I approach the planning discipline through three lenses: civic engagement (what we used to call public participation), social and environmental equity, and sustainability. These have formed my basic tenets for planning — that people (the public or stakeholders) are essential partners to professional (and academic) planners in visioning a future and developing the policies and tools to reach that vision. This is predicated on respect for others, even those with whom we disagree, and on the obligation to listen to others — with these dialogue and deliberation about our future is truly possible. Throughout my professional planning career of over 25 years and while teaching I have sought to work with a wide variety of neighborhoods and community organizations. Often this has been in the role of facilitator for planning processes and projects, helping communities understand and build on their assets and find their voice in planning for their future.
I have taught in the Community, Environment and Planning undergraduate program since 2004, introducing and exploring the concepts of community, environment and planning and how they form the nexus of community planning, I also focus one course on the community, partnering with a variety of Seattle neighborhoods where students observe and interact with one neighborhood and some of its residents as they practice some basic planning tools that help them see and appreciate the complexity of neighborhoods.
I also teach in the Master of Infrastructure Planning and Management program, introducing incoming graduate students to infrastructure planning concepts, methods, and systems, then guiding them through their capstone projects during their final two quarters in the program. Through teaching in this program and other sustainability courses, I have continued my own research and learning about climate change, sustainability, and systems theory as they relate to planning our major infrastructure systems.
I have 30 years’ experience as a professional planner where I honed my skills as a policy advisor, project developer and manager, and director of the City of Seattle Planning Commission. I have worked on a wide variety of planning policies ranging from major institution land use code, human services and homeless policies, education levy policies and programs and neighborhood planning policies and programs. I have authored a number of reports related to policy analysis undertaken by the Planning Commission and as products of independent planning consulting work.
I have been part of the American Planning Association as an AICP member since 1976, helping plan and facilitate sessions on neighborhood planning and civic engagement at several national conferences. As part of the 2015 APA Conference in Seattle I contributed the chapter on Neighborhood Planning in the Planning in Pacific Northwest conference book.