Brandon Nolin

MUPP 2008

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)

Senior Planner


Can you describe your work and how your planning degree contributes to it?

I assist with the management of CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program. Initiated in 2011, the LTA program provides technical assistance resources to communities throughout the Chicago region in support of projects that advance livability principles, implement the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan, and build local capacity. Over 100 projects have been completed to date, with 50 more underway. Projects include comprehensive plans, corridor or subarea plans, zoning revisions, studies of special topics such as housing or economic development, and similar planning activities. I also contributes to other CMAP activities, including the update of the regional comprehensive plan (ON TO 2050) as well as the agency’s general activities in policy, programming, and planning.


What do you like most about your current job or related work in planning?


Working in a wide range of communities and developing solutions to unique issues.


What advice do you wish you had gotten as a MUPP or, conversely, what advice would you give to young planners today?


Work on your writing skills and become conversant in software that let's you frame out your plans as interesting, exciting stories (i.e. document layout, graphic visualization). The more a plan reads like a magazine (visually engaging), and less like a white paper the better. The best recommendations get ignored if they're not packaged appropriately for the intended audience.