How to work in Urban Planning or Regional Planning
What is an Urban Planning and Regional Planning?
Do you enjoy community spaces, architecture or heritage sites? Are you interested in the sustainability, the environment and urban development? Then Urban Planning or Regional Planning could be for you.
Urban and regional planners develop plans and programs for the use of land in both metropolitan and regional areas. They are involved in projects like planning new suburbs and communities or redesigning existing urban spaces to improve sustainability, safety or energy efficiency. They are also hired for conservation efforts for old buildings, archaeological sites and other areas of interest.
To effectively carry out their tasks, urban and regional planners need to keep up to date with planning and environmental regulations.
As an urban or regional planner, you would meet with planning officials, hold planning and consultation meetings with local and state governments, the general public, private developers, or special interest groups. As part of the role you would address and find solutions for any issues which arise during planning or due to land use. You could be required to develop and refine planning policies for governments at every level.
To become an urban or regional planner, you would need to have excellent negotiation skills, researching abilities and report-writing skills. Problem solving abilities and critical thinking skills are also key to the role. Planners must always have an interest in the environment and sustainable outcomes for communities in mind.
Because you would be working with other professionals, government agencies and teams, you would need to have tact, diplomacy, good communication skills and respect for different perspectives. You would also need sound judgement and the ability to make balanced decisions.
Hours & Conditions:
Urban or regional planners who work full time usually do a standard number of hours every week. You may have to attend events like public meetings outside of normal work hours. Part time and flexible hours may also be available. You could be employed in an office but you might travel to different locations for meetings or site visits. For this reason, you need to have a current driver’s license.
How to working Urban Planning or Regional Planning: Qualifications
If you would like to become an urban or regional planner you would need to study urban, regional or environmental planning at university. You could also undertake a degree in another discipline like economics, environmental management or geography. Getting into these courses will usually require a secondary school certificate or equivalent. Appropriate subjects to study at high school are English and mathematics.
The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) www.planning.org.au is the national body representing planning and the planning profession.
To look at courses that will help you find a role as an urban or regional planner, check out
The job outlook for urban or regional planner is positive and projected to likely grow as fast as the the average for all occupations. The increased demand for these professionals is driven by factors like population growth, economic factors and environmental concerns. Expect employment growth in cities, suburbs and regional areas.