I'm 22 years old and recently graduated from the International Business program of Florida International Univ. Having survived that and decided that I don't want to be an economist/accountant/anythingfinance I've been looking for a master's program that will help me make a turn towards a field I enjoy, and I've been considering Urban Planning.
So here's where I stand now, and I would love for someone to help me figure out if my expectations are out of place or they are actually realistic, and tell me if they fit in the planning field:
1 - My ideal career will offer me flexibility and freedom: travel and be able to work from abroad, take time off between projects and I would like to earn upwards of $80k/year.
2- I assume urban planners work very closely with policymakers and the public sector, but, does that mean they are mostly public employees? How common is it for a private planning and design firm to exist and be successful? How does it relate to architecture in this way?
3- Does the "Environmental" in Environmental Urban Planning really make a difference between it and regular planning or is it mostly extra wording for the title? Would I really be focusing in different projects, or at least different areas of a project? Green/Renewable energy production and distribution, recycling?
4- About how big an area does a planner usually focus on during an average project? A whole city? A district? A neighborhood? A plaza? How often would I be working in an actual city master plan?
Maybe I'm falling for an Utopian view of planning and design? My main inspirations come from biology and my ideal job would be to work on planning the new cities of the world (according to statistics there are many to come) as whole ecosystems that are as close to being self-sustainable as we can push them to be with current technologies. I've definitely been hypnotized by examples such as Bjarke Ingels's ZIRA ISLANDS MASTERPLAN. (Min 14, 33 secs. He is an architect but I believe this island falls mostly in the category of planning? Is that real-life planning at all, or is he the 1 in a billion that is making this kind of work?
I know it's a long post but thank you for your patience and your help!
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