Oh Yeah, City Planning Is Cool!

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Where can I learn more about city planning?  What books can I read on the subject?

Wow!  Let me tell you, it’s energizing when a group of people ask you those questions.  This past Saturday, I had the privilege to participate in a presentation about the extensive planning efforts behind the creation of Downtown Auburn Hills.

The workshop, which was sponsored by the Auburn Hills TIFA, hosted the “NextGen” group of the Michigan Local Government Management Association.  The participants consisted of college students studying public administration and early career professionals in communities across the region … the “next generation” of leaders.

Site of the $14 million Graduate Student Housing / Parking Garage project currently under construction near Squirrel and Auburn Roads. The project is one of three “anchors” planned to attract people to Downtown Auburn Hills.

They were impressed with Auburn Hills’ long-term effort to spur redevelopment in the former Auburn Heights Central Business District and create a special place where the community could gather.  The urban planning term for this is called “placemaking.”

Every community needs a “heart.” A place where people can gather for events.

How can you learn more about city planning?  Well, check out these great websites:  American Planning Association and Michigan Association of Planning.

Also, the books The Citizen’s Guide to Planning and Project Future: The Inside Story Behind the Creation of Disney World are good reads.  The second book is fascinating as it describes the urban planning behind and strategy used to obtain the approvals to build Walt Disney World.

So, if you are interested in pursuing a career in city planning or wish to learn more about what the Auburn Hills Planning Commission does, check out these resources and/or give me a call at 248-364-6941.  It’s a really cool field!