Urban planner

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Urban Planner
Occupation type
Activity sectors
Real estate development
Urban planning
Civil engineering
Competencies Critical thinking, analytical thinking, problem-solving, communicating effectively, working with social, economic, cultural and environmental issues
Related jobs
Architect, Civil Engineer, Geographer, Historian/Preservationist, Landscape Architect, Quantity Surveyor, Urban Designer.

An urban planner or city planner is a professional who works in the field of urban planning for the purpose of optimizing the effectiveness of a community's land. They formulate plans for the development and management of urban and suburban areas, typically analyzing land use compatibility as well as economic, environmental and social trends. In developing their plan for a community (whether commercial, residential, agricultural, natural or recreational), urban planners must also consider a wide array of issues such as sustainability, air pollution, traffic congestion, crime, land values, legislation and zoning codes.

Urban planners are usually hired by developers, private property owners, private planning firms and local/regional governments to assist in the large-scale planning of communal and commercial developments, as well as public facilities and transportation systems. Urban planners in the public role often assist the public and serve as technical advisors in the complex web of the community's political environment. Related disciplines include community, cultural, environmental, historic preservation, housing, regional and transportation planning.

Urban planners in Canada usually hold bachelor's degrees in planning or a Master's degree, typically accredited as an M.Pl, MUP (Master of Urban Planning) MCP (Master of City Planning), MScPl, MES (Master of Environmental Studies) or simply an MA.


Urban planners in Greece typically graduate from Engineering faculties. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and University of Thessaly are the two universities that provide undergraduate studies in urban planning in Greece.


Though planning is not a recognized profession under Indian law, the profession began in 1941 with the School of Planning and Architecture as a Department of Architecture of Delhi College of Engineering now the Delhi Technological University. It was later integrated with the School of Town and Country Planning which was established in 1955 by the Government of India to provide facilities for rural, urban and regional planning. On integration, the school was renamed as School of Planning and Architecture in 1959. Today, it is one of the premier schools of pursuing planning studies at bachelor, masters and post doctorate levels.

The Institute of Town Planners, India (ITPI), set up on the lines of the Royal Town Planning Institute in London is the body representing planning professionals in India. A small group formed itself into an Indian Board of Town Planners which after three years of continuous work formed the ITPI. The institute, which was established in July 1951, today, has a membership of over 2800, apart from a sizable number of student members, many of whom have qualified Associateship Examination (AITP) conducted by ITPI. As of 2012, the institute has 21 regional chapters across India.

Centre for Environment Planning and Technology (CEPT) University [1] in Ahmedabad is one of the pioneering Institutes in India where urban planning is taught.


The Israel Planners Association was founded in 1965. Urban planning is taught by the Technion Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning in Haifa and the Center for Urban and Regional Studies.


Urban planners in Mexico typically graduate from an Architecture background provided by major universities in the country. Most of such degrees can be awarded at Masters' graduate studies, although there are also Bachelors degrees available.

New Zealand[edit]

A professional postgraduate Masters in Planning degree from an institution accredited by the New Zealand Planning Institute [2] is required to become a professional planner. The University of Otago has a good reputation for their Planning programs. Graduates are employed by many planning and planning-related agencies in the public and the private sectors, including district and regional councils, urban development, regional health authorities, the Department of Conservation, the Ministry for the Environment, and urban design consultancies. New Zealand planners are recognized internationally with many working abroad in developed and developing countries.

South Africa[edit]

The South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN) is the statutory Council of nominated members appointed in terms of the Planning Profession Act, 2002 (Act 36 of 2002) by the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform (Department of Rural Development and Land Reform) to regulate the Planning Profession(Planning is both the organisational process of creating and maintaining a plan) in terms of the Act. The Planning Profession Principles applies to all registered planners. The SACPLAN through the Act assures quality in the planning profession through the identification of planning profession work that only registered planners can undertake. The functions of the SACPLAN are contained in Section 7 of the Act. The powers and duties of the SACPLAN are contained in Section 8 of the Act. The Act further prescribes a Professional Code of Conduct for registered planners [1]

United Kingdom[edit]

Those wishing to be a town or country planner, in the United Kingdom, first must complete a degree in a relevant discipline and then complete a final year in the form of a masters in town and country planning which must be accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), or a four year degree encapsulating all aspects. they can then become eligible to be a member of the RTPI, but must first complete two years work based training, to be a full member.

Town planners in the UK are responsible for all aspects of the built environment, wherever you are within the UK a town and country planner will have at sometime planned the built aspects of the environment. They (Local Planning Authorities) grant planning permission (consent) to individuals, private builders and corporations and also aid local government with their decisions.

United States[edit]

Planners in the U.S. typically complete an undergraduate or graduate degree from a University offering the program of study. Professional certification is only offered through the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), a branch of the American Planning Association. To gain AICP certification, a planner must meet specific educational and experience requirements, as well as pass an exam covering the nature and practice of the discipline. Although AICP certification is not required to be a practicing planner, it does serve as a means in which a planner can verify his or her professional expertise.


As more pronounced issues have arisen with the development of larger cities, the scope of work within urban planning has diversified. The following are specializations within the field of urban planning:

All planners deal with land use, space and place, but they provide different viewpoints towards the planning of the built environment. For instance, in planning for a neighbourhood centre, the economic development planner would suggest locations that are economically viable and would be subjected to a steady flow of potential customers. He or she would analyse statistics and projections like the floor-space needed, where the customers are to be drawn from, location of competitors and so forth. The urban designer will come in and suggest principles that make the neighbourhood centre 'liveable', including how to ensure safety in design, design guidelines for developers, and so forth. The infrastructure and transport planner would ensure the efficient provision of basic infrastructure services, including water, electricity and sewerage needed for the smooth running of the businesses, as well as plan for basic public transport services or delineate out cycling paths.

Education and training[edit]

See Urban planning education for a discussion of this topic.

Urban Planning as profession is a relatively young discipline. Few government agencies restrict or license the profession. As a result, a number of other related disciplines actively claim to have the training, expertise and professional scope to practice urban planning. The field is open to almost anyone with an aptitude for the basic principles of urbanism. While organizations such as the American Planning Association, the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Royal Town Planning Institute certify professional planners, others in related fields like Landscape Architecture also claim to have professional autonomy in urban planning. Efforts internationally have attempted to define the role of urban planners through licensure acts. The State of New Jersey licenses Professional Planners. The Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Alberta protect the title of Registered Professional Planner to only those who have an accredited CIP education and experience or equivalent.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Administrator. "SACPLAN - SACPLAN". sacplan.org.za. 

External links[edit]