Urban & Regional Planners
Also called: Community Development Planner, Planner, Planning Director, Urban Design Consultant
Produced by CareerOneStop
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From Manhattan’s sky-high grid to the tangled sprawl of Los Angeles, urban and regional planners play a key role in making sure cities become more connected communities rather than concrete jungles. Urban and regional planners develop plans for how land will be used, and oversee complex projects that help accommodate population growth while retaining—or revitalizing— functional communities. The zoning policies they administer have an impact not just on historic buildings, but also on the environment, housing, transportation, and more. Using statistical techniques, field investigations, and technology, urban and regional planners gather and analyze data to understand the current and future needs of their local area. They develop plans to address the needs they uncover… from planning new parks and schools to meet anticipated growth, or sheltering the homeless, to making changes that might attract business development. Urban and regional planners present their project proposals to communities, officials, and planning commissions. Their recommendations help guide decision makers to consider all the factors involved in a new project. Most urban and regional planners work for local government. They may work evenings or weekends to attend meetings with neighborhood groups, and frequently leave the office to inspect proposed development sites. Urban and regional planners need a master’s degree from an accredited planning program to qualify for most positions.
What they do:Develop comprehensive plans and programs for use of land and physical facilities of jurisdictions, such as towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas.
On the job, you would:
- Hold public meetings with government officials, social scientists, lawyers, developers, the public, or special interest groups to formulate, develop, or address issues regarding land use or community plans.
- Design, promote, or administer government plans or policies affecting land use, zoning, public utilities, community facilities, housing, or transportation.
- Advise planning officials on project feasibility, cost-effectiveness, regulatory conformance, or possible alternatives.
Arts and Humanities
- English language
Safety and Government
- law and government
- public safety and security
- customer service
Math and Science
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- reading work related information
People and Technology Systems
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- communicate by speaking
- communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
- notice when problems happen
- use rules to solve problems
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Analytical Thinking
You might use software like this on the job:
Map creation software
Analytical or scientific software
- Citilabs TRANPLAN
- ESRI What if?
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.