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Thread: The grey area between urban planning and landscape architecture

  1. #1
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    The grey area between urban planning and landscape architecture

    Hello all
    First off, I am not just looking for a job with this post, but more interested in a discussion as I feel I am in a bit of an anomalous situation for my field.

    I'm graduating in Spring with my Masters in Landscape Architecture. It was a very environmentally focused program. Yet I have focused on Urban design and planning issues throughout and really want to get involved with that as a career, such as FBC's, Smart growth, and community building. I have intern experience on a smart growth plan for a municipality and also park planning experience. But where does this leave me?
    Does anyone know of private firms or organizations that I can align myself with? I live in LA (NOT the hotbead of urban sustainability, I know!) but am looking to move back to the east coast in a few years.

    Thank you!!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Welcome, I am sure there are community organizations based in the LA area that would welcome volunteers, but as far as private firms and entry level folks here in this state, you probably better looking elsewhere because it is grim out there and as my boss said, "it's a dog eat dog world" right now in consultanting. Unless you are specifically bringing experience around 5 years plus and you have CEQA/NEPA skills, most private firms are not hiring and are sheding people in this state. Not to sound like a debbie downer, but like i said, you might just want to look elsewhere at this point to gain experience you need to compete in this market.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  3. #3
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    Thanks, I do know its grim out there (I work for a city and with the bond freeze its tough) and when I start applying I plan on doing so widely. I do have CEQA/NEPA experience and 2+ yrs exp in this field plus pre-grad school work experience...my graphics are also very strong. So we'll see I guess! Thanks!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    London, England
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    Maybe I can be of some advice for you. Currently I am working in a "land" planning firm, which beware that the very distinctive differences between land planning (which landscape architects do) and planning (graduates of urban and regional planning) do. LA's are more focused on the design and layout of land as opposed to planner who might deal with more policy or even urban design, but it may be for writing form based codes or something along those lines.

    To follow up to the previous reply, becoming an environmental consultant is an interesting route, although the job market is really messed up all over the US. California is a great place to learn though, I'm sure you'll be fine once this whole economy gets back to normal.

  5. #5
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    thanks to both of you...land planning is definitely a possibility. I've also been looking at urban design...we shall see! With this economy, I'll take what I can get!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    May 2009
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    Seabrook, New Hampshire
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    I originally began my interest in land use because of Washington State's Growth Management Act of 1990. I had lived there all of my life, and watched as my home state was turned upside down by urban planning policies that I later discovered had originated in the Soviet Union. Of course, former Soviet states and satellites (Poland, East Germany, China, etc.) abandoned these policies in the 1990's, seeing how disastrous they were.

    The effect of packing millions of people into tightly confined urban development zones was fairly predictable: high ranking party officials, mafia dons, party bosses, and the very wealthy (in both East and West) moved out the country to enjoy their five acres while the masses were packed into 20-30 story tall apartment complexes built alongside various state run rail monopolies. This resulted in urban flight (since no one wanted to live next to a noisy rail system), and commuting residents encountered artificially constricted roads, intersections, freeways, and freeway interchanges, resulting in 2-3 hour commutes. Now that same political good old boy network is using the crisis that they created to justify more tax increases and boondoggle projects. Everyone has their hand in the cookie jar.

    Don't believe everything that your Marxist college professors tell you. Smart Growth is just someone else's agenda, and the public is starting to catch on to the damage that it's doing.

  7. #7
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Moderator note:
    Welcome to Cyburbia, maxx.

    A reminder of two of our rules.

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    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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