Top Jobs Directly Related to Urban and Regional Planning

The urban planners are required to develop plans for the use of land and revitalization of the urban zones. Urban planners help mostly to solve economic, environmental, and social issues by recommending locations for schools, roads, hospitals and other structures. The urban planner’s duties are based on the people needs and how the construction projects may affect people’s lifestyle.

The main requirements for an urban planner is to have a Master´s Degree in courses offered by an accredited Planning program in Regional or Urban Planning or other related subjects such as Environmental Planning, Geography, and Urban Design.

Most people who want to study these programs require ro have a Bachelor´s Degree in Geography, Economics, Environmental Design, or Political Science. There are schools that offer urban planning qualifications, but people having just these awards have limited opportunities without a Master´s Degree.

People working on the urban planning business can have specializations such as Transportation Planning, Natural Resources Planning, Community Development, Urban Design, among other subjects.

Now, let’s talk about the top jobs related to urban planning

Facilities manager

Urban and Regional Planning

This is a job role that is responsible for making sure that buildings and their services meet the needs of the people that work in them. The facilities managers are accountable for services such as cleaning, security and parking, to make sure the surrounding environment is in a suitable condition to work.

The facilities managers also manage any building maintenance with things like heating and air conditioning, to maintain the working environment. The function of their job position can typically vary depending on the company. However, the duties would typically include managing any refurbishments, renovations and office moves to make sure they all run smoothly and according to plan.

Facilities managers are responsible for the general upkeep and maintenance of buildings to ensure that they meet health and safety standards and also the legal requirements. They need to manage the cleaning, waste disposal, catering, security and parking of each site while managing the budgets and keeping records of all payments.

They are also responsible for managing the office systems, which can often include the IT and office equipment. In some cases, individuals working as facilities managers will work for an external company, contracted in to manage a number of different organisations. The job title may also differ. It could be anything from a business services manager to support services manager or contracts manager. Continue reading

Housing manager/officer

This is the duty of someone who manages housing and related services on behalf of housing associations, local authorities, charities and private sector organisations. A housing manager role will involve managing a designated patch of housing and keeping in regular contact with tenants, looking after rental income and dealing with repairs and neighbour nuisance issues.

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It is common practice to work with specific clients, such as homeless people, minority groups or people with disabilities. A housing manager may have line management responsibility for a team of housing officers, rent arrears staff and tenancy support officers, and participation in more strategic projects.

Some housing organisations offer graduate trainee schemes. These schemes generally provide the opportunity to gain experience in a range of departments and sometimes offer a professional qualification. It may also be possible to secure a graduate internship on a specific project. Contact housing organisations directly for details of opportunities. Continue reading

Sustainability Consultant

These professionals are hired advisors and experts to help companies and businesses become more socially and environmentally responsible in how they conduct business operations. They can go by the names of sustainable consultant, green consultant, eco consultant, or environmental management consultants.

They help a company move forward with developing and implementing a plan to go green when the company just doesn’t have the expertise or personnel to do it well. Consultants can be hired for short or long term projects and usually specializes in a particular area, industry, and type of company. Continue reading

Landscape Architects

They design attractive and functional public parks, gardens, playgrounds, residential areas, college campuses, and public spaces. They also plan the locations of buildings, roads, walkways, flowers, shrubs, and trees within these environments. Landscape architects design these areas so that they are not only easy to use but also harmonious with the natural environment.

Landscape architects use various technologies in their work. For example, using CADD software, landscape architects prepare models of their proposed work. They present these models to clients for feedback and then prepare the final look of the project.

Many landscape architects also use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) which offer GPS coordinates of different geographical features. This helps landscape architects design different environments by providing clues on where to start planning and how to anticipate future effects of the landscape, such as rainfall running into a valley.

The goals of landscape architects are to enhance the natural beauty of a space and foster environmental benefits. Landscape architects may plan the restoration of natural places that were changed by humans or nature, such as wetlands, streams, and mined areas.

Landscape architects also may design green roofs (roofs that are covered in soil and plants) or rooftop gardens that can retain stormwater, absorb air pollution, and cool buildings while also providing pleasant scenery. Continue reading

Environmental Manager

The environmental manager is responsible for overseeing the environmental performance of private and public sector organisations and for developing, implementing and monitoring environmental strategies that promote sustainable development.

