Secrets about developing resilience

Resilience means taking risks and learning not only how to fail but also how to adapt and bounce back when things don’t go as planned.

Resilient planners cope with these situations by:

  • being clear about their roles
  • staying positive
  • learning from others.
  • Story 67

    from a graduate planner in private consultancy

    Our consultancy had been commissioned to design a small residential development proposal of about 20 allotments. I spent some days undertaking the usual urban design process—formulating some options based on topographical issues, vehicular traffic, pedestrian movements and parkland access. I proudly presented to my director two alternatives that I thought were brilliantly designed. His reaction was simple; he took a pen and, ignoring all those principles, drew up a ‘design’ that squeezed in one additional allotment. It was an appalling, irrational layout that broke pretty much all of the design principles I had learned at university. My urban design career didn’t start well.

    My advice from this experience is not to give up on good urban design—like I did.

  • Story 89

    from a graduate planner in local government

    My manager asked me to prepare an expert report and give evidence in the Planning and Environment Court on a controversial rezoning and subdivision application. The application involved consideration of planning need, was in conflict with the strategic plan and had attracted significant opposition from the community. It was a very nerve-racking and stressful time in the lead-up to preparing the statement of evidence and preparing to give evidence, but it also provided the most significant professional development opportunity of the first two years of my career. It was well worth the stress and pressure, as it made me understand the legal and court processes very well and I believe it gave me a better understanding of core planning issues.

    My advice from this experience is that good preparation is the key to getting the most out of the court experience and not feeling overwhelmed.

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