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Old 03-03-2011, 09:18 AM
 
1 posts, read 25,636 times
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For the past 5 years I have worked for a privately owned urban planning company that deals strictly with zoning issues. While working here I've been able to finish up my bachelor's degree in political science, and after graduation I plan on pursuing a master's degree.

The difficulty has been settling on the right program for what I want to do in the future. I am 32 years old so I'm a little bit older than the traditional student, so I don't know if that will have any impact on the situation or not.

I am very intrigued by sustainable urban development and don't really care if I start off in the private or public sector. I would like to have some design opportunities, which I could see be limited in the urban planning field. So maybe urban design is the way to go, because I would be able to design and develop projects.

The only issue I have w/ urban design is that it seems like such a small field that has very few options as far as grad school is concerned, so maybe an architectural degree would be a better option. I dunno.

Again, just want to make the most informed decision possible. Therefore any advice is appreciated.

JK
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:41 PM
 
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I recommend deciding if you want to design and draw, or develop policies. 98% of graduate architecture programs provide you any knowledge of urbanism. Most programs waste students time glorifying architects that produce buildings that destroy urban fabric. The University of Miami offers a course in the New Urbanism that may fulfill your desires.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
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Default Urban Planning vs Urban Design exactly?

What is the difference between Urban Planning vs Urban Design exactly? For someone who is still new with both fields, that would be awesome to know. Thanks
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Old 06-04-2011, 06:33 AM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
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The main thing is that Urban Design isn't really an established profession per se. There is no mainstream professional degree or professional association, and it is for the most part not an accredited discipline in schools, and has been largely reduced to something that has been bounced around inside Architecture and Planning programs, and more recently Landscape Architecture programs.

Nowadays, you may actually find what you're looking for in Landscape Architecture, under the heading of Landscape Urbanism, which has a lot of buzz at the moment. Landscape Architecture by nature deals a lot with the design of long-term systems, and issues of sustainability, and those are things which are increasingly relevant to city planning & design. Probably the leading institution for this stuff right now is The University of Pennsylvania. I believe they offer a dual-degree program in Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and their City Planning program is also in the same building, so there is some interaction between the fields. The school also makes some real world impact with their PennPraxis arm.

'Urban Planning' is something that would lead to being a City Planner. It's an interesting field of study, but not terribly design oriented. And professionally, being a City Planner is not primarily exercise in design , and largely involves attempting to implement policies, and rubber stamping permits. City Planning academic programs do not typically include very much if any design studio time. On the flip side, do be aware that most Architecture masters degree programs are very heavily design oriented, and seem to push many of the "real world" skills onto the internship period (those few years where you work after school in order to qualify to take board exams).
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:00 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
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So let's say I wanted to be the guy who wants to design a more urban outlook for a section of a city or retrofit an aging shopping mall, which profession would that fall under?
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:14 AM
 
Location: Southern California
15,085 posts, read 17,900,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotodome View Post
...

'Urban Planning' is something that would lead to being a City Planner. It's an interesting field of study, but not terribly design oriented. And professionally, being a City Planner is not primarily exercise in design , and largely involves attempting to implement policies, and rubber stamping permits. City Planning academic programs do not typically include very much if any design studio time. On the flip side, do be aware that most Architecture masters degree programs are very heavily design oriented, and seem to push many of the "real world" skills onto the internship period (those few years where you work after school in order to qualify to take board exams).
Agree with this.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:19 AM
 
Location: Southern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joke Insurance View Post
So let's say I wanted to be the guy who wants to design a more urban outlook for a section of a city or retrofit an aging shopping mall, which profession would that fall under?
Multiple professions would be involved in this. And then there are the property owners, citizens, business owners, and politicians.

[it is complicated]
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:10 AM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,260 posts, read 4,832,651 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joke Insurance View Post
So let's say I wanted to be the guy who wants to design a more urban outlook for a section of a city or retrofit an aging shopping mall, which profession would that fall under?
Emperor.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:54 PM
 
12,511 posts, read 15,650,478 times
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Architecture is about as dead as it gets right now. Maybe after you graduate they will finally start building again.
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:08 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
3,719 posts, read 4,893,914 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEETC View Post
Multiple professions would be involved in this. And then there are the property owners, citizens, business owners, and politicians.

[it is complicated]
Yeah, I don't think a politician would design a town center. Get what I'm sayin?
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