Urban planners are on the forefront of the development of communities all over the world. According to the American Planning Association, "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." As a planner you will often find yourself managing multiple projects which will improve the quality of life of the people in the community.
Name: Bill Scott
Position: Associate Planner, City of San Jose
Education: BS Education
Career Bio: Draftsman, Oklahoma Historical Society; Public Works, City of Oklahoma City; Landscape Architect, Environmental Center; Planner, City of San Jose
Advantages: Planning is an exciting and interactive field in which a person can help design a project which could improve the quality of life of those in the community. Constant interaction with people ensures that planning is a constant learning process.
Advice: People that are interested in planning as a career should be service oriented and knowledgeable on public policy matters. Having a long term view will also help as it will help you identify issues, be observant, and keep your eye on the bigger picture. Bill Scott recommends that people interested in planning obtain a copy of the General Plan of the city they are interested in, as well as read the Curtner Book by Dan Curtner.
How a background in Political Science will help: A background in political science will help a planner understand the complex issues associated with planning. Political Science majors will be able to understand the relationships between policy regulations, developers and the community.