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Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design

ISBN: 978-1-118-15193-8
336 pages
July 2011
Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design (1118151933) cover image

Becoming an Urban Planner answers these key questions:

What do urban planners do?

What are the educational requirements?

How do I enter the field?

How do I choose between the different types of planning, from land use planning to policy planning?

What is the future of the urban planning profession?

Here is a completely up-to-date guide to today's careers in urban planning—a clear and concise survey of the urban planning field and advice for navigating a successful career. Filled with interviews and guidance from leading urban planners, it covers everything from educational requirements to planning specialties and the many directions in which a career in urban planning can go.

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About the Authors.

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

1. Becoming an Urban Planner: What Planners Do.

Employment in Planning.

A Young Profession: Planning Emerges in the Late Nineteenth Century.

Urban Planning Is about the Future.

Urban Planning Is about Place.

Urban Planning Is about Helping Other People Make Decisions.

The Planning Process.

Buyer Beware: Things You Might Not Like About a Career in Planning.

What Kind of Salary Can a Planner Expect to Make?

Skills for Becoming an Urban Planner.

2. Becoming an Urban Planner: Education.

What Research Shows About Planners’ Education.

Preparing for a Professional Education.

Communicating in Words.

Communicating through Pictures.

Being Comfortable with Numbers.

Drawing, Planning, and Urban Design.

Picking a College Major.

And on to Graduate School.

Choosing the Right Graduate Program.

Applying to Graduate School.

Financing a Planning Education.

Planning Curriculum: Knowledge, Skills, and Values.

Specializations.

Dual-Degree Options.

Alternative Paths.

Conclusion.

3. Becoming an Urban Planner: Experience.

Informational Interviews.

Job Shadowing.

Volunteer Experience.

Internships.

Cooperative Education.

Peace Corps and AmeriCorps VISTA.

Networking to Break the Ice.

4. Planners’ Many Paths.

Many Paths into a Planning Career.

Who Influenced You?

Where Do You Want to Work?

Planning Timeframes.

At What Geographic Scale Do You Want to Work?

What Planning Topics Interest You?

Urban Design.

Housing Planning and Policy.

Economic Development Planning.

Historic Preservation Planning.

Community Engagement and Empowerment.

Environmental and Natural Resources Planning.

Geographic Information Systems.

Land Use Planning, Law, and Code Enforcement.

Transportation Planning.

Planning for Sustainability.

Emerging Specializations in the Era of Sustainability.

Teaching Others to Become Planners.

Challenges and Rewards.

5. What Is the Future of Planning?

Economic Recession and Planning.

Geospatial Technology and Planning.

Rediscovering Public Health.

Carbon, Climate Change, Peak Oil, and Planning for Sustainable Energy.

A Bright Future for Planning.

Resources.

References.

Index.

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Michael Bayer, AICP, is a planner with Environmental Resources Management in Annapolis, Maryland. Before becoming an urban planner, he was a newspaper reporter whose articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Journal Gazette, the Post-Bulletin, as well as Planning magazine.

Nancy Frank, PhD, AICP, is an associate professor and the chair of the department of urban planning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Frank has been instrumental in the development of the School for Urban Planning and Architecture (SUPAR), a charter Milwaukee public high school that opened in fall 2007.

Jason Valerius, AICP, is a planner and urban designer for MSA Professional Services, in Madison, Wisconsin. Valerius served for four years as assistant editor of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Planning Association quarterly newsletter (WAPANews).

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