Tag Archives: Professional

AVAILABLE | The American City | Complexity & Pattern in the City | Planetizen

The American City, Part 4: Complexity and Pattern in the City course featuring Dr. Mark David Major is now available from Planetizen Courses. The course is approved for 0.75 professional development credits with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and Congress for New Urbanism (CNU).

Watch an extended preview here.

The American City, Part 4: Complexity and Pattern in the City
The course discusses the design of the urban pattern in several American cities (Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Seattle, St. Louis, Orlando, and Phoenix). The course examines: 1) the synergy between different scales of movement patterned into the urban grid, which contributes to the “urban buzz” of distinctive neighborhoods and places; 2) the large role that local topography plays in allowing, limiting, or denying certain possibilities for urban growth, due to the massive horizontal scale of American cities and the practical necessity of overcoming topographical conditions; and 3) the consequences of government regulations, Euclidean zoning, modern transportation planning, and suburbanization during the post-war period in generating a hierarchal grid logic to the American regular grid planning tradition. The implications of development patterns and land consumption unseen during the history of city building over the previous 10,000 years are discussed.

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AVAILABLE | The American City | Learning from the Grid | Planetizen

The American City, Part 3: Learning from the Grid featuring Dr. Mark David Major is now available from Planetizen Courses. The course is approved for 0.75 professional development credits with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and Congress for New Urbanism (CNU).

Watch an extended preview here.

The American City, Part 3: Learning from the Grid
The course covers the formal composition and spatial process of the American urban grid. The course demonstrates a well-defined spatial logic to how American cities tend to evolve over time, conserving the importance of the “center” (e.g., historical area and/or Central Business District) in relation to the ever-expanding edges. By understanding these concepts, we can better understand how “bedrock” urban attributes (such as block size and dwelling entrances) and common growth trends (such as strip malls and leapfrog development) play a role in the spatial logic of American cities. The objective of this course is to better understand the spatial implications of design decisions when intervening in the American city.

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AVAILABLE | The American City | Invention of a New Scale | Planetizen

The American City, Part 2: The Invention of a New Scale featuring Dr. Mark David Major is now available from Planetizen Courses. The course is approved for 0.75 professional development credits with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and Congress for New Urbanism (CNU).

Watch an extended preview here.

The American City, Part 2 | The Invention of a New Scale
The course covers subjects related to land consumption, which has been a defining characteristic of American town building almost from the very beginning of colonization until the present-day. William Penn’s 1682 plan for Philadelphia demonstrated town building could occur on a previously unimagined scale in the abundant lands of the New World. The course also compares the characteristics of block and street length in several American and European cities to demonstrate how Americans used the regular grid to build on a massive scale in the horizontal dimension of the city, which suburban sprawl has accentuated and abused since World War II. Finally, the course also discusses implications for sustainable cities in the 21st century.

Click here to purchase the course by subscribing to Planetizen Courses.

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APA's Damn Lies | from Stuart Meck via LinkedIn

Oxford University Professor Calls APA’s Institutional Ethics “Dubious” | from Stuart Meck via LinkedIn

Fascinating and completely unsurprising post from Stuart Meck, Associate Research Professor at Rutgers University on the American Planning Association LinkedIn Group from March 8, 2013.

Excerpt:

“I recommend reading “How planners deal with uncomfortable knowledge: The dubious ethics of the American Planning Association,” by University of Oxford Professor Bent Flyvbjerg and forthcoming in Cities. It is summarized below and it is deeply disturbing.

When Bent Flyvbjerg had his coauthored article, “Underestimating
Costs of Public Works Projects: Error or Lie?” accepted for
publication in the Journal of the American Planning Association
(JAPA), JAPA contacted APA to publicize it. Flyvbjerg worked with
an APA staff member to develop a comprehensive media strategy to
disseminate the article, including a press conference and
exclusives with The New York Times and The Sunday Times of London.

Initially, the APA staff member found the study “very newsworthy.”
But suddenly there was a complete turnaround by APA, which
declined to promote the article, leaving Flyvbjerg on his own to
contact the media.

Flyvbjerg learned that “higher ups” in the organization feared
that “the media will cast this story negatively and planners will
be among the guilty.” Once the article was published in JAPA and
Flyvbjerg was successful in obtaining media coverage, APA posted
what amounted to a disclaimer on its website, downplaying the
study’s findings, which had concluded that massive underestimation
of transportation infrastructure costs, based on a statistical
analysis of 258 projects, could only be explained “by strategic
misrepresentation, that is, lying.”

