For the first time, a new demographic of planners found interesting ways to make their mark on the annual National Community Planning Month observance.
Young Planners Groups, more commonly known as YPGs, highlighted how planners just starting out are already making a significant impact to the way we as planners think about tough issues like inclusion, displacement and community activism.
Here’s a look at some of this month’s YPG outreach events held in honor of Planning Month:
The APA Virginia YPG has had a very busy month. In the Southwest corner of the state, the YPG Blacksburg/Roanoke group organized a wheelchair walk around Virginia Tech and the city that caught the attention of local media outlets.
Over on Twitter, young planners launched hashtag #PlanCrush — a social campaign to showcase outcomes of impactful plans and the people behind the plans in Virginia. APA VA YPG even hosted its very first video competition.
In Hawaii, emerging planners, architects, and other design professionals joined forces to “talk story” about the ever important role of strong multidisciplinary teams in creating comprehensive plans that support community goals. APA Hawaii’s Cocktails for Creatives event reminded everyone in attendance that collaboration among partners — particularly, the public — is necessary as communities plan their future.
Emerging professionals and students in New Jersey gathered earlier this month at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy in New Brunswick to hear from four seasoned professionals who know a thing or two about planning. At the APA-NJ Emerging Professionals Group Evening with Fellows of AICP, planners just getting their start joined Fellows Philip B. Caton, FAICP, PP; Stuart Meck, PhD, FAICP, PP; J. Michael Cobb, PhD, FAICP, PP; and David N. Kinsey, PhD, FAICP, PP, for a Q&A style discussion about the challenges and rewards of the planning profession.
The California Young Planners Group challenged their counterparts across the state to highlight diversity in the planning profession. For the second year, the YPG used hashtag #IAmPlanning to create a space for young planners and allies to connect and build relationships around common interests. The group also regularly co-hosts dialogos with APA Los Angeles and the Latinos and Planning Division on topics ranging from factors that encourage displacement to the intersection of activism and planning.
In Atlanta, the Georgia Young Planners Group joined the Turner Field Coalition for a discussion about how the Braves move outside of Atlanta will affect neighboring communities. The group of also thought about how recent planning efforts from the Atlanta Regional Commission engaged community members, and future plans for the growth of the area. The night wrapped with the Braves edging the Phillies by one run.
Thank you to all of the YPGs who worked to elevate the important role of planning in our communities this month!
Top image: Emerging professionals in Atlanta gather at Turner Field during National Community Planning Month. Photo courtesy Georgia Young Planners Group.
About the Author
Emily Pasi is APA's outreach and communications manager.