The finest and most admirable intelligence is required for planning and beautifying cities and human societies. City planners act as a bridge between ordinary citizens and the highly skilled artists who seek to develop the city.
Similar Job Titles
- Urban Planner
- Land Use Planner
Job Responsibilities: City Planner
What do City Planners do?
A City Planner would typically need to:
- Examine city growth plans; seek the opinion of technical specialists to resolve any concerns; reach out to the community to explain the linguistic modifications that the typical citizen will comprehend
- Specialize in urban design, transportation planning, community development, or historical preservation; work in various fields and employ diverse talents.
- Conduct market research, censuses, and economic and environmental studies to investigate the variables influencing community growth and decline.
- Consult with public officials, community people, and developers at the start of a project to identify community challenges, needs, and goals. Discuss construction plans, land use, design layouts, and design statements.
- Create innovative and creative planning solutions to satisfy all stakeholders while improving and revitalizing towns and locations. plan available resources to fulfill planning goals
- Work with professionals such as lawyers, civil engineers, and environmental engineers; bargain with architects and real estate developers.
- Examine site plans and applications provided by developers; evaluate the viability of proposals to suggest approval or rejection; identify necessary revisions and track outcomes.
- Plan, devise, and implement planning policies to guide strategic development projects affecting land use and increasing the availability of affordable housing.
- To combine data with digital maps, use tools and technologies such as statistical software, data visualization and presentation programs, financial spreadsheets, computer-aided design (CAD), and geographic information systems (GIS).
- Attend planning boards, appeals, and public inquiries to promote projects to communities, planning officials, and planning commissions.
- Assist communities in managing economic, social, and environmental challenges, such as planning new parks and homeless shelters; make the region more appealing to enterprises.
- Oversee projects, enforce zoning restrictions, and coordinate the efforts of the various entities involved; promote environmental education and awareness.
- Assist disadvantaged groups in expressing their views on planning concerns and projects; visit places to evaluate the impact of proposals on people or the environment.
- Make recommendations or clarify detailed regulations in reports to benefit various groups and the general public.
A typical workplace environment.
Most City Planners work in metropolitan locations. However, rural sectors also provide numerous job prospects. The job is mainly done in the office, with some time spent on-site visiting clients and attending external meetings.
The project and the employer determine travel duration; nevertheless, an overnight departure from home is rarely required. Some consulting firms may need you to work abroad.
City Planners typically dress in business casual attire. Meetings with elected politicians or municipal councils are opportunities to dress up.
Working hours vary by industry, but City Planners typically work 40-hour workweeks. Senior positions necessitate an additional time and energy commitment. Contact with the general public, legislators, and pressure organizations may occasionally result in evening or weekend meetings. Career breaks and job sharing are options.
A council-manager style of government allows its members to vote on who will be the city manager through interviews. The council may hire a headhunting firm to find the best suitable candidates for the position of City Manager, which may make the selection process challenging to complete.
City Managers are generally employed by:
- City Councils of Large Cities
- Small Towns
- Other Communities
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional groups and organizations are an essential resource for City Planners who want to further their professional development or interact with other professionals in their industry or trade. Membership in one or more organizations adds value to your CV while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
The International Society of Regional and City Planners (ISOCARP) brings together competent urban planners from over 85 nations. Anyone with the necessary degree and expertise in city and regional planning can apply for membership. ISOCARP offers global networking and professional development opportunities.
- Time-consuming self-teaching may be required.
- Lengthy hiring processes and low wages typical of municipal government positions
- Probable lack of credibility with seniors because of inadequate accredited certification
- Browbeating tactics employed by politicians, developers, and the public to design or recommend specific plans
- Discourteous members of the public
- Balancing conflicting interests and negotiating stress-inducing deals
- Tight deadlines
Recommended Work Experience
Students seeking a master’s degree spend significant time in laboratory courses, seminars, and workshops learning to analyze and solve planning problems. They can also obtain practical experience by working part-time or over the summer in a planning office.
Arranging a shadowing opportunity with an experienced planner can give you a comprehensive understanding of the profession and the ability to interact with the public and perform key administrative responsibilities.
Recommended qualifications: City Planner
Master’s degree programs in urban or regional planning, environmental planning, urban design, or geography provide the most excellent preparation for a career as a City Planner. Architecture, economics, business, earth sciences, law, and health administration courses will be beneficial.
Students may be required to take computer science, statistics, and geographic information systems courses because City Planners must know computer models and statistical approaches.
Undergraduate majors include economics, environmental design, geography, political science, and urban planning. Although less prevalent, students with only a bachelor’s degree in urban planning may find work.
Most master’s programs follow a similar primary curriculum; however, there is some diversity in the courses offered and the themes addressed; programs in agricultural areas may focus on rural planning, while those in cities may focus on urban regeneration.
Certifications, Licenses, and Registration
City Planners can be licensed or registered without being licensed or registered. Voluntary certification from a reputable and objective organization can help you achieve professional credibility, boost your chances of progression, and carry a hefty wage premium of up to 18%.
Career Path Projection
Employers’ career structures differ. It can take three to five years to advance from assistant or graduate City Planner to Senior City Planner. Beyond this level, senior management positions often demand ten years or more of experience.
Gaining chartered status in some nations boosts your prospects of progressing into senior roles, where career advancement may be faster.
Geographic mobility may enable chances to migrate between municipal governments. Movement between the private and public sectors is also conceivable, for example, between a local authority and a consultancy or charity.
You could also specialize in planning, such as community participation, conservation, regeneration, sustainable development, or urban design.
Urban and regional city planners may face stiff job competition, frequently dependent on government budgets and economic conditions. Municipalities and developers are in more demand when they have the finances for development initiatives.
Beneficial Professional Development
Continuing professional development is a City Planner’s commitment to improving personal skills and proficiency throughout their active careers, whether through work-based learning, a professional activity, formal education, or self-directed learning. Numerous CPD courses, seminars, and workshops are available to assist professionals in the sector.
CPD enables people to consistently improve their skills, regardless of their age, career, or degree of expertise. It keeps practical and academic credentials from becoming obsolete. It enables City Planners to discover knowledge gaps and advance to a new specialization.
Keep a journal of your experiences as a City Planner. It will be helpful when applying for higher-level positions. Find a qualified mentor. Keep current on zoning and building codes, environmental regulations, and other land-use legislation.
Sustainability, poverty, and justice system reform are all concerns that significantly impact cities. City planners are pragmatists who want to hear all sides of an issue before deciding. They unite individuals of varied perspectives by focusing on shared values and wise decisions – cities can only provide something for everyone if and only if everyone produces them!
Advice from the Wise
No logic can be forced on a city; people create it, and it is to them, not buildings, that we must adapt our designs.
Explore Also: How to Become a City Manager?