Urban planning involves designing the layout and development of cities, towns and other urban areas. It encompasses the construction and management of housing, schools and hospitals, as well as regulating traffic and establishing business districts. Urban planners must also consider environmental and cultural issues in their work. They are often employed by government agencies, but can also be found working with private businesses and community groups to produce urban plans that will improve the quality of life for their constituents.
A successful career in Urban Planning requires attention to detail and the ability to work under tight deadlines. Professionals in this field are responsible for ensuring that projects meet legal standards, such as zoning regulations and building codes, and that they adhere to all environmental and architectural guidelines. They typically collaborate with a team of construction professionals, including architects and civil engineers, to create high-quality planning and building projects.
It is important for an urban planner to remain updated on the latest developments in the industry. Zoning laws, building standards and other regulations are constantly changing, and keeping up to date with these changes ensures that an urban planner is producing accurate and effective plans. This is important for the success of any project and can be achieved by speaking with other professionals in the field, attending conferences or seminars and reading industry publications.
When creating a plan for an urban area, it is necessary to take into account the city’s history. For instance, New York City’s landscape is the result of over a billion years of geologic activity, which has created mountain ranges and worn away valleys. This history is reflected in the shape of the city, which must be taken into account when planning for future growth.
Another major consideration is economic factors. A city’s economy depends on a variety of sectors, from manufacturing to retail companies and local government. An urban planner must make sure that these industries are supported, as well as promoting tourism and encouraging the formation of new businesses.
Early critics of urban planning accused its practitioners of focusing on aesthetics at the expense of human welfare, but these criticisms are now outdated. Today, urban planners are concerned with a much wider range of issues, such as the environment, social health and education.
If you would like to become an urban planner, a Master of Public Administration degree from Tulane School of Professional Advancement can prepare you for this exciting and rewarding career. Request more information about the program today!