A city, urban, or town planner works with community groups, government agencies, and other
interested parties to make sensible plans for the future growth and development of an area. In making plans for important
projects such as schools, housing, roads, and commercial developments (like malls and office parks), a planner needs to
consider things like noise, traffic congestion, environmental protection, local laws and regulations, and meeting the
projected future needs of the area residents as the area grows.
Education and Training
In the U.S., a city, urban, or town planner may need the following education and training:
- an undergraduate degree, often in architecture, geography, or economics
- a master's degree in urban planning or design
- relevant job-related experience
The position of city, urban, or town planner is a job with a wide range of important professional responsibilities.
Someone with this job has most often worked his or her way towards the position by acquiring relevant real-life experience
in several different areas. These areas may include architecture, urban or landscape design, real estate, project planning
and budgeting, law, civil engineering, and environmental protection.
On the Job
Planning important large-scale projects requires the ability to consider and keep track of many different variables in
an effort to meet the needs of a diverse population. A planner may meet with many groups in an effort to understand and
address their concerns. Keeping track of these things during a lengthy project requires patience, organization, and the
communication skills needed to work well in cooperation with others.
Math on the Job
Because planners need to consider many variables and to project future community needs, it helps for a planner to have
a good understanding of modeling. A planner may use models to project population growth, future expenses, and available
resources. A planner also needs to understand business math.
- civil engineer
- director of community development
- real estate developer
For more information on planning, contact the
American Planning Association