Ragene Andrea Palma, EnP
Call me Jean. I’m an environmental planner. That’s synonymous with “urban and regional planner,” “town and country planner,” and “city planner,” it just depends on the context or perspective of what area of planning we’re talking about. I’m also a master’s student in UP-SURP and currently with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation. I have also been involved with the UN-HABITAT and USAID Rebuild.
What does a planner do?
Glad you’re interested. A whole range of things. But the bottomline is making the human and environment relationship harmonious, where both of them will have respect for each other, and will stay together lovingly. I’d like to share a library of journals and books on the topic, but anyway, how we achieve that bottomline is by aligning many things and putting them in place, like policies, land uses, and social development, and looking into the near and far future to make everything work. They’re just like notes, producing lone sounds when pressed individually, but it’s a whole beautiful melody when put together, and terribly painful to hear when a single note gets out of place. If you want to know the scope of what we do in the Philippines, the law pertaining to our profession is RA 10587.
Sharing is caring. I learn a lot of things because I read and I go out of my way to study and attend lectures. I get to go to places and work with so many people, and each place tells so many stories and lessons. I’d like to share that to those who do not have the opportunity. I’m interested in how other people would react if they knew about all these things.
Others also give me the questioning stare when I say I’m an urban planner. It’s about time people get to know what it means, beyond buildings and cityscapes.
It’s the way to preserve what we have, and the road to a better life for everyone. I love the earth. You should too. It’s our home. Without it, we’ve got nothing. Anything we’ve got–food, shelter, our loved ones–wouldn’t be here if there were no land to stand on, and no resources to use. I believe in people too. By nature, we care. And we have the capacity to improve and to contribute to development.
Specifically, in planning
As I said, planning is a whole range of things. It’s multi-disciplinary, and ranges from technical math and design to people-centered actions to legal aspects. As a planner, I’m knowledgeable on the basics of each, but we’ve all got our fortes. I lean more on the socio-economic and environmental sectors. Local economic development, disaster risk reduction management (DRRM), rehabilitation and recovery, and community development are things I’ve worked on. I’m also very interested in global cities and placemaking.
Outside my blog
I really like writing, so sometimes, when I have a point that I strongly feel has to be taken seriously, I go beyond the comfort zone of this blog and try to reach more people through journalistic articles:
I’d love to learn from you too. Comment below, and let’s keep those ideas coming.