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What Is an Urban and Regional Planner?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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As the name suggests, an urban and regional planner is a trained professional who is actively engaged in developing plans aimed at the development, allocation and effective use of land resources, including the developing and implementing strategies aimed at helping authorities properly plan urban settlements. An urban and regional planner helps in the protection of the environment through studies and suggestion targeted at the development of a particular area. He or she also assists in the application of stated formulas to make projections regarding any anticipated needs of a particular area in terms of population growth versus available resources. By performing these functions, an urban and regional planner also helps in the improvement of the social infrastructure available in a geographical area.

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One of the chief functions of an urban and regional planner is the analysis of the available resources in an area under consideration in order to make educated calculations regarding the best way to allocate and use those resources. They do this by methods that include an assessment of the current population size and the expected population growth over time in relation to the expected pressure from the demand of the population on the available resources. As such, if the projected growth of the population over time will not be sustained by the resources, the urban and regional planners might make suggestions aimed at alleviating undue pressure. One of the suggestions they might make in such a situation is the development of another area, with comparable amenities that will make a place attractive to the citizens, causing them to relocate to these places and take the pressure of the other burdened areas.

Another function of an urban and regional planner is the protection of the environment through the development of plans aimed at such a drive. For instance, they could designate some areas in the community as protected zones that are under the protection of government due to various factors that include the fragility of these areas. An example of such an area is a coral reef, which might be declared as a protected area due to the dangers posed by adverse human activities. They could also designate industrial zones for the siting of manufacturing plants, away from residential zones where the emissions from such places could pose a hazard to the health of people, animals and plants. This type of responsibility would also include the strategic siting of other potential health hazards like landfills.

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