Omnibus: Becoming a Good Sustainability Planning Practitioner

13th September 2010

Session 3: 3.20 - 4.05

Introduction to Planning


In the third session we will explore the ways in which definitions of planning are similar and differ among the four planning organizations we are considering today. Read and reflect on the meaning and implications of the four definitions cited below, thinking about them in the context of their elaboration in other parts of the organization's web site that you have read.



"Planning" means the scientific, aesthetic, and orderly disposition of land, resources, facilities and services with a view to securing the physical, economic and social efficiency, health and well-being of urban and rural communities.


Planning, also called urban planning or city and regional planning, is a dynamic profession that works to improve the welfare of people and their communities by creating more convenient, equitable, healthful, efficient, and attractive places for present and future generations.


Planning involves twin activities - the management of the competing uses for space, and the making of places that are valued and have identity. These activities focus on the location and quality of social, economic and environmental change. In setting out its vision for planning, RTPI uses the term spatial planning to encompass these.

ACSP (p.3)

Planning is a systematic, creative way to influence the future of neighbor-hoods, cities, rural and metropolitan areas, and even the country and the world.



At the beginning of the session you will pair up with the person next to you and take 10 minutes to summarize and develop a joint list of similarities and differences between the CIP definition and the other three definitions. We will divide the class into three groups, each of whom will be asked to consider a different definition first; after that you can go on to one or more of the the other two if you have time. This will make sure we include consideration of each of the three. We will then use your lists in a plenary discussion that seeks to develop a consolidated listing, including any differing perspectives that might emerge among participants in the class.

List of similarities and differences brainstormed in class in 2008.