Urban planner

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An urban planner is a professional who works in the field of urban planning for the purpose of optimizing the effectiveness of a community's land use and infrastructure. They formulate plans for the development and management of urban and suburban areas, typically analyzing land use compatibility as well as economic, environmental and social trends. In developing their plan for a community (whether commercial, residential, agricultural, natural or recreational), urban planners must also consider a wide array of issues such as sustainability, air pollution, traffic congestion, crime, land values, legislation and zoning codes.

Urban planners are usually hired by developers, private property owners, private planning firms and local/regional governments to assist in the large-scale planning of communal and commercial developments, as well as public facilities and transportation systems. Urban planners in the public role often assist the public and serve as valued technical advisors in the myriad web of the community's political environment. Related disciplines include regional, city, environmental, transportation, housing and community planning.


Urban planners by country

United States

Planners in the U.S. typically complete an undergraduate or graduate degree from a University offering the program of study. Professional certification is only offered through the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), a branch of the American Planning Association. To gain AICP certification, a planner must meet specific educational and experience requirements, as well as pass an exam covering the nature and practice of the discipline. Although AICP certification is not required to be a practicing planner, it does serve as a means in which a planner can verify his or her professional expertise.

New Zealand

A professional postgraduate Masters in Planning degree from an institution accredited by the New Zealand Planning Institute [1] is required to become a professional planner. The University of Auckland and the University of Otago have good reputation for their Planning programs. Graduates are employed by many planning and planning-related agencies in the public and the private sectors, including district and regional councils, urban development, regional health authorities, the Department of Conservation, the Ministry for the Environment, and urban design consultancies. New Zealand planners are recognized internationally with many working in UK, Australia, USA, and other developed and developing countries.

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