Is Planning a Drag? Knope!

APA Texas Chapter


Friday, October 19, 2018
10:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. CDT

CM | 1.50

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Very few of us dream of becoming the next Mark Brandanowitz, the jaded and unhappy planner on Seasons 1 and 2 of Parks and Recreation.


Many of us discover the Planning profession because we are curious and fascinated by cities. We aim to understand many of the facets and interconnections of the urban ecosystem, enough to at the very least have a pretty good idea of what not to do. Many of us also enter the world of planning to be a public servant –to serve others and be a part of something bigger than ourselves. However, the professional life of a planner can be constrained by shrinking resources and the enormous administrative responsibilities that fall on planning departments to carry out top-down municipal planning processes. 

As planners, how do we demonstrate the value that we bring as curious researchers, listeners, synthesizers and dedicated servants to the greater good 


This panel will be moderated by Philip Koske, Principal at Nudge Design. It will include a candid discussion with Katherine Caffrey, Assistant City Manager at the City of Cedar Park and two emerging professional planners: Rachel Tepper and Jake Gutekunst.


The objective of the panel is to inspire planners (particularly young planners) to recognize the value they bring to their organizations and how they can build on those missions. This will be an opportunity to learn from experienced and emerging leaders about how they can add value to their organizations. Ultimately, we hope planners leave the session feeling empowered to think outside the box and to see their role in their organizations as important, valuable and meaningful.


Jake Gutekunst

Jake has 3 ½ years of transportation planning and traffic operations experience Kimley-Horn, with an additional 1 ½ years experience as an intern. He has worked on project types including municipal, county, state, and private development work on mobility studies, regional transportation plans, roadway impact fees, Intelligent Transportation System plans ... Read More

Katherine Caffrey

Katherine Woerner Caffrey has served the City of Cedar Park as Assistant City Manager since 2015. In this position, she oversees the City's departments of Finance, Development Services and Information Services, as well as Community Affairs. Prior to her role as Assistant City Manager, Caffrey served as the City ... Read More

Rachel Tepper

Rachel Tepper is a certified urban planner and urban designer with experience as a planner for both public agencies, private developers and academic institutions. Rachel is a committed to helping citizens exercise power to shape their cities. Trained as both a graphic designer and an urban planner, she believes that ... Read More

Philip Koske

Philip is a Principal at Nudge Landscape Architecture. He is a registered landscape architect working mostly in Texas and Louisiana and works on a range of creative site engineering and planning projects that impact the quality of physical space. The idea of a “landscape” is inherently human, making the understanding ... Read More

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Barbara Holly,