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    I used to tell people that I basically reviewed development proposals to make sure they meet standards set by the community, blah blah blah.

    In my local community there is a very serious and very hostile anti-planning sentiment right now so I usually tell people I work at the video store.
    So the community went from not knowing a thing about planning to openly despising it?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ddomin4360 View post
    So the community went from not knowing a thing about planning to openly despising it?
    You have no idea. Once, I was the planner dealing with a possible drug store at the end of our residential street, not in compliance with the comp plan. I could not take that case I didn't want to have anything to do with it.. My doorbell dinged, I answered it, and there stood a major newspaper reporter and we just looked at each other and said "You!". We ended up having a talk where he realized planners weren't all evil. But, so many times, that is the position people take.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ddomin4360 View post
    I
    When I tell them Urban/City/Regional/Planning etc they have no idea what I'm talking about.
    Clearly you need to upgrade the people you hang around/encounter.

    I rarely have ever had an issue having to explain what urban planners do. If I did, kjel's is a good answer. But I can't say it happens more than once every few years. I guess you know where not to live when you graduate.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    I usually tell them what I do is just a bunch of b.s.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    "Your land, our call."

    ~ ~ ~

    Or tell them you're a firefighter. That's safe.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    "Say you want to open a store in your living room. I determine whether you're allowed to, and if not, what your chanced of getting permission in the future is."
    What do you mean I can't plan? My SimCity has 200,000 people with a 99% happiness rating!

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