Write for Planetizen

Planetizen is a community of planning intelligence. 

Planetizen has been leading the city and regional planning discourse for more than two decades, offering intrepid thinkers an opportunity to write and publish for an established platform with a large, passionate audience. While the opportunity is unpaid, there are tremendous benefits to adding your voice to the Planetizen community, including earning AICP CM credits for writing published articles and complimentary access to the Planetizen Courses platform (where you can earn even more CM credits). By writing for Planetizen, you’ll earn an influential position in the evolving planning media landscape. Over the years, writers and leaders like Brent Toderian, Ann Forsyth, Joan Fitzgerald, Shane Phillips, Edward Poteat, Reuben Duerte, and Jennifer Evans-Cowley have blogged for Planetizen, among many others. 

Planetizen is designed to host opinions and commentary from authors, scholars, and professionals in the fields of urban planning, design, development, and any of the numerous other fields that intersect with the world of planning. Planetizen cuts across political and disciplinary boundaries while expanding, informing, and empowering the community of people working to improve the built environment. 

There are two ways to add your voice:

  1. Pitch a guest article to the Planetizen editorial director [email protected]. Pitches should provide a brief description of the article’s proposed focus as well as the sources, research, and art (images, infographics, etc.) that will provide the color for the story. See Planetizen exclusives, here.
  2. Become a blogger on Planetizen, writing and posting semi-regular articles on any of a wide variety of planning-related subjects. See Planetizen blogs, here.

The Guidelines

Here are the guidelines for contributing to Planetizen, both for blogging and guest articles.

Be relevant. Your post should be broadly related to the issues of society and the built environment covered on Planetizen, and be of interest to Planetizen readers. That said, drawing on lessons from other fields is encouraged.

Be original. Planetizen articles and blog posts should be original and not have been previously published elsewhere. Quotes from other sources should comprise no more than 50 percent of any post. If you do include quotes and excerpts in your post, make sure to clearly cite the material you have taken, and provide a link to the source if possible.

Be fresh. Try to have a different point with each post, or a fresh angle on a previous idea. Avoid posting similar messages on the same topic. While contributors may on occasion want to follow up on another contributors post with some related thoughts, contributors should avoid using Planetizen as a discussion forum.

Be brief. Conciseness and brevity are conducive to good articles and blog posts. While the minimum blog post length is 500 words, don't feel that you need to write a thesis. In fact, anything over 1,200 words might be best as a two-part series.

Be polite and respectful. A good rule of thumb is to focus on ideas, not people. Avoid defamatory comments that might damage the reputation of a person or organization. Avoid posting inflammatory or meritless comments intended to provoke emotional responses. (Not to be confused with a meaningful and congenial expression of a sincerely held belief or opinion that might differ from the norm.) Racism, harassment, and discriminatory language are not permitted.

Use descriptive titles. Make sure you clearly describe the subject of your writing. Instead of a title like “My Thoughts This Month,” try telling readers what your thoughts this month were actually about by writing a descriptive headline such as “Dealing with stormwater and parking lots.” If you can be clever and descriptive, all the better.

Avoid jargon. Try to avoid technical language or acronyms that may impede others' understanding. When using jargon, be sure to include a simple language definition with the first use of the term.

No commercials. Please do not use the Planetizen blog to advertise products, events, or services. While we understand that contributors will write about their own work on occasion, self-promotion is discouraged.

Don't forget to use common sense. While the blog medium allows a level of inhibition, please remember that your name will appear with everything you write, and you will be responsible for your own words. Each Planetizen post will appear with a disclaimer stating that the views expressed are solely those of the contributor, and do not represent the views of any group or organization that he or she is affiliated with unless clearly stated, nor the views of Planetizen.

Don't forget to spell check.

Planetizen reserves the right to moderate posts. While Planetizen editors have no intention of moderating blog posts, they do reserve the right to edit or delete posts for style and editorial standards. Planetizen editors will also work closely with the authors of guest articles to edit and revise draft to ensure that publications reflect the style and standards of Planetizen.

If you have any questions about these guidelines or would like start writing for Planetizen, please contact Planetizen's editorial director at [email protected].