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A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

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Director’s note: There are some really big questions out there

By Florentina Craciun, December 8, 2021.

Hello colleagues,

Here we are, bruised —and maybe even a bit confused — but we made it to the end of 2021. Some of us may not have finished processing 2020, but here we are.

You may have been juggling the same or new commitments, but time tends to blur all. And time is what many of us have had a lot of these past two years: Time to consider our priorities, time to burn out, time to recover, time to value more hours spent at home and fewer hours on the highways. Have we also had time as professionals to ask big questions?

  1. What will happen to our regional commute patterns? And how will that impact where we live, the air we breathe, and how we utilize space?
  2. What will happen to public transit if riders do not return? Can our governing bodies keep transit afloat? Do we need to remold the commuter-serving model of transit so it serves smaller areas and neighborhoods — zip codes as opposed to regions?
  3. What are the needs of the emerging workforce and how can we best serve it? Can urban planning create the environments sought by the new workforce?
  4. What role do we have, professionally and personally, in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion conversation? Will we craft DEI policies and implement them?
  5. What should planning for uncertain times look like — or has the future always been this uncertain?
  6. As we journey into the new year as professionals, the models we relied on are changing. Can we as a profession adapt?

I hope you will join with Northern Section in the new year as we discuss these and other questions at the regional level. We are planning big things for APA in 2022, but to start things off on a lighter note, plan on joining us for our “New Year – New Northern” party on January 20, 2022, at Manny’s in San Francisco. Come and mingle with your colleagues, meet the APA Awards Winners, and hear about our programming for 2022 and how you can get involved. Details to come.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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