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Old 02-26-2013, 02:55 PM
 
1,682 posts, read 2,720,869 times
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What are some good careers for an Urbanist. Someone who finds cities (and tthe people living in them) fascinating and would like to improve efficiency and quality of life?

Key urban issues I had in mind.

•New Urbanism versus auto-centric policy
•Sustainability (Green)
•Public Health
•Social issues

What can you do with a degree in Urban Studies?

Is the job outlook for Urban Planners and/or architects in the USA that bad? Similar fields? Alternatives?
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,087 posts, read 17,561,114 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nykiddo718718 View Post
What are some good careers for an Urbanist. Someone who finds cities (and tthe people living in them) fascinating and would like to improve efficiency and quality of life?

Key urban issues I had in mind.

•New Urbanism versus auto-centric policy
•Sustainability (Green)
•Public Health
•Social issues

What can you do with a degree in Urban Studies?

Is the job outlook for Urban Planners and/or architects in the USA that bad? Similar fields? Alternatives?
For the urban issues you have in mind, I have observed that a degree in Urban Studies should be suitable. But I don't think that it is required. With that said, you really don't need a degree in Urban Planning (or related) to work in the urban planning field. As far as the job outlook, I don't know about everywhere else in the country, but in my local area it is not good (actually, it is bad) and will probably be that way for several years.

[we haven't hired anyone at my location in about four years]
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:31 PM
 
1,682 posts, read 2,720,869 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEETC View Post
For the urban issues you have in mind, I have observed that a degree in Urban Studies should be suitable. But I don't think that it is required. With that said, you really don't need a degree in Urban Planning (or related) to work in the urban planning field. As far as the job outlook, I don't know about everywhere else in the country, but in my local area it is not good (actually, it is bad) and will probably be that way for several years.

[we haven't hired anyone at my location in about four years]
When you say bad, are you referring only to Architecture and Urban planning, or all positions related to Urban Study?
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,087 posts, read 17,561,114 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nykiddo718718 View Post
When you say bad, are you referring only to Architecture and Urban planning, or all positions related to Urban Study?
The land development professions are all feeling the effects of the current economy - private and public sector.

I can't speak about all related positions, but I know some individuals who graduated with Urban Planning degrees within the last few years who cannot get jobs. And then there are planners who leave for "greener pastures" and, due to the economic downturn, were laid-off and haven't been able to find work (I have a friend who has been unemployed for about 5 years). And then there are those who were working for a developer or public agency who were laid-off, applied, and were hired, for entry level. lower paying jobs (when positions opened) that normally would have gone to recent college graduates.

Recently, for an entry level position at my employer we had over 200 people apply. Some of the people who applied were extremely qualified (perhaps overqualified) but needed the job and were willing to take a substantially lower salary than they would normally be paid. Some of the people applying could have been a manager in the department!

I imagine a lot of other agencies are experiencing this and probably hiring the veteran planner. If they hire the veteran planner over the college graduate, the deal for the employer is they acquire a very experienced planner, with no need for significant training, and only have to pay him/her a fraction of the salary that someone with that experience normally would have been paid.

It is a very competitive job market right now.

[and it's going to take a while for everyone to get a job]
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,505,330 times
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It's just human nature at work; everybody thinks "planning" is a fine thing -- for the other guy or gal -- but nobody wants his or her future "planned"all that much. I;ll tell the other fellow what's good for him, but don't tell me what's good for me.

Would you want your tax dollars supporting people with that mentality?
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,087 posts, read 17,561,114 times
Reputation: 10299
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
It's just human nature at work; everybody thinks "planning" is a fine thing -- for the other guy or gal -- but nobody wants his or her future "planned"all that much. I;ll tell the other fellow what's good for him, but don't tell me what's good for me.

Would you want your tax dollars supporting people with that mentality?
You're overestimating what we do.

[a lot of the 'planning' I do has nothing to do with 'planning']
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
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Greenhorn question; what exactly is a Urbanist? What type of career does it entail?
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:25 PM
 
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The only professions I can think of, where someone would call themselves an "urbanist," would be a professor of urban affairs/policy/studies, perhaps geography, or someone who works for a research foundation or think tank of that nature. I know a few people who have degrees in urban affairs/studies/policy, all of whom are professionals in some other field entirely, yet still work and live in dense urban environments. You can very well be an urbanist and have it not be your profession, to me an urbanist is a lover of cities and urban vibrancy, and may as well be an accountant or waitress for all it matters professionally.
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:45 PM
 
28,441 posts, read 71,029,142 times
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Default Mostly agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1timbo1 View Post
The only professions I can think of, where someone would call themselves an "urbanist," would be a professor of urban affairs/policy/studies, perhaps geography, or someone who works for a research foundation or think tank of that nature. I know a few people who have degrees in urban affairs/studies/policy, all of whom are professionals in some other field entirely, yet still work and live in dense urban environments. You can very well be an urbanist and have it not be your profession, to me an urbanist is a lover of cities and urban vibrancy, and may as well be an accountant or waitress for all it matters professionally.
If you cannot pass through the VERY narrow portals that guard the sweet life of a full time academic I might suggest:

-- selling retro spectacles to hipsters

-- brewing craft beers / whiskeys with trendy flavors / recipes like "gluten free"

-- learning to resew the legs of jeans to "recraft" old fashioned denim into "skinny jeans"

-- anything that has to do with pork belly / bacon / cupcakes

-- low flow urinal salesmen

-- Dutch bicycle importer

-- high speed rail lobbyist
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:13 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,714,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nykiddo718718 View Post
What are some good careers for an Urbanist. Someone who finds cities (and tthe people living in them) fascinating and would like to improve efficiency and quality of life?

Key urban issues I had in mind.

•New Urbanism versus auto-centric policy
•Sustainability (Green)
•Public Health
•Social issues

What can you do with a degree in Urban Studies?

Is the job outlook for Urban Planners and/or architects in the USA that bad? Similar fields? Alternatives?
You could get a degree in architecture and join one of the firms like DPZ, or Calthrope. There are lots of consulting firms working with city planning departments all over America which are desperately trying to revise their city codes after 50 years of disastrous planning. Forward thinking cities recognize they are in a competition with each other to create genuine urban environments so that the best and brightest will want to work and stay in their communities. Increasingly, the pressure is coming from businesses who need to be in a great city to keep talent.

The next 50 years will see huge demands for people will the skill, mindset, politics and patience for this game. You have to realize the it takes years to get a good idea approved, and then many years after that to get it financed, permitted, and finally built, and then years of decades later to see the full fruition of the project and its wider impact on the city. It's like planting seeds and then waiting patiently for them to turn into mighty oaks.
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