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Careers in Urban and Regional Planning

One of the primary markers of civilisation is our ability to adapt the spaces we inhabit to meet our needs.

 As our demographics, societies and economics have continued to evolve, so has the profession of planning.

 Urban and regional planning

 Urban and regional planners, sometimes also called town planners, are responsible for shaping spaces – be they cities, towns or regions – by advising on development, infrastructure and services.

 Planners are critical in helping us develop our spaces in a way that balances what is man-made and what is naturally available to us.

 They are essentially responsible for ensuring spaces are developed in a way that meets our future needs as well as our current needs.

 Planners work closely with a wide variety of professionals including engineers, scientists, building surveyors, economists, politicians, and environmental scientists and consultants.

 Specialisations in planning

 Planning relates to a broad range of areas and specialisation. Planners interested in environmental sustainability can specialise in environmental planning, sustainable development or natural resource management.

 Other areas of planning include urban design, transport planning, regional and rural planning, social planning, and community development.

 What sorts of planning jobs are there?

 Planners work in government at all tiers including local, state and federal. They also work for private consultancy firms who provide expertise to a diverse range of industries such as property development.

 In addition to government and private sector consulting jobs, there are planning jobs in academia in both research and teaching.

 How to get into planning

 To become a planner, you’ll need tertiary qualifications in planning. The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) accredits undergraduate and postgraduate courses in planning.

You can find a current list of accredited courses as well as further useful information here:

 At a minimum, you’ll need an undergraduate degree to become a planner.

 Common pathways to becoming a planner include completing an undergraduate degree in urban and regional planning, or a degree in a relevant field such as geography, economics or engineering, followed by a postgraduate qualification in planning such as a Master of Planning.


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