A Planning Commission Podcast Journey: The 1,000 Joys of Planning

Approval of a new zoning code. Exploring a well planned riverfront greenway. Breakup season (rivers, not relationships) in Alaska.

These are just some of the thousands of joys we feel in our day to day.

“I feel joy when someone tells us that we are making a difference,” said Commissioner Chris Danley, reflecting on the interactive workshops he conducts on walkability, bicycling, health and other planning topics with Commissioner Don Kostelec.

What are the joys you experience as a planner? Send them to us via Instagram, Twitteror Facebook.

Commissioner Kostelec notes, “We can always find a unique circumstance that is positive and replicable elsewhere.”

“Everyone is going to have that horrible, impassable road, but when we find unique things in different towns, we can take it to others as an example,” he said. “It’s even better when we find those things in Fruitland or Mountain Home, Idaho, instead of Portland or Seattle. So we can say, ‘They’re doing this in Fruitland, Idaho, so it should be doable in your community.'”

Commissioner Smith finds joy in simple things like children at a playground. “Every time I see little kids, they drop their bike and run to the jungle gym. At some point someone said ‘we are going to put a park here’. The kids don’t know or care how it got there, but to them it’s a utopia!”

The commissioners then move from happiness to suggestions they have for planners who are in the burnout stage.

Commissioner Danley talks about the joys of being a mentor and how it keeps him motivated.

“Go to the next town, the next neighborhood,” Commissioner Smith said. “You don’t have to go far and you don’t have to get on a plane to do it. It’s going to be fun!”

Planners can explore different opportunities, such as going to a conference on a non-planning topic to help you focus on a different space. That is the advice of Commissioner Kostelec.

The episode ends with the Commissioners sharing their super secret planner fantasies. You’ll have to tune in to see what they dream up!

The Planning Commission is a lively debate by planners, for planners. This independent outlet for all things planning explores the serious and lighter sides of the profession, poses probing and creative questions to guests, and always pairs the episode guest and topic with a libation of choice. Listen to the podcast for a special offer from Planetizen.