Urban planner jobs can be found in towns and cities around the world. Most urban planners are employed by the government and may develop many different cities at once. Some have experience in managing all aspects of urban development while others may focus on just one aspect of a city's needs, such as transportation or economic development. These professionals work with city, county, state, or national officials to determine where to place roads, business centers, residential areas, or community facilities, such as schools and hospitals.
Cities, suburbs, towns, and rural areas all may use urban planners for a variety of different reasons. The needs of these different types of communities are often different from one another, so many urban planners will choose to specialize in one of these types of urban planner jobs. Cities, for example, may rely on an urban planner to help the city grow without becoming congested, while towns may need planners who can help keep the aesthetic and feel of the town intact as it grows.
Most urban planner jobs involve a variety of different tasks. These types of jobs require that planners take many things into account, including population, growth, the economy, transportation, and public needs, while they are planning how to zone the city. They may also plan with a city's historic or aesthetic needs in mind, such as maintaining the feel of a quaint, walkable downtown area or making sure that natural spaces are planned into city development.
Other urban planners may specialize in a certain aspect of city planning. Transportation development is one of the most common types of urban planner jobs and can involve the creation of new roads and the planning of public transportation, including subways, buses and trains. The economic development of a city can also be handled in part by an urban planner. These types of jobs can involve zoning for more business or industrial development and ensuring that there is a large enough population within commuting distance to support the type of development desired.
The most common place to find urban planner jobs are within government organizations. Large cities may have a budget large enough to hire urban planners who will work just with that city, but most urban planning jobs are found at the state or province level or even at the national level. Urban planners employed by the government may work on a number of different cities and towns at once.