CHICAGO -- When Chip Braswell started his career as a planner in 1998, he sought to make a difference in the world. He worked his way up the planning career ladder, worked on some big projects, and won state and national awards. Braswell was well known in the planning world and ran the APA Divisions circuit. However he was never recognized by the true authorities in urban planning: the online planning blogs and magazines. Never showcased on Strong Cities, never guest featured in Next Town. No top this, no top that. Not even one listacle. That's right, never once used for clickbait.
In 2016 Braswell left the planning profession for good after giving verbal approval to a certain inter-city rapid transit system that shall remain unnamed. He turned in his Planning Association card and all it's glorious benefits. Braswell decided one day to pen a quick piece on LinkedIn about the current state of planning, where its going, where it needs to go, and what all planners should be doing to get there. That's when everything changed for Braswell.
Last summer Braswell was named by Planitburb as one of the most influential planners of all time! When asked to explain why Chip was selected, Editor Julie Orenstein stated "we were drawn to his ability to speak intelligibly about planning issues and how to solve them, all while having little to no means to actually do so!" Orenstein added, "like other top planners in history, Chip too is just an urbanist writer who wants to make a difference." When reminded of Braswell's 18 year planning career, Orenstein simply stated, "that's irrelevant".
Braswell was also named 2017's Best Urban Planner by the online planning magazine Gutterd. "We selected Chip for this accolade because for a non-planner, he's very knowledgeable about urban planning," Ben O'Neil from Guttered explained. When asked why they didn't select a practicing urban planner for their award, O'Neil got visibly upset and exclaimed, "practicing planners are in cahoots with the NIMBYs and developers ! They hate tiny homes too!"
When asked about the irony of being named an influential planner after leaving planning, Chip Braswell laughed it off and said, "relax, just start a website full of planning memes and you'll be at the top of their lists one day too!"
the names used in this story are intended to be fictitious characters