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Planner (Urban and Regional)

Urban and Regional Planners create and enact plans and policies for the controlled use of rural and urban lands. These plans are used to accommodate a growing population, revitalize declining counties, cities, etc. or create new communities. Urban and regional planners also advise others on environmental, economic, and social factors that affect land use.

Duties and tasks

  • Do field investigations to discover and determine land use factors
  • Gather and analyzes censuses, market research, environmental studies, etc. for relevant data
  • Meet with developers, public officials, and the public at large regarding land use and development plans
  • Present projects to planning commissions/officials
  • Review site plans developers submit
  • Stay current on all building/zoning codes, various legal issues surrounding land, and environmental regulations that affect land use

Skills required

  • 5 years or more of relevant experience may sometimes be substituted for this level of education
  • Ability to balance conflicting interests, excellent project management skills
  • Comfortable working with and presenting to the public, government officials, etc.
  • Experience and on-the-job training may be required
  • Must hold a bachelors degree or higher level of education

Working conditions

Most Urban and Regional Planners are employed by local government agencies, though others are a part of agriculture/engineering firms, work for the state government, or do work in consulting services. These individuals often work with the public and government officials and must manage large projects, give presentations, etc. They must balance conflicting interests, so the work can be quite stressful, and they may often meet tight deadlines. Most urban and regional planners travel to inspect land features.

Professional associations / Industry information

Planning Institute of Australia 

Planning and Infrastructure (NSW) 

Related jobs and job titles

  • Architect
  • Civil Engineer
  • Environmental Planner
  • Landscape Architect
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Surveyor
  • Town Planner
  • Traffic and Transport Planner

Related degrees

Related subjects