By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Architecture
U.S. News & World Report named the urban planner as one of the top 50 careers of 2011, forecasting "strong growth" for the position in the next decade.
Ben Baden writes:
An expanding population has created the need for additional transportation systems, affordable housing, and schools in many parts of the country. The urban and regional planning field is expected to grow 19 percent, from 38,400 jobs in 2008 to 45,700 jobs by 2018, according to the Labor Department. Most of the new jobs will be with state and local governments.
That's good news, because a gig like this pays pretty well for a public sector job: urban and regional planners earned a median salary of $61,820 in 2009. (Tack on another $10,000 for a job at a private architectural or engineering firm.)
So what's an urban planner do, exactly? Study how land is currently used, get community input on future use, forecast that use case, then actually set pencil to paper, minding regulations and budget constraints.
Whether for a school or a housing development or a park (or bike trails or high-speed rail or city transit), the urban planner no doubt has their work cut out for them in an age where interest in infrastructure is high.
In fact, USN&WR's top 50 list features quite a few smart jobs. Among our favorites: biomedical engineer (healthcare!), civil engineer (cities!), environmental science technician (environment!), network architect (smart grid!), HVACR technician (green building!).
Dec 12, 2010
@IMWeira: The land in rural areas may be cheaper to purchase but it places a huge burden on tax payers. Public infrastructure (waterlines, roads, electrical lines, even sewer) must be brought out to these remote rural areas which are paid for by public funds. Developers must cease to build low density housing in suburbs and rural areas to not only reduce the need for expensive infrastructure but also to preserve the agricultural/natural resource lands in those rural areas which we need for the future. You know nothing of what planners are trying to accomplish IMWeira.
My experience with big cities is that they are a trap for poverty stricken children and their mothers. Anyone with a few dollars heads out to the suburbs or even rural areas. Land is cheaper out there and you know very well that in 20 years the city will come to you and the land will be worth enough to retire on. Or at least to move on and buy some more land on spec.
megacities are not the way to go. internet will make it irrelevant as ppl can work, entertain and shop from anywhere.
If a large city is 20,000,000 and the optimum size is 3,600 people, 5,500 new towns are required to replace each mega-city.
I think that all the factors that originally led to big urban environments developing have been mitigated by modern technology. The mega city has seen its day, and the longer it takes American society to realize this, the more of a burden our bloated cities will be to our economy. Our town (pop. ~ 3600) is economically viable, unlike mostly all the big cities and suburban areas. There's much less crime because everyone knows everyone else's business. It's a cleaner environment with better schools and friendlier people. A small town has all the benefits of urban/suburban living without any of the detriments.