Sunlit Water

November 6, 2009

More Conference

Filed under: Job Search,Personal,Planning,Transportation — by teofilo @ 6:32 pm

I went to two panels at the conference today.  The first was on career advice for young planners.  Not a lot of good news, but it was interesting to hear a variety of perspectives.  I’m still not really sure if I want to go into public-sector or private-sector planning.  Most jobs are in the public sector, primarily with local governments but also at the state and federal level and with various regional-level organizations.  Those jobs tend to be pretty stable and have good benefits, which is certainly something that appeals to me.  I think in some ways I’m a born bureaucrat.  Private sector planning, on the other hand, is mainly consulting, and it pays better than government work but also involves a lot more risk and longer hours.  The flexibility of that sounds kind of nice, but I’m pretty risk averse.  So I don’t know.  Luckily I’ve got plenty of time to find out, and if the economy doesn’t improve much by the time I get out of school I’m not likely to have much choice in the matter of where I work or what I do.

The second panel was on railroad right-of-ways and the importance of keeping them preserved now that rail is becoming more popular for both passenger and freight transportation.  New Jersey is full of these inactive right-of-ways, and they’ve begun to be encroached on by development or even converted to other uses, which in a state this dense will make it virtually impossible to add additional rail capacity in some areas.  The presenters had some interesting things to say about the very successful light rail line in Hudson County and the importance of freight rail access to industrial development, and they made a good case for why preserving the right-of-ways is crucial for any of this to happen.

The keynote speaker was a guy who’s just written a book about Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses.  He talked about Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses.


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