Many times urban planners sit in their offices, go to meetings, 'crunch numbers' and do not really explore this city that they practice their trade. An enlightened administrator should his/her urban planners to ' go out, explore, and become part of the fabric of the city!'
However, when urban planners are out exploring their planning area, they should have on badges indicating that are part of a planning organization. While they are sitting in a cafe observing the movement of the city, perhaps random citizens may come up to them and express their concerns. What a great way to get the pulse of the city as an urban planner. However, the 'factory' mentality of urban planning is that you must be at your desk and hard at work so that you can please your supervisors that you are not 'goofing off.' The idea of the urban planner as an urban flâneur needs further discussion. I welcome comments on this topic.