An Interview with an Urban Planner / Interview #2

The Planning Department at the City of Traverse City is a small office. This turned out to be a good thing, because I was able to meet everyone in the Department, and spend time learning about their role within the office. The person I was most interested in held a position I would categorize as an Urban Planner. His work in combination with his longevity in the field made him an exciting individual to speak with.

Through him, I began to understand the distinction between planning in the public and private sectors. I was introduced to philosophies of urban planning, and provided with resources to expand my knowledge about the field, in addition to organizations which are beneficial to know and to be part of in the professional world of urban planning.

Speaking with an urban planner reinforced my educational pursuits in this career, while also enlightening me to how I would like to apply that education. While I enjoyed learning about his work, and saw the benefits to the community his projects had had, I realized that where my passion may lie is not in this type of office. My interests in urban design aren’t met in an municipal urban planning office, although urban designers are often contracted by a municipality. This realization was significant for my understanding of how urban planning and design works, and pointing in me in the direction I would like to head in.

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