What is Planning?

What is Planning?
 
            What makes a human being unique: the fact that we can plan. Our greatest achievements have all resulted from our ability to envision the future and muster the methods and resources to achieve it. That is what forms the core set of skills and philosophy underpinning planning everywhere and municipal planning in particular. Planning is not reserved for professional planners. We plan our day, think about our children's future, and plot an itinerary for a vacation trip.
 
            It makes sense to think about the future of our communities and to take the trouble to ensure that the decisions we make today will result in a viable and healthy future for them. Community and regional planners study the way our lives are influenced by physical, economic and social forces. It's their job to help the rest of us shape the kinds of communities and regions we want. Planning involves many tools, including economic and demographic analysis, natural and cultural resources evaluation, goal-setting and implementation.
 
(Adapted from American Planning Association web site)