Planning Theory & Practice

This space is dedicated to the conversation around social equity and the planning process – most popularly described by Campbell’s Planner’s Triangle. Drawing on my professional and community service experience, I use this as a refuge for deep thinking (e.g., chasing bunny trails, procrastinating) from my data-intense tourism equity project and to fill time during the peer-review process for forthcoming articles. Eventually the data-driven research and the case studies and musings will merge into a serious contribution addressing social equity/economic sustainability in local planning processes.

I’ve previously published articles and blog posts that fit this category. My article on Self-reporting Accuracy of Economic Development Programs (2020) was prepared during the wait for my dissertation review. The research for my recent article in the Journal of Urban Affairs on Community Benefits Agreements was slipped in while shopping for a home (AKA: working through multiple rejections) for an article based on the interdisciplinary research in my dissertation. There are past blog posts here on how to address the abuse of economic impact reports, a suggestion for a people-centered local economic development metric, how to think about the structure of your local economy, and the factors that shape local economic development programs. All draw from my experiences working in public finance, local economic development, and real estate development.

The upcoming articles on my dry-erase board include:

1) Why the General Plan is the least important planning document in local government,

2) Why the term “Real Estate Developer” should be eliminated from the modern planning lexicon,

3) Why we never see an economic impact report with negative results,

4) How to use the American Ideology Project to push boundaries with local economic initiatives,

5) My personal experience (and hard lessons) from rational actors (from my time as an entrepreneur,

6) Walking in ruins: Observations walking 6,000 miles through a former All-American City in the Southeast Iowa,

7) And, the fictitious Dormant Commerce Clause and the demise of Main Street, small businesses, and family farms.