What does a Planner do?

Professional planners help create a broad vision for the community. They also research, design, and develop programs; lead public processes; effect social change; perform technical analyses; manage; and educate. Some planners focus on just some of these roles, such as transportation planning, but most will work at many kinds of planning throughout their careers.

The basic element is the creation of a plan. Planners develop a plan through analysis of data and identification of goals for the community or the project. Planners help the community and its various groups identify their goals and form a particular vision.

In the creation of a plan, planners identify the strategies by which the community can reach its goals and vision. Planners are also responsible for the implementation or enforcement of many of the strategies, often coordinating the work of many groups of people. It is important to recognize that a plan can take a variety of forms including: policy recommendations, community action plans, comprehensive plans, neighborhood plans, regulatory and incentive strategies, or historic preservation plans.

Other examples of plans include: redevelopment plans, smart growth strategies, economic development strategic plans, site plans, and disaster preparedness plans.

Planners work in every state and around the world. They work in rural areas, suburban areas, and large cities. They function in the public sector within federal, state, and local governments. They also work in nonprofits and within the private sector in real estate development companies and planning or multi-disciplinary consulting firms. Click here for selected geographic and employment-sector data from the APA Member Survey.
To gain insight the variety of contexts within which planners work, visit the websites of APA's divisions. You'll learn about transportation planning, urban design, planning law, and many other arenas of planning.

http://www.planning.org/aboutplanning/whatisplanning.htm
 

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