VERY UNofficial: An AICP Study Guide Podcast

VERY UNofficial: An AICP Study Guide Podcast

Welcome to the VERY UNofficial AICP Study Guide Podcast. We'll cover everything related to the American Institute of Certified Planners Exam in commute-sized chunks.


December 9, 2021 17 mins

We're taking a short break to let you know about a new planning podcast coming your way.  Booked on Planning is a podcast that goes deep into the planning books that have helped shape the world of community and regional planning.  Stephanie Rouse, AICP - Professional Development Office of the Nebraska APA and host of the upcoming podcast - joins to talk about how the podcast came to be, what it's all about, and how it can...

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In the 1930’s, the U.S. was taking conservation seriously.  We put together a massive regional authority to handle conservation and energy issues in the Tennessee Valley, but we also attacked the growing issue called the Dust Bowl with two major Acts:  The Taylor Grazing Act and the Soil Conservation Act.


The Tennessee Valley Authority:

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October 18, 2021 20 mins

FDR and National Planning seem to go hand-in-hand.  Because they do.  Literally.  Planning on a national level spanned almost the exact same time frame as FDR’s Presidency, and FDR just wouldn’t like it go away; bringing it back under name after name after name.  Both Started in 1933, and National Planning died in 1943, two years before FDR.  This one’s all about the blip on the planning radar called, National Planning.


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October 6, 2021 23 mins

I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.  Let us all here assembled constitute ourselves prophets of a new order of competence and of courage.  This is more than a political campaign; it is a call to arms.  Give me your help, not to win votes alone, but to win in the crusade to restore America to its own people.

-FDR, July 2nd, 1932


FDR Inauguration and the New Deal Pitch:


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Well, saying goodbye to the roaring 20’s was bittersweet.  Actually, it was just bitter.  Bitter and depressing.  When the good times from the 20’s caught up to everyone in October of 1929, the markets came crashing down.  But why? And did we try and do anything to stop it?


The Great Depression:


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August 11, 2021 22 mins

Get your motor runnin’, head out on the highway! Because the federal government ponied up some money in 1916 to make sure the roads were all in good condition.  Or you can always head out on the parkway that New York built in 1919, and of course, you can always take your highway out to the first regional suburban shopping center too.


Transportation Epochs:'s%20e...

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July 14, 2021 20 mins

This episode is all about making the case for zoning.  Is zoning constitutional?  Is it a taking?  Does it violate the 14th Amendment?  (That’s the Due Process clause) What about simple Use Regulations?  What about legislative acts?  These are the things that U.S. Supreme Court had to debate.  One thing is for sure though.  When in doubt, APPEAL!  


Hadacheck v. Sebastian:


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July 6, 2021 14 mins

I mean, it’s all pretty standard.  Standard state zoning, standard city planning.  And in the name of what again?  In an effort to protect residential properties, these two acts were probably two of the more pivotal moments in planning.  Shaping the way we are today, did they also sort of set-up the copy-and-paste legacy of resolutions?


Herbert Hoover:


Standard State Zoning Enabling Act (...

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Geez Wisconsin, you’re such an enabler.  You’re making all your first, second, and third tier cities feel like they can form Planning Commissions.  Oh, that’s intentional?  Well, it ended up being a great idea, especially when you consider the legacy that it left behind.


Wisconsin Planning Enabling Act (1909):

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In the future, the system must be first.  At least, that’s what Frederick Taylor thought when he devised his Scientific Management theory that ended up kicking off the City Efficient Movement. Efficient?  Maybe.  But was it all unicorns, roses, and rainbows?  


The Principles of Scientific Management by Frederick Winslow Taylor (1911):


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I walk a lonely road.  Wait, no I don’t, because this City Beautiful movement brought the people out!  As a reaction to the rapidly densifying and grimy industrialized cities, City Beautiful came with a promise for a city that we could all love and enjoy.  Did it work?


Daniel Burnham:


City Beautiful:

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April 27, 2021 18 mins

Like normal gardens, Garden Cities needed a love and attention to grow, and they definitely got it.  Garden Cities are maybe one of the more influential planning movements to date.  As a reaction to the rapid industrialization of the city, the Garden City movement tried to make the best of all worlds.  But how did it start, and how did it evolve.


Ebenezer Howard:




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Planning in the early 1900’s was really just a baby – a cute little planning baby.  And we as planners, like to look back and remember all of the special “first” moments in the life of the little planning baby.  So let’s take a look at the first baby steps of the First Comprehensive Survey, Permanent Planning Commission, Citizen Conference, and finally, the first city-wide Comprehensive Plan.

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April 8, 2021 16 mins

Time to take this thing regional.  We’ve been focusing a lot on the individual cities, but our friend Patrick Geddes opened up the world of planning to this crazy idea that we should start thinking about our places in the context of other places, and Boston, Ohio, New York, and Los Angeles apparently got the memos.  Mind.  Blown.


Cities in Evolution:

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Come on and get in the zone! More like, “Get out of the zone.”  Since we started urbanizing rapidly, we got into the realization that somethings just don’t belong together – like residential houses and slaughterhouses.  Finding a way to make those two get a long wasn’t always easy, and navigating these scary skyscraper things created their own challenges.  That solution required taking this developing thing called zoning to new hei...

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March 23, 2021 15 mins

Whelp, it’s time to go back to school.  We need to learn a little more about the first course dedicated to city planning, and we need a professor dedicated to teaching city planning, and we need a textbook dedicated to city planning.  Can we get it all in one place?  Nope, but we’ll look at the two colleges that started it all.


First Course in Planning:

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Chicago?  They don’t make little plans there - City of broad shoulders, City of big plans.  At least, that’s what Daniel Burnham told them when he wrote up the 1909 Plan of Chicago with Edward Bennett.  In fact, the plans were so big that Charles Wacker called up a guy named Walter Moody to write a textbook about it.


Daniel Burnham’s Plan of Chicago:


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February 17, 2021 16 mins

Yeah…so I’m going to need everything you got on that case please?  That’s how I imagine the U.S. Supreme Court asks a lower court for their files, at least.  We kick off some case reviews in this episode with Mugler v. Kansas and The U.S. v. Gettysburg Electric Railway Company.


Mugler v. Kansas:


U.S. v. Gettysburg Electric Railway...

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February 9, 2021 14 mins

The U.S. has 99 problems, but water and forests are actually – as Teddy Roosevelt called them – “vital internal problems.”  Unfortunately, our favorite conservationist President could only make so much headway.  From reclamation projects to trying to counteract corruption and develop healthier waterways, he definitely embodied the sentiments of Progressive Era America.  


US Reclamation Act of 1902:

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February 2, 2021 12 mins

Would someone finally do something about these tenements?  Well, in 1901, New York did.  From there, the focus turned to congestion of population and what to do about it because Vicks VapoRub isn’t going to clear this problem up.  Enter Benjamin Marsh.  If you don’t know who he is, you should, and you will. 


New York State Tenement Housing Act of 1901:


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