MFA Kids | Learn About Planning

What is Planning?

A planner’s job is to work with community members and elected officials to create a healthy and safe community for people and businesses. To do that, planners must think about aspects of a community such as roads, buildings, parks, neighborhoods, and businesses to see how and where they fit together. Planners must also consider the environment and natural resources in the area.

Planners are often thinking about the future and trying to predict what a city or region will look like in the years to come. They prepare the community for population growth and development, attract more businesses, and even look for opportunities for new parks and recreational activities.

To plan for development or redevelopment of a city, planners must get input from the public and local elected officials, such as city council members and the mayor. Getting feedback on the community’s interests is incredibly important for planners to do their job well. If the public isn’t involved with the planning process, the city could get in trouble for making changes the community doesn’t want or need.

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1. Watch the Video

This video presented by City Beautiful looks at the role of a planner in Mos Eisley, a fictional city in the Star Wars universe. Watch the video to see an example of a planner’s approach.

2. Complete the Activity

Now it’s your turn to build your very own city! Get out a big piece of paper, a pencil, and an eraser to draft a map of your city. Be sure to name the city and include at a minimum:

  • One neighborhood for you to live in
  • Three businesses for people to shop at (e.g. grocery store, ice cream shop)
  • Three roads
  • One school
  • One park

After you draft a map of your city, it’s time to get feedback from the other community members that will live there. Find one person in your household to look at your map and suggest one more thing to build, then add it to your map!

3. Complete the Coloring Page

Did you finish the activity? Now it’s time to color your city map! We suggest using colored pencils or crayons for this one. If you didn’t create your own map, download and print the one below!

Download the coloring page.

4. Show Us Your Stuff

Take a picture of yourself watching the video, doing the activity, or coloring, and share it with us by using the form below! You just need to complete one of this week’s activities in order to receive your MFA Kids badge.


MFA Kids Activity 8 Completion

Take a picture of your completed activity this week. Have a grown-up help you upload the picture to this website and we will send you your MFA Kids badge! Great job!
  • Please provide your mailing address if you would like to receive a prize for completing four activities in the mail.
  • Drop files here or


Ask a Planner a Question
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Seth Otto, AICP, LEED AP

Senior Planner