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What is urban planning?

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) defines planning as:

"a systematic, creative way to influence and respond to a wide variety of changes occurring in a neighborhood, in a city, in an entire region, or around the world. Planners assist communities to formulate plans and policies to meet their social, economic, environmental, and cultural needs in the face of societal forces. Planners do so by identifying problems and opportunities, evaluating alternative solutions or plans, communicating their findings in ways that allow citizens and public officials to make knowledgeable choices about the future." (Choosing a Career in Urban and Regional Planning, 2000. page 1.)