People Behind the Plans Podcast Series

Exploring the Work, Life, and Ideas of Planners Across the Field

Hosted by Courtney Kashima, AICP, planner and small business owner of Muse Community + Design in Chicago, the People Behind the Plans podcast series features conversations between planners on work, life, ideas, and problem-solving in a variety of communities.


Multiple Ways to Listen

Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, and SoundCloud — or wherever you get your podcasts.


Recent Episodes

Headshot of Tamika Butler. Photo by Serena Grace Photography.

Episode 33: Tamika Butler

As a watershed year comes to a close, Tamika Butler, Esq., founder and principal of Tamika L. Butler Consulting, joins host Courtney Kashima on the podcast. The result is a stirring, uplifting, and funny conversation on the issues facing everyone who works to undo society’s inequities.

Headshot of Monique López, AICP.

Episode 32: Monique López, AICP

Host Courtney Kashima, AICP, chats with social justice planner Monique López, AICP, MCRP, MA, founder of the anti-racist, values-driven participatory planning and design firm Pueblo Planning. Monique shares stories from some of the firm's projects, merging anecdotes with the wisdom they brought her to create poignant takeaways for listeners.

A headshot of Samantha Choudhury

Episode 31: Samantha Choudhury

Melbourne-based planner Sam Choudhury joins host Courtney Kashima, AICP, to discuss how her parents' immigration to Australia from Bangladesh shaped how she plans for communities, how planning differs in the U.S. and Australia, and how business-improvement districts need focused management to succeed — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A headshot of Traci Sanders, director of civic impact at WXY Studio in New York. Photo courtesy WXY Studio.

Episode 30: Traci Sanders

Host Courtney Kashima, AICP, catches up with Traci Sanders about how she discovered urban planning, as well as influential projects she's worked on, such as the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan. Traci serves as the director of civic impact for WXY Studio, a multidisciplinary architecture, design, and planning firm based in New York.

Headshot of CMAP executive director Erin Aleman.

Episode 29: Erin Aleman

In this episode of People Behind the Plans, listeners hear from CMAP executive director Erin Aleman. Erin, the first woman and first planner to head up the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, sits down with host Courtney Kashima, AICP, to talk about how she got into planning (hint: via an eye-opening experience in college) as well as the organization's goals around resilience and inclusive growth.

Previous Episodes

Episode 28

Kelwin Harris

Episode 27

Todd Vanadilok, AICP

Episode 26

Enessa Janes, AICP, PhD

Episode 25

Julie Burros

Episode 24

Donald Shoup, FAICP

Episode 23

Dan Parolek

Episode 22

John Rahaim

Episode 21

Jana Lynott, AICP

Episode 20

Sadhu Johnston

Episode 19

Trevor Dick, AICP

Episode 18

Commissioner Josina Morita

Episode 17

Nina Idemudia, AICP

Episode 16

Mark de la Vergne

Episode 15

Taryn Sabia

Episode 14

Bob Becker, FAICP

Episode 13

Kate Hartley

Episode 12

Greg Lindsay

Episode 11

Mitchell Silver, FAICP

Episode 10

Kristin Saunders

Episode 9

Jarrett Walker

Episode 8

Doug Farr

Episode 7

Joanna Trotter

Episode 6

Eugenie Birch, FAICP

Episode 5

Lynn Ross, AICP

Episode 4

Bev Wilson, AICP

Episode 3

Scott Page

Episode 2

David Fields, AICP

Episode 1

Jamie Simone, AICP