What is community planning? And what does a community planner do?

October is National Community Planning month, and RETTEW is highlighting the foundational role community planners play throughout the country. While you may not know it, community planners in your local area have impacted your daily life: where you live, what type of home you live in, your commute to work, and where you spend time with your family.

Community planners look at an area or region from a comprehensive perspective, keeping in mind both the near and far-off future. They focus on supporting the community and enhancing the choices of residents and businesses.

Community planners:

  • Help create access and opportunity. Planners work on intensive guidelines such as zoning, comprehensive plans, and compliance to keep community investments strategic.
  • Help create places of lasting value. Through leveraging partnerships as well as public and private funds, planners directly impact the growth of businesses, job creation, and community resiliency, no matter the economy.
  • Balance the many interests and viewpoints within a community. They consider everyone’s input and futures, from senior citizens to children, as well as people with disabilities and business owners.
  • Reach out to community members from all walks of life to help educate themselves and others through thoughtful discussions and powerful listening.
  • Work for the greater good. A community planner works with professionals from many different fields, such as nonprofits, public health officials, recreation professionals, and even engineers (like RETTEW!) to make a community safer, stronger, and healthier.
  • Take a high-level viewpoint. A great community planner will not just focus on a priority area, but rather, consider regional and statewide perspectives in developing plans.
  • Use a 360-degree perspective. Planners don’t focus only on where a building may be built, but how that will affect local safety, the character of the community, the environment, and economic and social diversity.

RETTEW has two certified professional planners in our ranks, and we’ve helped communities all over the Northeast reach their potential!