Urban and Regional Planner  What They Do

Just the Facts


Develops comprehensive plans and programs for the use of land and physical facilities of local jurisdictions, such as towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas. Records and analyzes information, and prepares reports and recommendations for governmental officials and others. Uses computer databases, spreadsheets, analytical techniques, and computerized geographic information systems.

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster Planning pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Holds public meetings with government officials, social scientists, lawyers, developers, the public, or special interest groups to formulate, develop, or address issues regarding land use or community plans.
  • Designs, promotes, or administers government plans or policies affecting land use, zoning, public utilities, community facilities, housing, or transportation.
  • Advises planning officials on project feasibility, cost-effectiveness, regulatory conformance, or possible alternatives.
  • Recommends approval, denial, or conditional approval of proposals.
  • Discusses with planning officials the purpose of land use projects, such as transportation, conservation, residential, commercial, industrial, or community use.
  • Conducts field investigations, surveys, impact studies, or other research to compile and analyze data on economic, social, regulatory, or physical factors affecting land use.
  • Determines the effects of regulatory limitations on land use projects.
  • Advocates for sustainability to community groups, government agencies, the general public, or special interest groups.
  • Mediates community disputes or assists in developing alternative plans or recommendations for programs or projects.
  • Keeps informed about economic or legal issues involved in zoning codes, building codes, or environmental regulations.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overnight travel
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Housing Development Specialist -- Develops affordable housing; responsible for entire development process, including land acquisition, financing, construction, marketing, and project lease-up.
  • Zoning Administrator -- Enforces land usage within a municipality as dictated by the codes created by urban planners.