As I was reading some comments about environmental justice on a planning blog it got me thinking about how planners are making a difference. One of the comments noted that we can create all the regulations and processes we want but we rely on developers and other people to create the actual product. I think that can sometimes lead planners to feel a lack of ownership in the final product. Do you feel that you're making a difference in your community? I believe the overall answer would be yes, from most, if not I don't think many of us would stay in the profession. Most planners that I've met have the desire to maketheir communities even more vibrant and successful.
However, the daily grind of politics and paperwork can wear on even the most ardent idealist. Finding the satisfaction and fulfillment on a daily basis can be challenging. Planning departments are often controversial and are political hot buttons. I find that the different work and issues that arise on a daily basis provide interest and challenge. Sometimes it's easier to find achievement and satisfaction in the small daily victories than the bigger goals. What do you think?