Community Development

Newly Released: The Reinventing Planning Podcast

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, “Why can’t there be more podcasts out there, because there just aren’t enough?”

Pardon the sarcasm on my part. 

But after careful consideration, that’s exactly what we’re undertaking, and we call it the Reinventing Planning Podcast.  Natalie Veal, an Industry Specialist at Esri in both Community Development and Non-Profit Organizations is my co-host.  It’s true that there are some planning podcasts out there.  Ours will be different in the sense that we’re going to provide different perspectives from people you might not otherwise hear.  This includes executive directors like Clarence Anthony from the National League of Cities and Matt Chase from the National Association of Counties.  It includes research directors, like Petra Hurtado from the American Planning Association. 

It will also include innovation leaders…planning professionals or people working with planners that are taking forward-thinking and state-of-the-art approaches to solving problems in their communities.  As a former planner and GIS manager, I recognize the criticality of this.  It is so easy to take a short-sighted approach when faced with a challenge.  At the time, my innate instinct when something like this happened would be to think, “I’ve got to solve this puzzle myself, because certainly no one has ever dealt with this before in the entire history of community planning.”

Of course, that was a little arrogant (and completely wrong) on my part.  But I see this when I meet planners from across the country.  There are so many people doing great and impactful work that is relatable and repeatable, and Natalie and I want to make sure their stories are told, so that you can learn from them as well to gain inspiration, and maybe see a feasible path forward.

Our first season of Reinventing Planning will have eight episodes and will compartmentalize between industry leaders and planning practitioners.  We will also want to hear from you. 

Let me rephrase that.  We need to hear from you.  I, and several other people at Esri, have a great deal of institutional knowledge and experience in planning.  But we don’t run a planning department on the side.  We don’t handle updates to comprehensive plans or deal with redevelopment projects or site reviews.  We don’t even have to go to planning commission meetings (oh, thank goodness!).  One of the reasons we talk to so many planning departments is to learn from them, to understand their vision, and frankly, what keeps them up at night.  So, we want to get that from you.  Be on the lookout in the next couple of weeks for the ways we’ll have to submit questions and suggestions for our podcast.

So, we hope you’ll join us for our first episode with National League of Cities Executive Director Clarence Anthony.  Our episodes are scheduled for release every other Tuesday after that, and we hope you’ll subscribe and tell us what you think.

About the author

Keith Cooke is the Global Industry Manager for Planning & Community Development at Esri. A graduate of Auburn University, he has been a GIS professional since 1994 and has worked for planning and community development agencies at the regional and municipal level. Prior to this role, he was an account executive at Esri for 15 years working with over 100 local governments. He is a frequent speaker at GIS, community planning, and economic development events and is an active member in the American Planning Association, where he has conducted nearly 100 hands-on GIS workshops for planners since 2004 at the National Planning Conference and state chapter conferences.


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