Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Public or private sector?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Mar 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    16

    Public or private sector?

    It occurs to me, as an urban designer who's been working in a private firm, that I may be in the relative minority here in Cyburbia. True? Does anyone have a sense of the proportion of those in public sector jobs to private sector here?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,762

    This calls for a Maisterization

    ...aka, a poll!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian The District's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire Seacoast
    Posts
    374
    heavily skewed towards the public side.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Gone to a better place (in my mind)
    Posts
    407
    I've been both, and I never felt like there was a big difference between the two.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Ocean to the east, land to the west
    Posts
    1,057
    Mostly been on the public side but based on my limited exposure to private planning I think there's a big difference. Public planning involves dealing with politics directly. Private planning involves dealing with keeping clients happy. Public planning is for people who want power. Private planning is for people who want to make $$$.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Remote command post at local bar
    Posts
    3,961
    If you're just starting, I recommend some good public planning experience, it makes you more valuable to a private firm and also gets some good contacts. In the end, you never know, you may enjoy public planning

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,789
    Quote Originally posted by dvdneal View post
    If you're just starting, I recommend some good public planning experience, it makes you more valuable to a private firm and also gets some good contacts. In the end, you never know, you may enjoy public planning
    Working on the dark side for the past four years (with 2 1/2 years public before that) I disagree that public sector experience will always make you more valuable to a private firm. It's certainly not a detriment, but if you end up working for a firm whose clients are mostly developers or even a design-build, the public sector experience, although appreciated, may not carry as much weight as previous experience working for a developer, contractor, etc.

    Private sector planners also deal with politics directly. In most contracts, we work more directly with the municipal planning staff. However, the Village Board will have the ultimate say in awarding contracts. We also have contracts in communities with strong-mayor governments where the contracts are betwen the consulting firm and the mayor. This could be a devastating loss of company revenue if the mayor is voted out of office. Finally, in rural communities, the consulting firm IS the planning staff, and works on behalf of the community like any in-house public sector planner.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  8. #8
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Gone to a better place (in my mind)
    Posts
    407
    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Private sector planners also deal with politics directly. In most contracts, we work more directly with the municipal planning staff. However, the Village Board will have the ultimate say in awarding contracts. We also have contracts in communities with strong-mayor governments where the contracts are betwen the consulting firm and the mayor. This could be a devastating loss of company revenue if the mayor is voted out of office. Finally, in rural communities, the consulting firm IS the planning staff, and works on behalf of the community like any in-house public sector planner.
    Absolutely. Having been planning staff in a couple of small towns and having worked on reports and plans for public sector clients while in the private sector, I can tell you that it feels about the same as in the public sector.

    The biggest differences? Working directly with developers and landowners to create a project that could actually exist in my lifetime was a lot of fun. But it also showed me that plans can have real consequences for private development decisions, even if those decisions are out of the public eye. Perhaps the real difference between public and private planning is that they are two sides of the same coin, and both sides end up playing off each other to find a happy (?) medium in the middle.

    But, since we all use the same techniques and follow the same rules, I feel that there is much more commonality between public and private than there are differences.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2005
    Location
    In the Peach State
    Posts
    921
    I have worked for two private firms and two public agencies. Currently, I work on the public side.
    Satellite City Enabler

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Public sector planning versus private sector
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 13
    Last post: 08 Jun 2007, 10:56 AM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last post: 16 Feb 2007, 2:27 AM
  3. Public vs private sector
    Student Commons
    Replies: 4
    Last post: 22 Jan 2005, 2:51 PM
  4. Private or Public sector?????
    Make No Small Plans
    Replies: 8
    Last post: 20 Sep 2002, 2:53 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last post: 22 May 2000, 12:55 PM