An urban planner or a town planners is someone who practices in the area of planning and developing towns and cities. Their role is to assist the government, local communities and private entities who wish to develop their towns and cities by coordinating their plans and designs. They have the authority to plan and prepare the most beneficial development plans for a town or city through comprehensive study, consultation, analysis and negotiation with other agencies as well as experts in related fields such as economic, social and demographic analysis, environmental impact analysis and technical feasibility study. The planning process requires long and intensive consultations with many different stakeholder groups. This is where the expertise of a town planner comes in. Urban planners are usually engaged by one governmental agency or the other and they do their planning work for a set of towns or cities.
Town planners are usually employed by public authorities and they do the overall planning and development work for their town or cities. They are also responsible for making sure that the legal documentation is current and up to date and they ensure that the town planning and building control regulations are being followed. Urban planners may be employed by private developers use them to help them design the town, city and sometimes even countries’ development projects. There are consultants and planners who are consultants for developers, architects and private individuals. The number of consultants has increased over the years because developers and builders have to make as many decisions as possible regarding design and construction of buildings and the like.
Urban planning and development is a process that involves many aspects. These include economic development, cultural diversity, transportation, natural resources management, land use and planning coordination. These factors need to be considered carefully because each of these issues affects the people living in a particular town. Some of the skills that these specialists possess are information technology, decision sciences, geography, planner skills, community and stakeholder management, budgeting, legal drafting and so on. Most of these specialists have bachelor’s degrees in business or law. The higher level specialists have master degrees and PhDs in their field.