Urban and regional planners conduct studies and develop proposals for land use. They plan for the overall growth and improvement of urban, suburban, and rural areas.
Urban and regional planners identify community land needs and develop short-term and long-term proposals for meeting those needs. To gather information, planners:
- Meet with public officials
- Hold public hearings
- Consult with architects, developers, and lawyers
- Analyze environmental reports and market research data
After gathering information, planners assess the feasibility of proposals. They recommend whether proposals should be approved or denied.
Typically, planners decide whether parts of a city should be used for residential, commercial, or industrial use. They may propose land be set aside in its natural state to create parks or protect water quality.
Planners consider many factors such as cost and sustainability. Because laws and regulations are always changing, they need to stay up to date on changes to building and zoning codes. They also need to be aware of federal laws that concern public safety, environmental issues, and transportation budgets.
Planners may specialize in one of the following areas:
- Land use and code enforcement
- Environmental and natural resources
- Economic development
- Urban design