Careers

Urban and Regional Planners

Also known as:  City Planner, Community Development Planner, Regional Planner, Urban Planner

ABOUT URBAN OR REGIONAL PLANNER CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
What will the cities of the future look like? And how must today's cities transform themselves to meet the future's demands? Answering those questions is the fascinating work of urban and regional planners. They promote the best use of a community's land and resources for residential, commercial, in ...
stitutional, and recreational purposes. They develop short-term and long-term plans to provide for the growth and renewal of all kinds of areas, from rural to urban.

Their expertise is used by government officials and citizens to make decisions about social, economic, and environmental issues. This is a field that requires preparation with college studies, often a graduate degree, and a knowledge base in a particular aspect of planning, such as architecture or agriculture.

Planners need to keep abreast of economic and legal issues involved in zoning codes and environmental regulations. They frequently attend evening and weekend meetings or public hearings with citizens' groups. They use computers to record and analyze information and to prepare reports.

Good oral and written communication skills are essential. It helps to be a good negotiator too, because one thing that's certain about the future is that people won't agree about what it should look like.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Develop comprehensive plans and programs for use of land and physical facilities of jurisdictions, such as towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
MED
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Mediate community disputes or assist in developing alternative plans or recommendations for programs or projects.
Coordinate work with economic consultants or architects during the formulation of plans or the design of large pieces of infrastructure.
Determine the effects of regulatory limitations on projects.
Conduct field investigations, surveys, impact studies, or other research to compile and analyze data on economic, social, regulatory, or physical factors affecting land use.
Keep informed about economic or legal issues involved in zoning codes, building codes, or environmental regulations.
Discuss with planning officials the purpose of land use projects, such as transportation, conservation, residential, commercial, industrial, or community use.
Recommend approval, denial, or conditional approval of proposals.
Advise planning officials on project feasibility, cost-effectiveness, regulatory conformance, or possible alternatives.
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.
Review and evaluate environmental impact reports pertaining to private or public planning projects or programs.
Design, promote, or administer government plans or policies affecting land use, zoning, public utilities, community facilities, housing, or transportation.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Developing Objectives and Strategies Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Geography Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.