What Does a Master Planner Do?

Jennifer Leigh
Jennifer Leigh
Master planners might examine a city's roads to determine how to improve traffic flow.
Master planners might examine a city's roads to determine how to improve traffic flow.

Master planners are responsible for allocating land for use both in short-term and long-term scenarios. This position is similar to that of a regional planner, and can take place in highly developed or undeveloped areas. Some of the main duties of the job include zoning land, making building recommendations, and researching the jurisdiction in which he or she works. Part of the master planner position involves analyzing the economic impact that building will have on certain areas, meeting with city planners, and studying environmental issues.

A master planner may be responsible for keeping construction from occurring in an environmentally-protected area.
A master planner may be responsible for keeping construction from occurring in an environmentally-protected area.

These professionals spend a lot of time doing research, which involves studying building plans and speaking with professionals in related fields, such as science or environmental affairs. The master planner is responsible for making recommendations about zoning locations for commercial and industrial development, as well as any new buildings, so he or she needs to have a good grasp on any potential problems. In addition, the job entails recommending projects that will help stimulate an area's economy by creating new roads or businesses, which can create jobs in a community.

A master planner may examine the economic impact that a proposed building will have on certain areas.
A master planner may examine the economic impact that a proposed building will have on certain areas.

Environmental concerns are also a part of a master planner's job description. He or she helps to keep construction from occurring in environmentally protected or sensitive areas, and sometimes helps to draft legislation to protect areas. In addition, social issues, such as homelessness, are often addressed by master planners, who can help to create shelters. Parks are zoned in metropolitan areas by planners who wish to beautify and attract more people to live in the area.

Master planners may address social issues, such as homelessness.
Master planners may address social issues, such as homelessness.

The master planner's position is also very public, as he or she attends many meetings with city officials and the public, to discuss petitions for and against building new properties. This means that the planner needs to have done his or her research in advance so that questions can be answered appropriately. It is also the master planner's duty to read letters written to him or her by concerned citizens, and take the information into account when making building or zoning plans.

Budgeting and planning for new projects is also undertaken by a master planner. He or she is in contact with contractors and engineers regarding the financial needs for projects, particularly if they are being funded by the jurisdiction's government where the master planner works. In addition, the master planner meets with architects and builders to finalize building plans before construction on projects begin.

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    • Master planners might examine a city's roads to determine how to improve traffic flow.
      Master planners might examine a city's roads to determine how to improve traffic flow.
    • A master planner may be responsible for keeping construction from occurring in an environmentally-protected area.
      A master planner may be responsible for keeping construction from occurring in an environmentally-protected area.
    • A master planner may examine the economic impact that a proposed building will have on certain areas.
      A master planner may examine the economic impact that a proposed building will have on certain areas.
    • Master planners may address social issues, such as homelessness.
      Master planners may address social issues, such as homelessness.