Urban Design

Careers in the public sector

What do urban designers do in the public sector?

Urban designers in the public sector create and shape places that work for different needs and deliver economic, social and environmental benefits. Urban designers bring their design skills and knowledge, spatial and analytical skills, and stakeholder and project management experience in-house.

In the public sector, urban designers work on a broad range of tasks, including advising on the design of development and critiquing projects proposed by developers and landowners. Urban designers may also be tasked with creating sketches, models and plans, managing projects, developing design codes, preparing masterplans, engaging with stakeholders and undertaking site visits.

For built environment roles in the public sector, urban designers 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 through written, verbal and visual (including drawings and diagrams) communication methods, and be comfortable working with maps and plans.

What type of job roles might urban designers be suitable for?

People with a background in urban design can work in a range of built environment roles in the public sector, including development management - providing expert design advice in pre-apps; masterplanning - contributing to or creating design codes; policy - bringing specialist advice to a local plan; property development - providing design expertise in housing delivery; economic development - regenerating high streets and co-designing with local communities.

Progression could be moving upwards to a managerial or senior leadership role with more responsibility for supervising the work of team members or more complex projects and programmes; or by specialising in a particular field such as landscape, sustainability, or community engagement.

Urban Designers we've recruited into public sector roles

Qualifications needed

Urban designers in the public sector might have a degree in urban design, architecture, or urban or city planning. Urban design is not a formally accredited profession in the UK and local authority hiring managers often consider evidence of professional practice experience if there is no direct relevant degree.

Progress your career

Do you have more than 3 years of experience?

Find out more about how our Associate Programme works and how we can help you progress your career into the public sector.

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