Town & City Planning

Careers in the public sector

What do planners do in the public sector?

Town and city planners in the public sector balance competing demands for land and ensure that new development and places work for different needs and deliver economic, social and environmental benefits. Planners bring their spatial and technical knowledge, analytical and negotiation skills, and stakeholder management experience in-house.

Planners work on a broad range of tasks, including engaging with the public and stakeholders, and presenting technical information to decision-makers and at inquiries. Planners may also be tasked with managing projects, collecting and analysing data, assessing planning applications, writing policies, setting out options and recommendations in written reports, and undertaking site visits.

For built environment roles in the public sector, planners need to be creative and able to put forward persuasive ideas and proposals; enjoy critical analysis and problem-solving; be able to communicate clearly with a diverse range of people; have strong report writing skills; and be comfortable working with maps and plans.

What type of job roles might a planner be suitable for?

A planner can work across different types of roles in planning and the built environment, such as a planning policy role - working on analysing data and creating policy on heritage for example; strategic planning roles - working on the local plan or developing masterplans; in development management - managing development through the planning process; or in transport or infrastructure planning.

Progression could be moving upwards to a managerial or senior leadership role with more responsibility for complex projects and programmes; or specialising in a particular field such as transport, strategic sites or enforcement.

Planners we've recruited into the public sector roles

Qualifications needed

People working in planning can come from different backgrounds, such as architecture, urban studies or geography. However, to be eligible for full chartered status, planners must hold an undergraduate or postgraduate degree accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute, complete 24 months of relevant work experience, and pass the RTPI’s Assessment of Professional Competence.

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