2020 National Planning Conference

Idealism in Professional Planning

Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. PDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198078

Location: 3014

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  • Gain an understanding of the evolution of ideals across a career.
  • Understand the varying conceptions that different planners have about the role of ideals in the workplace.
  • Hear what motivated panelists to become planners.


Hear a frank discussion among planners at varying stages in their careers on the challenges of maintaining and managing idealism in professional planning. Topics include the evolution of ideals, disillusionment, and the integrating of ideals into practice.

Planning attracts the young and idealistic to take part in local governance and the shaping of local communities. But all too often the pressures of bureaucracy, deadlines, and the fear of appearing naïve cause many planners to move from idealism to disillusionment. How do planners maintain their ideals? How can ideals be brought into the workplace? When, if ever, should ideals be restrained? How do ideals evolve over the course of a career? Is there a difference between ethics and ideals? This session brings together entry-, mid-, and senior-level planners for a frank discussion about the role of ideals in professional planning.

Session Speakers

Timothy Douglas, AICP Candidate
STV Incorporated

Cade W. Hobbick, AICP
STV Incorporated
New York, NY

Christopher N. Gomez, AICP
City of White Plains Plng Dept
White Plains, NY

Catherine T. Chao
Grains of Salt
Portland, OR

Sahra Mirbabaee
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Los Angeles, CA