The American Planning Association (APA) is celebrating National Community Planning Month throughout October. Each year APA, its members, chapters, divisions, and professional institute, sponsor National Community Planning Month to raise the visibility of the important role of planners and planning in communities across the U.S. This year's theme, New Ideas for America's Future, showcases how planners help envision the future and address theneeds of communities. You can sum up planning in three words:
Whether you realize it or not, planning plays a vital role in your daily life. From the type of home you live in - apartment, town home, high rise or single family - to how you get around, whether by transit, walking, bicycling or driving, planning helps ensure communities address the diversity of its needs. As planners, we strive to recommend choices.
Planning is the process of envisioning, mapping or otherwise conceiving how a community will look, grow, and define itself-its characteristics, attributes, and identity. As communities continue to change and grow, planners must carefully balance the needs and desires (vision for quality of life) of residents against the challenges presented by growth and change not just in the physical realm, but also economically and socially. The American Planning Association represents more than 40,000 members including professional planners, academics, business leaders, students and engaged citizens. APA advocates for good planning practices to keep communities safe, healthy, and prosperous.
In coming issues of The Weekly Planner, we'll take a look at APA's Great Places Program... great neighborhoods, great streets, and great public places. You know one when you see it - but how what makes a place become great? The decisions officials make influence our community... the quality of our neighborhoods, streets, and public spaces, and ultimately, chart the path for a thriving future for Hillsborough County.