2020 National Planning Conference

Idealism in Professional Planning

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

CM | 1.25

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

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

Catherine T. Chao
Grains of Salt
Portland, OR

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

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

Anonymous Headshot

Timothy Douglas, AICP Candidate
Session Organizer and Moderator
STV Incorporated




Activity ID: NPC198078