Town Planning

Town planners manage the competing demands on the use of space, balancing social, economic and environmental needs to shape the way that towns and cities grow.

Practice Area Town Planning
Introduction Planning covers a very broad area, but work can include designing new towns or villages, ensuring legislation is upheld, protecting historical and important buildings and ensuring that suitable land becomes available for development
What skills are required?
  • Excellent communication skills, including negotiation skills
  • The ability to work well with clients, communities and other professionals.
  • Commercial awareness
  • Strong organisation skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Project management skills
  • Creative thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills to come up with imaginative solutions to planning problems
What qualifications are required? A non-cognate or RTPI accredited degree is usually required. Planners can work towards chartered status with the Royal Institute of Town Planners (RTPI)
What is it like in practice?

Town planning is a varied area and many people choose to specialise in one particular area, such as urban design or conservation.

Town planners assess planning applications, consulting with stakeholders, carrying out relevant research and data analysis. They may need to negotiate with developers and other professionals, attend public presentations and present at planning boards, appeals and public inquiries

Work Environment Mainly office based but with some site visits and client meetings or presentations
Employment opportunities

Town planners can work in the public sector for local or national government bodies, although opportunities also exist in the private sector, in planning consultancies, firms of chartered surveyors, and public utilities.

Whilst many students have an RTPI accredited degree, there may be opportunities for non-cognate graduates to study for a planning qualification whilst working.

An apprenticeship route is also available.

More information

Visit RTPI (opens new window)

Visit Prospects (opens new window)

Relevant UCEM programmes

BSc Real Estate Management

MSc Real Estate

MBA Construction and Real Estate

You might like this role if you enjoy:

  • Using technology and design skills to develop innovative solutions
  • Using perceptual skills to interpret maps, charts and diagrams

See more skills used by town planning specialists:

  • Project management
  • Using verbal and written communication skills
  • Working with different people such as clients, contractors, and the general public
  • Creativity and problem-solving
  • Analysing and identifying patterns in data