They advise organisations on how to minimise their impact on the environment and, in some cases, oversee the delivery of impact reduction strategies. They typically develop and then measure the success of the schemes for waste management, renewable energy, recycling, pollution reduction and pollution prevention.

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The focus of the role of an environmental manager will differ according to the type of organisation worked for and remit set. For example, environmental managers working for construction companies will typically work on construction sites, ensuring that environmental legislation and best practices are complied with and that targets are achieved. Continue reading

Building Surveyor

They offer professional advice on factors affecting existing buildings such as building defects, alterations, renovations and extensions, as well as on the design and construction of new buildings. Building surveyor works mostly on-site to monitor the performance of structures and devises ways to improve them or correct flaws in their design.

The building surveyor work alongside local planning bodies, clients, construction workers and other professionals to ensure projects meet the relevant safety, sustainability and preservation standards.

Building surveyors are office-based, they will make regular site visits and can work outside in all weathers. Building surveyors tend to work typical office hours, although extra hours may be required to meet report or project deadlines.

A few building surveying employers will recruit graduates with undergraduate degrees in any subject and pay for them to complete the RICS postgraduate degree while working for them. However, most want to hire you with an RICS-accredited degree already. Continue reading

Transport Planner

Transport planner is someone who works alongside government agencies to select and develop plans to organize mass transit. Transit routes may be developed for walking, bicycling, bussing, rail, or air. They normally communicate through the media in oral, written or visual forms.

The transport planner may, therefore, be involved in designing leaflets and questionnaires for the purposes of communicating or receiving feedback from the public. Meetings are a large part of their job, with duties including attendance, note-taking, and scheduling.

Transport planner understands the practical application of engineering science and technology, particularly the principles, techniques, and equipment involved in the production of goods and services. They consider safety, environmental, and efficiency issues in areas such as land use, infrastructure analysis, environmental compliance, and corridor planning.

They allocate resources to initiate and develop projects and are responsible for the identification of needs, the preparation of plans and estimates, and adherence to regulations. Transport planners may be called upon to act as an expert witness at public inquiries. Jobs range from playing a small role in a larger master plan to managing a region-wide public transport system. Continue reading

Community Development Worker

A community development worker helps communities to bring about social change and improve the quality of life in their local area. They act as the link between communities and a range of other local authority and voluntary sector providers, such as the police, social workers and teachers.

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The community development worker frequently is involved in addressing inequality. Projects often target communities perceived to be culturally, economically or geographically disadvantaged. Community development workers seek to actively engage communities in making sense of the issues which affect their lives, setting goals for improvement and responding to problems and needs through empowerment and active participation.

Community development worker can be generic or specialised. Generic community work takes place in a particular geographical area, focusing on working with the community to identify their needs and issues, and formulating strategies to address those issues. The setting is either urban or rural, with rural community development work increasingly attracting attention. Continue reading

Urban Planning Education, Training, and Certification

Working as an urban planner generally requires an advanced degree. While certifications are not necessary, they can help with advancement. A master’s degree in urban or regional planning from a program accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board generally is required.

A master’s degree in a related field like urban design or geography also may be acceptable. Bachelor’s degrees in economics, geography, political science, or environmental design are good options for preparing for a master’s program.

Urban planners need to have a lot of specific knowledge and experience to be good at their jobs, but they also need certain soft skills to help them manage the sometimes challenging environment of government work. Urban planners need to be able to interact with members of the public, including the local business community, and members of elected councils and boards.

It’s important to be able to communicate a municipality’s planning needs while also listening to the interests and priorities of others. Employment opportunities for urban planners are expected to grow at a rate of 13% during the decade ending in 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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About the author

I am Adegboyega Tunde Temitayo. A registered Town Planner with the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) and Town Planners Registration Council (TOPREC).

I love to think differently and possibly on various Urban and Regional Planning issues to proffer solutions to Urban and Rural Environmental Problems. You can subscribe to my YouTube Channel

As the Chief Editor of Town Planners Diary, I humbly welcome you to this platform which is about enhancing Planning Education through research on various Town Planning and Environmental issues.

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