As someone who's just getting started in this field, I can't help but notice how many planners I've seen live in what can only be described as sprawl, and driving large SUVs. Now I'm not picking on anybody - as much as I care about the environment and as much as I despise sprawl and its tendency to suck the very soul out of what should otherwise be a tight-knit neighborhood, I can understand why people look at a typical, 3-bedroom house in a sprawling subdivision and think that it's desirable. Most people simply don't have a planner's education and understand the full societal effects of sprawl, nor have they experienced communities where they can have all of the good things about suburbs - better schools, safer neighborhoods, etc. combined with the good things about cities and older suburbs - walkable, bikable neighborhoods, goods and services nearby, etc.
That being said, I am just really curious how planners justify living in sprawl. Again, I'm certainly not picking on anyone or trying to get on my soapbox and preach to anybody about anything. I'm just really curious what justifications and reasoning is used when planners create plans that specifically say that communities should stray away from this type of development, and yet this is where a lot of planners live. Is it because many planners live in metro areas where sprawling neighborhoods are simply the only feasible housing option, i.e. the only places where good schools and safe communities exist? What about commuting patterns? Lots of planners drive alone in their SUVs to work every day. Is it because they live in sprawl where public transit isn't available or feasible?
Furthermore, for planners who do engage in these things, do you ever feel bad or guilty for writing plans that call for people to do things you are currently not doing yourself? I'm just really curious as to how all of this plays out. Again, I'm a realist - I understand good schools and safe streets generally take a priority over good neighborhood design. But I'm just really curious how planners think of this.