Eureka moment for Embedded Planning

Medina Family ADU talk at UCLA Luskin, May 2018

Delivering the Medina Family ADU talk in the “Informal Cities” seminar at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, May 2018. Photo courtesy of Joshua Baum, MURP ’18

I’m writing an invited op-ed on Embedded Planning. It’s a challenging but rewarding exercise. This has been an amorphous idea swirling in my head for years. I knew what it was intuitively, but I hadn’t defined it. This op-ed is pushing me to define, outline, & explain the benefits of my #EmbeddedPlanning praxis. 

The piece draws on my ideas developed over 12 years doing urban planning on-the-ground, from my #MLIS experience in which I regularly wrote about librarians breaking free from the reference desk to do LIS work out in the neighborhood, & from my speaking tour on the Medina Family #ADU saga.

My most fruitful thinking on this op-ed has been away from a desk. On Thursday morning, stuck in #LosAngeles traffic, I had a eureka! moment about the title of my public talk, “A Matter of Necessity”: Understanding Informal Housing through Storytelling. The reason I can tell the Medina Family story is because I earned their trust, at their doorstep, through my Embedded Planning praxis.

Thus far I’ve delivered the Medina Family ADU talk at CSUN, Woodbury University, Cal Poly Pomona, UCLA Luskin, & the American Planning Association #NPC18 Conference in New Orleans under the “Storytelling” title. It’s high time for an update. It’s time to revise my title to underscore that the lessons learned result from Embedded Planning.

Henceforth the title of my talk on the Medina Family ADU story is:

“A Matter of Necessity”: Understanding Informal Housing through Embedded Planning

Only through Embedded Planning do we arrive at my thesis: “Behind every informal unit there’s a story to tell, a human dimension that needs light.”

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