Many of my posts in the last two months criticize planning and argue that, no matter who does it, planning is bound to fail. Yet some people are still planners. Who are these planners and why do they do it?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are about 31,650 urban & regional planners practicing in the United States. This probably does not include most forest planners working for the Forest Service, watershed planners working for the Corps of Engineers, or other agency planners. Yet national forest and other federal agency planning processes are remarkably similar to urban planning, so it is likely that these agencies hired at least a few urban planners to help them design their processes.
In 2005, planners earned an average of $57,620, meaning we spend close to $2 billion on planning salaries alone. This is not a large sum by government standards, but neither is it a trivial amount.