In attempts to determine the appropriateness of Urban and Regional Planning, I decided to conduct a wholesome research of the discipline. The research covered just a few topics that touched on almost all phases of Urban and Regional Planning. These included an overview of the course, requirements for enrollment, courses related to it, and the job opportunities offered for graduates of this course. It is on such insights that I would be able to make an informed decision on whether to pursue the course or not.
Urban and Regional Planning is a Bachelor Degree course leading to a career. It aims at equipping and training students to become professional planners. It majorly deals with the spatial planning of projects including designing, aligning and managing the built environment. Beyond being a branch of Architecture, it is also a multi-disciplinary course that encompasses the outlines of other disciplines. Urban and Regional Planning is one of the rather nascent courses in colleges having a short historical background as compared to other disciplines such as Law. Consequently, only a few colleges across the world offer it on a fully fledged basis. Interestingly, planning has always been part and parcel of our daily lives since time immemorial.
Just like any other any other activity in our daily lives, learning requires adequate preparation. Children, for instance, need their parents to properly prepare them before leaving for school. On the other hand, young adults in colleges are old enough to prepare themselves before attending to their schooling responsibilities. Being a planner, in particular, requires certain preparations a student must observe prior to enrolling for the course. For instance, the course requires the student to attain high scores in his previous level of study. This, therefore, means that the student must have attained high scores in order to qualify for the college enrollment standards.
In the same vein, the nature of the course involves certain demands the student must conform to. For example, the student must be ready to work hard towards attaining the best scores for qualification standards. Being a practical discipline, Urban and Regional Planning requires that students should be actively involved in field programs that prepare them for their future professions. In addition, the student needs to have a creative and informed mind. This is useful towards the development and application of unique planning options that address the ever complicated and conflicting interests that characterize modern day development. The students must equally have the ability to integrate multidisciplinary content into one product that serves the overall interests of development. As mentioned, this involves application of economics, survey, project management, among other skills.
Courses in Urban and Regional Planning
Just like any other field of study, Urban and Regional Planning is not an independent course. It is multi-disciplinary and depends on other courses in order to lay out its objectives. The discipline is a blend of two courses, Planning and Management. In addition, it encompasses a host of external but relevant courses. These include Survey, Economics, Environmental Studies, Sociology, and Urban Design, among others. All these courses contribute to Urban and Regional Planning understanding and the attendant delivery of course objectives.
A planner needs surveying skills in order to understand the layout and size of plot before planning. Planning is a social discipline that requires involvement and participation of other people. Therefore, sociological knowledge helps planners in their interaction with the society while economical knowledge is applied in budgeting for the plans.
Jobs in Urban and Regional Planning
Ideally it is essential to equally appreciate some of the pressing challenges the students in this course face. As has been observed, the concept is relatively new. In addition, the direct employment engagements are few given that many of these opportunities are taken up by professionals in other courses such as Architecture, Engineering, Project Planning, among others. It is critical for responsible stakeholders to ensure that the right professionals are employed. Moreover, the course should adopt a dynamic character which easily lends itself to flexibility for the overall discharge of professional duties.
Bohl, Charles and Dean Schwanke. Place Making: Developing Town Centers, Main Streets, and Urban Villages. New York: Urban Land Institute, 2012.
Luigi, Girard . The Human Sustainable City: Challenges and Perspectives from the Habitat Agenda. New York: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2009.
Nettler, Jonathan. "How Do You Plan a City for the Next 90 Years?" Planetizen (2013). Online. <http://www.planetizen.com/node/65507>.
Sean, Paul. Challenges in the Urban and Regional Planning Disciple 11 October 2013.
UN Habitat. Urban Planning for City Leaders. Nairobi : UN Habitat, 2013. <http://www.google.co.ke/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=9&ved=0CFMQFjAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.unhabitat.org%2Fpmss%2FgetElectronicVersion.aspx%3Fnr%3D3385%26alt%3D1&ei=M7tYUuTcC8Wa1AX334GwBw&usg=AFQjCNGENWGaLk4vvalYHbAcREUViRtk_w&bvm=bv.53899372,d.d>.