WHAT DOES A TOWN PLANNER DO?
See also: What is Town Planning?
In some form or other, town planning has been around since the first settlements were created by early humans.
As modern civilisation has developed, so too has the need for planners to adopt complex systems within the built environment.
Planners must co-ordinate the provision of buildings for housing, businesses, shops and industry and public services such as schools and hospitals, public open space etc. Planners organise transport systems, facilitate the provision of public utilities such as water and energy supplies, sewage systems to support other development. These are just some examples of the wide ranging work undertaken by planners.
Modern day planners utilise the science of organisation and on the arts to create attractive places in which people live, work and play.
A key strength of modern day town planners, compared to other built environment professions is that they will not just look at a development or building in isolation. They must consider the bigger picture. Depending on the role this can be looking at matters on a neighbourhood, town, county, regional, local or even international level.
- Town planners
- City planners
- Spatial planners
- Urban designers
- Environmental planners
- Land use planners
TOWN PLANNERS IN ENGLAND
Guided by the National Planning Policy Framework, planners in England must seek to achieve sustainable development. They do this by considering economic, social, physical and environmental issues to determine the best course of action in each case.
England has a town and country planning system that is set up for the public interest. There are often conflicts between those promoting development and those who may be affected by it. Part of a planner’s role will often be helping to determine where the ‘planning balance’ should be in each case.
The stereotype of a town planner in England is one who works for a Council giving or refusing planning permission. However, the work of a town planner can differ greatly from this. Local authorities, developers, businesses or pressure groups, stakeholders and local communities all have a role to play in the planning process.
Town planning is a varied profession and can be extremely rewarding, whichever role you take up. Not all planners do the same job.
Perhaps when people refer to ‘planners’ they will be referring to the ‘generalist’ town planners, operating across a range of disciplines and specialities and with particular experience and knowledge in the English town and country planning system, how it works and where its loopholes lie.
However, there are also many ‘specialist’ planners who may have particular expertise and experience in a focused discipline, such as:
- development management
- planning policy
- transport planning
- retail planning
- heritage and conservation
- minerals and waste planning
- environmental planning and EIA
- sustainability and energy
- urban design
- landscape design
- development economics
WHERE DO TOWN PLANNERS WORK?
PUBLIC SECTOR TOWN PLANNERS
PRIVATE SECTOR TOWN PLANNERS
THIRD SECTOR TOWN PLANNERS
WHO DO TOWN PLANNERS WORK WITH?
Again … guess what … yes, the list is almost endless.
WHAT IS A CHARTERED TOWN PLANNER?
- Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
- Chartered Institute of Builders (CIOB)
- Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
- Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA)
ROYAL TOWN PLANNING INSTITUTE
- is a hallmark of your professional expertise and integrity with a requirement to meet the entry criteria and practice within the terms of the RTPI Code of Practice
- is an achievement that is recognised around the world
- is a way for potential employers to assess employability
- is a means of achieving and demonstrating continued professional development
- helps with credability when giving evidence as an expert witness
- provides direct access to the Bar
There are many other benefits of being a member of the RTPI. See their website for further information.
A REWARDING CAREER
Planners help to physically shape the world for the better, in the public interest (mainly), and it is an incredibly satisfying profession, particularly when a scheme you have worked on gets built.
The work of Planners helps to improve and support communities, giving people access to homes, transport, schools, shops, leisure, open spaces, and so on. Done well, the profession can deliver places within which people love to live, work and play. The work is endless as places evolve and regenerate and planners have an ongoing responsibility to evolve and think hard about how to work well and deliver sustainable development.
It is (for the most part – there are times when not!) an incredibly rewarding career.
See also: How to Become a Planner
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