Flyvbjerg contends that the APA attempts to project a ” ‘sunny,
relentlessly positive’ image of urban planning. ” He argues that
APA violated its own ethics code – the AICP Code of Ethics and
Professional Conduct -“on at least six counts” in the way it
attempted to “deny, spin, and divert attention”
from the article. “APA’s moral hypocrisy,” Flyvbjerg writes,
“regarding its own Code of Ethics in the case of the JAPA study,
and its denial about bad planning and malpractice concerns, should
give planners, planning academics, and planning students pause to
think about and debate the real ethics of their profession.”

He concludes with nine questions for public debate about APA and
its role in setting and enforcing ethics for the planning
profession. Observing that professional organizations that stifle
critique “tend to degenerate and become socially and politically
irrelevant zombie institutions,” Flyvbjerg asks whether APA is
“in danger of such degeneration and irrelevance.”

Posted on LinkedIn by Stuart Meck, FAICP, Associate Research Professor, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and
Public Policy, Rutgers University.

APA_logoThe comments section is just as interesting (a few selections are below):

“I was a Charter Member of APA in the late 70s and Joined AICP in 1986. I dropped out in mid 2000, after many years of service in the local Section, because I felt that the organization, as a whole, was failing its members.”

“As a student seeking a BA in Urban and Regional Planning it is disheartening to see the potential denial of APA as an organization. It brings questions to my future and to the issues of credentials to be “officially” recognized as a practicing planner. “

“Being wrong about predictions is one thing, deliberately lying about it, is another thing. That is quite an indictment.”

” I found it very interesting and not a little discouraging, but also not terribly surprising.”

The fact that only fourteen people bothered to comment on this post on the American Planning Association LinkedIn Group page could be interpreted, in itself, as something of an indictment against the professional organization, too.

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” – Edmund Burke

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Disturbing Photo from 1972 APA Future Leaders Conference

From left to right (standing):

John de Lancie gave up planning and became an actor, getting his start playing several roles on The Six Million Dollar Man before most famously playing “Q”, a being with God-like powers, in Star Trek: The Next Generation. When asked how he approached playing an omnipotent being, he replied, “I based Q’s pretentiousness on one of my planning professors at Kent State University.”

Steven Littleton, PA became a real estate attorney and broker as well as part-time magician in Las Vegas, Nevada. He still performs weekly at the Leopard Lounge and Style Revue in North Las Vegas under the pseudonym “The Magnificent Steven.”

William Bonin was convicted and executed in 1996 as the “Freeway Killer” in Los Angeles, California.

Gregory Marmalard, FAICP became the Special Assistant for Community & Development to Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana. He advised Governor Blanco that Lousiana did not need Federal assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He is currently serving as a Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C.

Douglas C. Neidermeyer, AICP was killed by his own planning staff in Little Vietnam in the Uptown area of the City of Chicago. The planning staff was acquitted of the murder on the grounds of “temporary sanity.” It is still the only case in history of the United States judiciary ever decided on these grounds.

Dr. Ronnie F. Farley, FAICP received his PhD from the University of Santa Barbara, Remote Learning Campus and became APA President in the late 1980s. He was convicted of money laundering for misuse of Federal housing funds in the mid-1990s and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was released for good behavior in 2002 from the Federal Prison Camp, Alderson in West Virginia. He became a best-selling author, publishing under the pseudonym “Stephanie Meyer.”

Seventh person standing to the far left remains unidentified though several eye witnesses have sworn his name is Abad’on Beel z’bub, an exchange student from Hierapolis in southwest Turkey.

Center, being spanked:

Chip Diller, AICP has been the serving Planner II of Bacon County, Georgia since 1982 where he won 10 awards for meritorious long service before the County Commissioners discontinued the award. He is a avid fan of the 1980s game, Dungeon and Dragons, and a three-time winner of the P&D Championship Series.

Kneeling, left to right:

W.F. Scott never finished planning school at the University of Minnesota. He became a factory worker and the father of Seann William Scott, who co-starred in several American Pie films and The Dukes of Hazard remake in 2005.

William Patrick went missing in 1978. He was officially declared dead by his family in 1985.

Thurston Howell V served as the National Director of the Sierra Club from 1985-1992. Officially, he is “retired” though, according to anonymous sources, this really means he was committed to the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum in 2002 and screams “rising ocean levels” every hour on the hour, night or day.

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