What is Planning? What Does a Planner Do?

The Citizen's Guide to Planning, 4th editionLearn about planning and how you can get involved with The Citizen's Guide to Planning, 4th edition. New from APA's Planners Press, the book answers the who, what, where, when and why of the planning profession.

Updated and still still jargon-free, this book is written for citizens, planning commissioners, and others interested in learning how planning shapes their community.


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"The Citizen's Guide to Planning is a soup-to-nuts, highly reliable guide to any issue a citizen or trained professional is likely to encounter. Form-based zoning and takings issues? Community workshops with keypad polling? Ethical principles for planning? They're all here. Plus, the book lives up to its title — a citizen's, not just a professional's, guide to real-life issues of planning in American communities." 

—Neal Peirce, chairman of Citistates Group and columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group.

Meet the Authors

Hear Greg Dale and Don Elliot discuss The Citizen's Guide to Planning at APA's 2009 National Planning Conference in Minneapolis.

C. Gregory DaleC. Gregory Dale, FAICP
Greg Dale is a founding principal with McBride Dale Clarion, the Cincinnati affiliate office of Clarion Associates. Dale has nearly 30 years of planning experience. He has worked on planning projects throughout the country and has drafted or assisted with award-winning plans for Will County, Illinois; Franklin, Tennessee; and the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Commission.


Christopher J. Duerksen
Chris Duerksen is the managing director of Clarion Associates, LLC, a national land-use consulting firm. He is a cofounder of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute and has represented local governments, nonprofits, and the private sector in a variety of land-use and zoning matters.


Donald L. ElliottDonald L. Elliott, FAICP
Don Elliott is a senior consultant with Clarion Associates, LLC. His practice focuses on land planning and zoning, growth management, and international land and urban development issues. In addition to advising U.S. local governments, his practice includes planning and governance projects in Russia, Uganda, India, Indonesia, and Lebanon.