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What does a Town Planner do?

Professional planners tackle real world issues, such as climate change or housing shortages. Working as a town planner is a personally and professionally rewarding career, and one in which you can make a very real and lasting impact on peoples' lives. 

What are you most interested in? What would you do to improve your local area? Our topic pages provide information on key planning topics and issues including climate change and energy, design and regeneration.

What do Town Planners do?

Planning covers a very broad area, so the work is varied. Depending on the job role, it may include:

  • designing new towns or villages
  • balancing the needs of communities, businesses and the environment
  • informing and directing policy at local and national levels
  • protecting buildings that are of historical and architectural importance
  • ensuring that suitable land becomes available for development

Day In The LifeWhat does it take to be a Town Planner?

Good town planners should have:

  • A keen interest in improving places and spaces for others
  • The knowledge and understanding that enables you to succesfully manage competing uses of space
  • Creative thinking, attention to detail and analytical skills to produce innovative and useful solutions to planning problems
  • Good communication and negotiation skills to help you work with a diverse range of people
  • A commitment to uploading professional standards and ethics

Planning is a profession in its own right and is mainly concerned with the use of land. However, town planners also need to know about related issues such as architecture, traffic and transport, building construction, property development, environmental conservation, sustainability and social inclusion.

Where do Town Planners work?

Where Planners WorkChartered Town Planners work in all kinds of organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors, or as self-employed consultants. They can also work for legal or financial institutions or in universities as lectureres and researchers. Town Planners get involved in major projects throughout the world and the RTPI has members in 80 countries.

Interested? Learn about your next steps to a career in town planning.

To learn more about what Chartered Town Planners do, have a look at the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2016

More information on careers in Town Planning is available in our careers guide or by contacting careers@rtpi.org.uk