Urban and Regional Planner Career

Job Description: Develop comprehensive plans and programs for use of land and physical facilities of jurisdictions, such as towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas.


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Urban and Regional Planner Career

What Urban and Regional Planners do:

  • Advise planning officials on project feasibility, cost-effectiveness, regulatory conformance, or possible alternatives.
  • Assess the feasibility of land use proposals and identify necessary changes.
  • Conduct field investigations, surveys, impact studies, or other research to compile and analyze data on economic, social, regulatory, or physical factors affecting land use.
  • Coordinate work with economic consultants or architects during the formulation of plans or the design of large pieces of infrastructure.
  • Create, prepare, or requisition graphic or narrative reports on land use data, including land area maps overlaid with geographic variables such as population density.
  • Design, promote, or administer government plans or policies affecting land use, zoning, public utilities, community facilities, housing, or transportation.
  • Determine the effects of regulatory limitations on land use projects.
  • Discuss with planning officials the purpose of land use projects, such as transportation, conservation, residential, commercial, industrial, or community use.
  • Evaluate proposals for infrastructure projects or other development for environmental impact or sustainability.
  • Hold public meetings with government officials, social scientists, lawyers, developers, the public, or special interest groups to formulate, develop, or address issues regarding land use or community plans.
  • Identify opportunities or develop plans for sustainability projects or programs to improve energy efficiency, minimize pollution or waste, or restore natural systems.
  • Mediate community disputes or assist in developing alternative plans or recommendations for programs or projects.
  • Review and evaluate environmental impact reports pertaining to private or public planning projects or programs.
  • Supervise or coordinate the work of urban planning technicians or technologists.
  • Advocate for sustainability to community groups, government agencies, the general public, or special interest groups.
  • Develop plans for public or alternative transportation systems for urban or regional locations to reduce carbon output associated with transportation.
  • Investigate property availability for purposes of development.
  • Keep informed about economic or legal issues involved in zoning codes, building codes, or environmental regulations.
  • Recommend approval, denial, or conditional approval of proposals.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Holland Code Chart for an Urban and Regional Planner

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