What if Planners were Unethical?

APA Colorado Chapter


Thursday, October 5, 2017
10:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. MDT

CM | 1.50
E | 1.50

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What would happen to the field of planning without a solid ethical foundation? A team of planner-actors will demonstrate how everyday planning dilemmas relate to the AICP Code of Ethics as audience members help dictate right vs. wrong. Objectionable actions during these light-hearted skits will be discussed along the way to provide greater insight into the AICP Code of Ethics and its applicability to various planning calamities. 

Learning Objectives:

1. Why the AICP Code of Ethics is important

2. How to avoid violating the AICP Code of Ethics

3. How the AICP Code of Ethics applies to common planning scenarios and dilemmas

4. About changes to the AICP Code of Ethics in 2016 and an overview of the 2016 case activity report


Introduce the planner-actors

  1. Overview of the AICP Code of Ethics
    1. Changes in 2016
    2. Brief report on 2016 cases
  2. Scenario 1 – What if we Just Keep This a Secret?
    1. The setup
    2. Audience responds using keypad polling during skit
    3. Q&A
  3. Scenario 2 – What if we Ignore That Advice?
    1. The setup
    2. Audience responds using keypad polling during skit
    3. Q&A
  4. Scenario 3 – What if Somebody is Mis-tweeted?
    1. The setup
    2. Audience responds using keypad polling during skit
    3. Q&A
  5. Scenario 4 – 2016 Ethics Case of the Year (time permitting)
    1. The setup
    2. Audience responds using keypad polling during skit
    3. Q&A

The session will use polling devices to collect instant feedback from the audience. Additionally, notecards will be distributed to participants at the beginning of the session so that audience members may describe real-life ethical scenarios for consideration by the panel and other audience members.

CM Criteria:

This session meets a planning objective of providing a refresher to existing AICP members and an introduction to upcoming AICP members on the importance and application of the AICP Code of Ethics. The information is unbiased, based on either real-life scenarios or example scenarios that best illustrate important ethical planning issues. The proposed method for delivery includes audience interaction (with polling devices) which will serve to maintain interest throughout the session and will aid in their comprehension of the ethical cases demonstrated. The planner-actors are seasoned planning experts with both public- and private-sector experience and are able appropriately field questions related to AICP and the Code of Ethics. One of the speakers is the previous PDO for the APA Colorado Board of Directors and all of the speakers are well versed in the AICP Code of Ethics. All three speakers have given similar ethics presentations at past APA Colorado conferences (2014, 2015, and 2016), presented ethics at the APA National Planning Conference in Phoenix (2016), and will present at the upcoming APA National Planning Conference in New York.  

Ethics Criteria:

This session will focus primarily on the use of the AICP Code of Ethics in everyday planning scenarios. Each “act” (skit) includes periodic discussion and Q&A regarding the specific ethical challenges, resulting in a thorough understanding of how the Code of Ethics should be applied in that given scenario. Further, the session will include multiple perspectives by illustrating the same scenario using multiple decisions or approaches. The audience is also encouraged to provide insight on the application of the AICP Code of Ethics and to discuss other hypothetical scenarios. 


Tareq Wafaie, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Tareq Wafaie, AICP, is a Principal in Clarion’s Denver office. Mr. Wafaie focuses on land use and zoning code diagnosis and reform, and natural hazard mitigation planning and implementation. His recent work includes projects for a variety of clients across the country from Sedona to Syracuse, as well as ... Read More

Abram Barge, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Abe Barge, AICP is a Principal Planner with the City of Denver. He has over ten years of experience drafting community plans and regulatory implementation strategies, including consulting work for communities around the country, such as Pittsburgh, PA, Fort Lauderdale, FL and Tacoma, WA. Abe is currently developing design standards ... Read More

Cheney Bostic, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Cheney Bostic, AICP brings 12 years of experience in the fields of architecture, urban design, and planning. With an untraditional professional upbringing in this field, she offers a fresh perspective and new way of thinking. Cheney has worked on urban design projects of all scales throughout the United States, with ... Read More

Contact Info

Shelia Booth, sbooth@apacolorado.org