What are the Roles and Objectives of Urban and Regional Planners

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Urban and regional planning is the art and science of ordering and managing land uses based on the detailed understanding and analysis of societal needs, goals and objectives within the social, economic and physical environmental framework.

It is a professional discipline that is concerned with the formulation, design, implementation and monitoring of land use. It is a broad-based discipline requiring a multi-disciplinary approach and knowledge.

It requires comprehensive education and training in the planning, design and management of the total environment from both the theoretical and practical perspectives.

The purpose of an urban and regional planner is to protect and improve the commonwealth of a particular location. The inevitable result of the best efforts of urban planners is a city that promotes the well being of its citizens, reinforces democratic institutions and permits purposeful satisfying lifestyles.

Urban and regional planning in broad terms can be described as the process by which communities attempt to control and/or design change and development in their physical environments. It is also the process by which communities attempt to control and/or design change and development in their physical environments. It has been practised under many names:

  • Town planning
  • City planning
  • Community planning
  • Land use planning and
  • Physical environment planning.

What are the Roles of an Urban Planner

The roles of urban and regional planners can vary somewhat, but the overall goal is to help develop cities into functional, thriving communities that can accommodate the population and offer a pleasant place to live and work. Sounds easy, right? But urban planning requires more than just deciding which new stores should come to town or how land should be used.

The job takes a strong knowledge of regulations and codes to make sure everything’s legal. The main duties of urban planner centred around how land is used in a particular city, county or region.

The goal is to improve the community as a whole with consideration to things such as the environmental impact, economic development and social issues. Some urban planners work in a general planning role while others specialize in certain issues, such as historic preservation or transportation planning.

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What does an urban planner do?

Duties of an urban planner can vary, but often, it includes gathering and analyzing data, looking at site plans from developers, figuring out changes that need to be made to proposals and going into the field to look at factors that affect development. It’s important to understand all of the regulations and codes regarding building and environmental protection.

Urban planner work covers a variety of projects and goals. You might be involved in developing new parks and recreation areas or making the city look more attractive. You might find yourself figuring out how to provide shelter for the homeless population in your city.

If you work in a historic city, you might work to revitalize the area while maintaining the historical integrity. In an urban area that’s growing faster than expected, you may focus on how to accommodate that growth.

A typical urban planner work schedule takes place during normal business hours. There may be some exceptions to accommodate evening or weekend meetings and presentations.

Larger cities are more likely to hire urban planners than smaller towns, so you may need to relocate to a metropolitan area to find a job. While a lot of work is done in the office, you’ll also spend time out of the office inspecting sites and meeting with stakeholders.

Looking at the job growth potential helps you decide if a career path will give you plenty of opportunities. The growth for urban planners is expected to be faster than the average growth of careers in general with a 13% increase from 2016 to 2026. Cities always face growth and change issues that demand urban planners.

Even though the job prospects are good, you may face some competition for jobs. Since urban planners often work for governments, the budget can fluctuate, affecting the need for planners. If funds aren’t available, urban planner positions can’t grow. Learn more https://work.chron.com/role-urban-planners-11562.html

Objective of Urban and Regional Planning

Urban and Regional Planning
Image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay

The objectives of urban and regional are to protect the environment, improve public health and safety, and increase the wealth of choices available to each and every citizen.

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The object of urban planning is also the “physical environment,” which is taken to mean land and all its uses, along with everything that has tangible existence on or beneath the land surface. Planning also includes the manner and style by which buildings are laid out in a city and the design of public places.

Philosophy of Urban and Regional Planning for Academic Purpose

Developing students to understand urban and regional planning through the study of theories and methods for planning, designing and managing land-use activities and the environment;

Assisting students to acquire an understanding of the development of the social, economic, technological and legislative framework of society within the existing physical, social and economic planning processes, and the potential capacities of that framework for more coherent and relevant collaborative policy formulation and implementation.

Providing students with varied practical experience of realistic planning problems, and to encourage the students to develop interest in particular planning skills and research methods. Variety of issues fall within the scope of urban and regional planning, depending partly on the geographical scale of the planning area.

Regional planners will be concerned with such matters as the protection of farmland or other valued resource sites (eg, forests, mineral deposits, seashores, lakeshores); the preservation of unique natural or historical features; the locations of highways and other transport facilities, such as PIPELINES or airports.

And the growth prospects of communities located throughout the region. If the region is organized around a large city, the planners must also take account of the problems caused by the city’s expansion, and its impact upon the surrounding countryside and nearby towns.

For cities and towns, planning issues are of 2 general kinds

First, there is a need to think ahead to accommodate the city’s growth – deciding which lands should be built on and when, and whether they should be used for residential development, for industry or for some more specialized function, such as a shopping centre or playing fields. Eventually, more detailed plans will also be required to determine the layout of every piece of land.

Urban and Regional Planning
Image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay

The street network has to be designed; sites have to be reserved for schools and parks, shops, public buildings and religious institutions; provision has to be made for transit services and utilities; and development standards have to be set and design ideas have to be tested to ensure that the desired environmental quality is achieved.

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The second group of issues concerns those parts of the community that are already developed. Planners will distinguish between areas where change is not desired and those where change is either unavoidable or judged to be needed. In the former case, the concern is for maintaining the built environment at its existing quality, regardless of pressures for change.

This applies particularly to inner-city neighbourhoods which face pressures for apartment redevelopment or for streets to be widened to permit through traffic. In the latter case, the problem is to facilitate the changes that are considered most desirable.

In one situation this may mean that a deteriorating area has to be upgraded; in another, it may mean that buildings have to be demolished to allow their sites to be used in a new and different way.

Urban environments continue to change. As cities age, it becomes more difficult and more expensive to maintain environmental quality. People’s needs and desires change as well, and the built environment must be constantly adapted. Special restoration or revitalization programs may be undertaken to try to draw business back to declining shopping districts and stimulate the local economy.

Culled from The Canadian Encyclopedia | Urban and Regional Planning

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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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