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town planner

A town planner is responsible for the design of urban areas, and ensuring that there is balance between demands on land, environmental impact, and economic development. They can work on a national or local level and in any area of the world. It is a highly varied career with some planning officers specialising in specific fields, such as protecting the historical environment.

Planning is an interdisciplinary profession closely related to civil engineering. It is generally considered to be the science and art of finding solutions to land use problems and achieving social, economic and environmental goals through a process of research, analysis and public participation. Urban planners often have significant professional autonomy, and few governments regulate the profession. Practitioners are sometimes referred to as urban planners, town planners or urban designers, but some may also be formally titled planners or civil engineers.

The job of a town planner involves working closely with the community to ensure that developments are carried out in accordance with zoning and other regulations. They are responsible for accepting and assessing applications for development projects, including new buildings, subdivisions and site plans, as well as for reviewing changes to facades or alterations of existing residential or commercial properties. The town planner also provides staffing for the planning and zoning boards and other committees as required.

It is important for a town planner to be able to communicate effectively with both the public and councillors. They also need to be able to interpret technical specifications, blue-prints and complex planning regulations. It is essential that they have a good understanding of local, state and federal laws. In addition, they should have a strong understanding of land use issues and be able to make recommendations for development control processes and policies.

A Town Planner is required to be a member of the Royal Institute of Town Planning (RTPI). In order to become a chartered member, it is necessary to complete an RTPI accredited degree at undergraduate or postgraduate level, with either a combined qualification or a spatial and a specialist qualification. Alternatively, an HND in planning or an apprenticeship is also an option, and with relevant experience this can lead to full RTPI membership.

In the UK, urban planners are responsible for the built aspects of the environment on a local level and are employed by local planning authorities (which usually refers to a specific council for an area). They are also referred to as planning officers. This is a relatively new role and it was only introduced in the late 1960s, following the introduction of town planning legislation. Before this, most urban planning was done on an ad-hoc basis by individuals or groups. In other parts of the world, the profession has been around for much longer. In India, for example, it was established in 1941 in Delhi College of Engineering. Today, there are several universities that offer undergraduate and master’s degrees in planning. This has led to the establishment of The Institute of Town Planners, India which represents planning professionals at bachelor, masters and doctoral levels.