Community development is a complex business that involves a multidisciplinary approach to achieving goals. The role of the community development planner is to determine how best to use the land, usually through the construction of new housing or business developments.
In some cases, building grass-roots support for a project can be a key step. In others, environmental protection and integration are vital. The job of a community development planner is a complex one, requiring many different skills and abilities.
Community Development Planner Required Skills
A development planner’s job is usually to help decide where and when to construct new buildings, a good grounding in that process is a necessary first step.
Understanding building codes and regulations in the project’s municipality is a key part of the job, as guiding projects through potential pitfalls is one of the requirements of a development planner.
Also required is an ability to understand population maps and statistics regarding the growth, or lack of growth, in a particular area. An ability to understand environmental statistics and impact statements is also necessary.
Perhaps the most important skills a community development planner can have are an ability to work with a wide variety of people and explain a great deal of complex information to them.
Development planning can often involve new legislation, which requires the ability to make a case to a legislative body.
These projects always have an impact on the people who live in areas under consideration for development, and being able to convey the positive impact development can have is important in gaining their support.
What does a Community Development Planner Do
Development planning primarily deals with advising civic leaders on the best way to use their land resources. To this end, a development planner will study and commission reports on a wide variety of subjects, from population statistics and business statements to environmental impact figures.
Once this information has been processed, the planner works with a variety of people to develop new construction projects. These projects are planned and designed to produce results such as improving living conditions or create economic growth.
A community development planner most often work within a civic office or department. Managing a team of specialists usually is one of the planner’s responsibilities, as well as guiding their efforts.
As a development planner usually works within the government in some capacity, reporting to civic leaders about the progress of projects is part of the job. Assisting leaders to write legislation is also a development planner’s responsibility. Moreover, a development planner is usually an overall manager of capital improvement projects.
Required Education and Training
A master’s degree is usually a requirement for a community development planner, most often in an area such as urban planning, environmental planning, or public administration. A master’s degree is not always required if a candidate has a certain amount of practical experience.
Further education in related areas such as architecture, geography, or law is usually a good idea, as development planning requires an understanding of a large variety of subjects. Practical experience usually revolves around work in city planning departments at various levels.