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Thread: Is urban planning/city planning a profession or industry?

  1. #1
    May 2010
    San Diego, CA

    Is urban planning/city planning a profession or industry?

    Funny how back when you would earn a degree in urban planning, then it went to city planner. Would love feedback on what it is the difference. Also is planning a profession or industry? Share your views,

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Feb 2004
    on my 15 minute break
    Planning is both a profession and a product. It's a profession in the traditional sense that its practitioners are involved in a field requiring specialized knowlege, and a product because various municipalities/entities often bid out and purchase the work product.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  3. #3
    This is a very important question.

    I often say to architect friends of mine who are setting up their own websites, to explain to clients what it is they do. Unfortunately, very few of my architect friends take this advice. They assume that every member of the public out there is like a similarly qualified architect. That is like an accountant or lawyer assuming that every member of the public out there is a similarly qualified accountant or lawyer. It is very silly. So a lot of my architect friends have websites designed to look like 'portfolios' of their work, they would show to a colleague in their own profession, when interviewing for employment.

    I was looking around for good examples of the way I would do a website - if I was an architect or an urban designer. I would try to explain to the visitor what services I provide and how the process works. I thought this website was well designed.


    They have thrown in a good few sketch renders, and even a page to explain what 'master planning' services are all about. I reckon if I was to spend a bit of time on the website, I might actually learn something useful about what an architecture practice does. That is, say if I was completely new to architecture - as a client - and knew absolutely nothing about architecture a useful service I could obtain.

    A word on technology.

    I have been catching up on several years of AUGI World (AutoDesk User Group) magazine editions. AUGI World has six editions published every two months. I had been so busy for very many years, that I had never any time to read AUGI World anymore. So it was more than time I did some catching up on what is happening in technology. I have realised that with all the developments in internet technology and design software, and operating systems on personal computer systems - a lot more is now possible than in the old days. Especially with mapping, photography and so forth.

    My impression from going back through AUGI World magazine editions in recent years has been (if you can accept AUGI World as some kind of barometer), is that the 'industry' - if you are into project management, project estimation, urban design, master planning or whatever - the technology is leaping ahead all of the time. There is a strong technical, computing slant to all of the professions in the industry, that wasn't there 10 years ago.

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