Girls in Science & Technology: Urban and Regional Planning Career Information

What is planning?
The goal of city and regional planning is to further the welfare of people and their communities by creating convenient, equitable, healthful, efficient and attractive environments for present and future generations. Planning is city building.

Planners plan within a highly collaborative process. Through this collaborative process they help to define the community's vision for itself. Working with local residents, politicians and special groups, planners help establish the vision. Planners work with many types of communities -- small villages, large cities, suburban towns, even counties, states and federal agencies. This vision is created not only from what the community members want, but based on an understanding of the problems and resources at hand. The planner provides this analysis and helps the community look at the options it has for development and change.

Through the analytical planning process, planners consider the physical, social and economic aspects of communities and examine the connections between them. Professionally trained planners also analyze the existing conditions and future trends in the area. They analyze issues such as transportation, land use, housing, recreation and open space, natural and cultural resources, community services, population and economic development. In addition to generating their own data, planners draw upon the work of others to create a comprehensive overview of the community. Once planners have conducted their analysis, they develop strategic alternatives for solving problems in a coordinated and comprehensive manner. These alternatives will guide future development based on the established goals and the systematic analysis.

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